Sunday, 13 January 2013

Raden Ahmad of Pattani (2)

This is my second post on Raden Ahmad of Pattani.

I had received a phone call from Ustaz Wan Mohd Hazim bin Wan Abdullah bin Raden Ahmad on Saturday, 12 January 2013 at approximately 9.59 am when I was in Penang. The phone reception was unclear but I can provide this information for the time being.

Ustaz Wan Mohd Hazim wanted to know who was the wife/who were the wives of Raden Ahmad.

Ustaz Wan Mohd Hazim is the grandson of Raden Ahmad as mentioned by Haji Wan Abdullah Saghir. Ustaz Wan Mohd Hazim lives at Kg Sg Palah in Kota Kubang Labu and teaches at SMK Sg Pinang. The area is called Pasir Pekan. He said since Pattani is chaotic (huru-hara), he can't go there to do business.

I couldn't hear him well so I can't write more.

Ustaz Wan Mohd Hazim can be contacted at 09-7181-575 in Kelantan.

External links:

Hashimah Hussien

This is Affandi's youngest sister. She is married to a Motorola engineer based in Penang. She has 5 kids, the eldest is working as a pharmacist in Ipoh. The others are doctors-to-be. All her kids studied at the religious schools and memorise the Quran (hafiz & hafizah).


Xlibris Videos

Here are some Xlibris videos & tutorials on YouTube:

Top 5 submission mistakes
Publishing videos

What I have learned from the videos:
  1. Some stories/books are good to make videos for them
  2. There are very few good videos that are captivating
  3. Some objects/elements/silhouettes are used repeatedly in many different videos
  4. Commonly used pic/silhouettes are girl leaving home, lovers running uphill, lovers running down a street, a little girl walks in the fog holding hands with an adult, girl in prayer, leaves moving as the wind blows on trees and sun's rays coming through to reach the ground, the universe, starburst, stardust, the stars, etc
  5. The video portrays a real human whereas the book cover depicts a cartoon; which is true?
  6. Some videos have very good graphics & photos
  7. Some subtitles/text are blur and were difficult to read fast
  8. Some fonts are not popular and it was difficult to make out the words
  9. Professional narrations have good diction and American English is used. They are lively and nice to listen to
  10. Sometimes the title seems to portray a white man's story but the photos are of black people; which is correct?
  11. Most authors spoke in a sad voice or tone; I got very upset after listening to them. Some choked towards the end of their narrations. Didn't they audition first?
  12. A few authors sat in the same brown leather chair. Was it a studio or the authors' homes?
  13. Most authors are elderly
  14. There are some good and useful titles for university students to read
  15. There were many stories of the past, memories of pain and suffering, memories of death of a loved one, memories of adoption, memories of child abuse, etc
  16. Nobody wrote about kings except there was one about a lost kingdom which featured, probably the US war on Afghanistan or Iraq.
  17. The illustrations & photo quality are quite poor for some videos. Is it the original photo quality used or was it done on purpose to create a scene of the past?
  18. The last slide shows where to buy the book online; sometimes the lines are read
  19. Video clips are either 30 sec or 60 sec, with or without narration. Narration is either the author's voice or that of a professional narrator
My concerns:
  1. If I decide to make a video for each of my books, will my videos resemble any of the present videos? Will any element from past videos be used in my video clips? What background music is suitable for each of my books? Are these background music copyrighted or are they from public domain and free to use? How do I select the music I want?
  2. What impact will videos have on potential buyers? Will potential buyers buy after all?
  3. Is there a possibility of making a great impressive expensive video but getting no sales?

Dean Archers of phoned me while I was in Penang. The phone connection was poor so I asked him to email me too. He gave a few links and I checked them out this morning.

This is what I found out so far:

  1. The email ad for a book as prepared by BookWhirl is very attractive and I like it
  2. The colours used for the email ad makes a book stand out
  3. The text brief describing the book contents is good
  4. The marketing aim is targeted as specified by the author
  5. Most authors are happy about the email ad campaigns prepared for them
  6. The cost looks ok: USD799 for 500,000 email recipients (the one I signed up with Xlibris was for 100 email recipients only)
However, I have a few concerns. My concerns are:
  1. There were no reports of the past years sales of a book advertised via email ad campaigns
  2. I don't know how many universities worldwide teach history that have interest in Asia
  3. I don't know if foreign professors even know Malaya/Malaysia/Singapore, to even suggest using my books for class use
  4. I can subscribe to 500,000 email recipients, but the actual number of interested universities may only be >50%. So I lose 50% on email campaign alone.
I have other concerns. My concerns are:
  1. Books today are heavily advertised for markets and sales
  2. I can subscribe to so many markets and sales campaigns but what is one that is a definite one that will create good sales?
  3. There seems to be a lot of ways to market books (email ad campaign, video clip, TV, radio, magazines, catalogues, book fairs, etc)
  4. What combinations of marketing books are good for a particular book? I can't be subscribing to all marketing modes just to make sales work for my books.
  5. A lot of emphasis is now placed on cross-cultural experiences and exchange