Sunday, March 31, 2019

The End of an Era

Today actually marks the end of an era.

Beginning tomorrow 1st April 2019, Tictail, the platform where I sell my books, will shutting down for good. It is also time for me to permanently end the sale of my books from this blog.

Until very recently, I'd always struggled with the selling of my books. My distributor MarketAsia changed hands and I could no longer find a home for my physical copies, so I had to load them in my parent's home and wait for the occasional sale to get them to my tiny fanbase. It was such a sad day years ago when I ordered a significant portion of my books to be shredded because I had no space in my home to contain them. For years, I would sell about $50 worth of books every month.

Things started to perk up only after I figured out that my books can play a major role in building my personal brand after becoming an investment trainer. Some readers might know that I give away my books to folks who show up for my previews.

After initiating this new arrangement, the problem started to reverse itself - my books are now getting depleted so quickly that it is not feasible to sell them to blog readers anymore, at the rate I am going, I'm not even be sure that my stock will last till May 2019.

There are going to be other trainers who have publishing ambitions. I have the following advice for them :

  • Being only a writer is not a workable strategy to make money. Singaporeans are not a very literate lot and you need to combine writing with speaking to actually get somewhere. It took me over a decade to learn this simple lesson.
  • Be a best seller, not a best writer. My first book was unedited and I still have nightmares that it would ruin my brand because of the bad English. My first book turned out to be a Straits Times Bestseller. Just be authentic, this is not an English Literature exam.
  • As a finance author, you'll grow old enough to see your heroes become villains. My first book mentioned the corporate heroics of the Hyflux founder and the virtues of buying SPH as a dividend stock. It might be better positioned in the humour section rather than the finance section today. 
So from this point onwards, the only way to buy my books is to show up for my course preview, but the question is whether I have another book in me to do this again.

I think I still have great content, the only issue is that I hate doing the footnoting and after getting a Law Degree from SMU, I would be a disgrace if I do not footnote every single claim I make in my new piece of work. The other issue is that I am never going to self-publish again. 

Now I go big or go home.

It is time to seek a "real publisher". When I was a rookie finance author, one publisher rudely asked whether I was a millionaire and scoffed at me after I said no. Today I can qualify as an AI under the Singapore Law and I will make sure that I give this local publisher a miss. 


1 comment:

  1. try selling at Hugs Coffee at URA which carries local titles