Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Dean Archer called this morning. I was in the bath brushing my teeth and had to get ready to go to work. I picked up my basket and handbag and dashed through the front door and got in the car, while I talked to him on the phone! He explained the position of my books and his plans for marketing my books. I listened on my handphone but the signal was so bad this morning that he had to call back. I put on my socks and scarf in the car while my husband drove and we stopped the car near our daughters' school where the handphone signal was much better. Dean was still talking on the phone throughout! By the time we got through the USM main entrance, Dean ended his call. That's how I manage phone calls - multitasking! And that's why it is better to post or email me. I hope my son locked up our house door. I remember I have fed the cats and filled the water container earlier this morning. I'm glad I did or my cats would be hungry.

Ok. What do I do now? Now I have a few things to think about:

  1. Xlibris is a good self-publishing company and it does some amount of online marketing but at a "dear" price. I took this one for my books because this was the only thing I knew at that point. Overall I think Xlibris services are fine for me and it allowed me to publish 2 books for the price of one. So it was a good deal and I am really thankful for this negotiated bit which benefits me as a beginner in self-publishing my books. The copyright stays with me as opposed to the publisher. I own my books, the text and the low-resolution images which I submitted. I own everything re my books. Revenue is shared at 50:50 which is fine for a beginner like me. The posters are plain but of very good quality (very good paper and glossy finish). The business cards (made for each book) are great (really cute)! I have almost run out of the business cards. I still have the picture postcards.
  2. BookWhirl is also a self-publishing company and it does a great amount of online marketing but at a cheaper price. Is this any better than Xlibris? I don't know. I have never published with BookWhirl. But the posters/flyers, trailer used for email marketing that I see, are the best I have ever seen made for books. The posters are really great. I have commented on the posters and videos before in a previous post. Dean Archer was down to earth. He said he cannot promise the moon but we can try the many stars and get my books marketed. True, nobody can promise anything in business but if we don't shoot in the right direction, my books won't sell. True, my books are not just about history but medical history, so how many universities and colleges teach this subject or have instilled this interest in their students? Nobody knows the size of this market and whether my books will need to go there. But what Dean Archer saw and put across to me this morning was great. He said we could aim for exchange of American and Asian medical practices. He elaborated that a few things we do here are not available "there" so Americans travel out of USA and come to Asia (China) to seek medical treatment. This is something I did not know about. I know of other means in medical treatment but not the USA-China route. He also mentioned Singapore as a potential spot. Singapore is a red dot on any world map but it also a great spot for people seeking alternative treatment. One Singapore hospital I saw has a department that specialises in this mode of treatment. Malaysia has followed suit. But my books are not about alternative medicine, just biographies of the Malay doctors who served in British Malaya and Singapore between 1900 and 1957 (Malayan Independence). I don't know if I can write on alternative medicine which is what will market well in the present book market. But I am not a practitioner of alternative medicine though I am aware of the practices and where they are available. 
  3. Whatever it is, the alternative treatment modes must be registered and properly documented and followed (as under ISO). The procedures must be constantly checked for deviations. I think what is needed is a world directory of alternative medicine, categorised by region, country, state, locality, and then the agency or establishment and contact details. Of course, all establishments must be accredited and somehow be denoted by a 5-star rating scale. All that can come in as a periodical ebook, online HTML web pages or printed book. That is another research altogether. 
  4. I have made a similar one for Islamic Medicine in another blog - just the rudimentary pages. I have to read the Quran several times to extract the necessary information on health, medicine and related, and then write the posts.  I haven't converted it into a searchable database yet because I will need other skilled people and Islamic scholars to verify the extracted information before I make the database. It is a lot of research and work. Will this benefit anyone? I don't know. I'm still thinking.

To answer Dean Archer's question, "Will I take his BookWhirl.com marketing services?" My answer is I still don't have any answers yet because I need to think through and see what is good and what is sheer waste of money. So I'm still thinking and thinking because I still have other projects to do, think about and write up.