April 21, 2015

London Book Fair 2015

After the Tokyo Book Fair 2014 (which I still haven't blogged about) and the New Delhi Book Fair 2015, last week, between 14 to 16 of April 2015, I managed to attend the London Book Fair 2015. Unlike the Tokyo Book Fair 2014 and the New Delhi Book Fair 2015, I properly attend the three-day event as I was given the task by the owner of Fixi, Amir Muhammad, to help him to bring Malaysian publishers to the London Book Fair in 2016. We are determine to do it without government help as we think the London Book Fair can be a springboard to a lot of Malaysian publishers to break new territory.

It was one year, in 2014, after Fixi won the Bookseller International Adult Trade Publisher Award at the International Book Industry Excellence Awards. Here is the Star newspaper coverage about Fixi win last year. It was a proud moment for Fixi and I had just joined Fixi. I now can claim to be one of Fixi's stable of writers with 2 short stories being accepted in their anthologies (Lost in Putrajaya and MF2014) and 2 Malay novels : Pinjam and Pentas. Here's my Goodreads link.

At the London Book Fair, where the business of books were conducted by business people, there were so many writers abound looking for opportunity. As you have to pay to get a badge, at GBP35, you know all that attended the London Book Fair were serious people. Unlike the other book fairs I attended, I planned to do so as well. I attended nearly most of the interesting forum, book launches, author's talk, technology briefing and pavilion's launches. Singapore have a pavilion which Amir said was getting bigger and bigger. Indonesia on account of being the guest country in October 2015's Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 (the biggest book fair in the world) had quite a big pavilion too.

Mexico was the Market Focus country for London Book Fair 2015 and had a huge pavilion. I managed to catch Elena Poniatowska, a famous Mexican writer; Chris Evans before he opened up the Club room, a frank discussion among translators from various countries about the fees they are getting paid for doing translations, a discussion by those who are bringing the Susanna Clarke's book : Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell  to television, a talk by Conchita Wurst and a few other talks which I managed to hear bits and pieces of. Some of these writers I only heard of for the first time although they looked adored by a few people.

Outside of London Book Fair, I managed to get into Amir Muhammad's good grace to be brought to meet the people from the Big Bad Wolf, a few od Indonesian filmmakers and we even had dinner with writers Tash Aw, Zen Cho and Lina Tan (a television producer). From Malaysia there were Ling Lung and his wife from Lejen Press with Syafiq, the writer for Ajaib and Awan and Fixi had Ariff Adly, the writer for Kacau and Gelap.

Needless to say, the sight, the sound and the experience at the London Book Fair 2015 left me wanting more and I hope I will be back next year.

Oh, Amir Muhammad and I did went to the British Library a day after the London Book Fair where we managed to sight the original manuscripts of Hikayat Raja Babi (will be published by Fixi at the Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur 2015) and the Magna Carta.

March 23, 2015

Pinjam adalah Bestseller 2014 di Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya 2015

Dengan nama pena 'Anuar Shah', saya telah menulis dua buku. 

Buku pertama saya, Pinjam telah diterbitkan pada 2014 di Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest. Kali pertama saya memegang buku Pinjam adalah ketika saya pergi ke Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya di Pusat Konvensyen Antarabangsa Putrajaya. Saya hanya memegangnya tetapi tidak memiliki satu pun buku Pinjam itu sehingga seminggu kemudia di KL Alternatif BookFest 2014, yang kali terakhir diadakan di Annexe Gallery di belakang Pasar Seni Kuala Lumpur.

Pegang je, tak boleh nak belek pun sebab penjualnya adalah MPH, bukan Fixi
Tahun 2015, semasa saya sibuk hendak melancakan buku kedua saya dengan Fixi, Pentas, tiba-tiba saya mendapat WhatsApp daripada rakan satu sekolah saya, saudara Zaid, yang tinggal di Putrajaya. Dia telah pergi ke Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya beberapa lebih awal daripada masa yang telah ditetapkan untuk saya pergi ke sana. Dia menghantar WhatsApp yang menunjukkan Pinjam adalah Bestseller 2014 di Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Putrajaya itu.

Gambar-gambar WhatsApp daripada rakan saya, Zaid
Saya menjadi tidak sabar untuk Sabtu, 21hb sampai. Semua yang bakal berlaku pada 21hb Mac 2015 itu telah saya cerita di blogpost ini.

21hb Mac itu, saya telah dijemput sebagai salah seorang daripada penulis-penulis True Wealth, penerbit buku siri Ask the Lawyer saya untuk memberi sedikit seminar percuma terutama yang berkaitan dengan buku-buku saya. 

Saya menjadi lebih teruja untuk ke sana kerana saya ingin melihat sendiri buku saya sebagai Bestseller 2014. Ia menjadi cukup nostalgia kerana itu lah tempat pertama saya melihat buku Pinjam itu sendiri.

Saya menjadi lebih bangga dan berterima kasih kerana staff MPH yang ada mengenali saya dan meminta mengambil gambar dengan saya. Seorang kedengaran berkata "Aku dah cakap, kat Pesta Buku ni kita dapat jumpa ramai orang terkenal."

Dengan pekerja-pekerja MPH pagi itu
Dalam hati sendiri menyebut "Wah, penulis Fixi dianggap sebagai orang terkenal."

Selepas saya habis memberi seminar pendek itu, terjumpa dua rakan se-universiti saya yang berkahwin sesama mereka dengan anak  mereka yang sudah boleh dikatakan 'anak dara'. Saya sudah lama tidak berjumpa mereka. Sempat mengambil gambar dan kemudian di dalam group WhatsApp kami rakan saya berkata anaknya telah mengedarkan gambarnya dengan penulis Pinjam kepada kawan-kawannya (walaupun masa berjumpa tak minat untuk saya menandatangani buku Pinjam yang ibu bapanya tawarkan untuk beli untuknya).

Memang cukup bersyukur dan gembira dengan pencapaian novel sulung saya, Pinjam, itu.

p/s : Jika minat nak baca Pinjam boleh beli di website Fixi ini dan jika mahu mengikut perkembangan novel Pinjam dan novel-novel indie oleh Fixi, boleh ikut di sini

March 20, 2015

Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest 2015

It is happening tomorrow and Sunday, 21st and 22nd of March 2015 at Dataran Underground (below Dataran Merdeka).

I always have a sentimental attachment to Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest. My first novel, Pinjam, was launched there last year and of course, it was the first place it was sold. I have always visited it before I was involved in any direct way with it. Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest is always held together with Art for Grabs, which is a flea market for artworks and small time vendor.

Here is a video of the launch of Pinjam last year where Amir Muhammad, the owner of Fixi interviewed me.

It was always been held at the Central Market Annexe Gallery which made it even more nostalgic for me as Central Market was the place I lepak when I was in high school. Not that I was schooling anywhere near Central Market or Kuala Lumpur for that matter (My boarding school was in Labu, Negeri Sembilan), but it was where we, non KL-ites followed our brethen from KL when we alighted from the Seremban-Kuala Lumpur Ekspress. Yes, Central Market was the place I remember well.

Annexe Gallery, a building behind Central Market was one of the first cineplex in Kuala Lumpur. This was before cineplexes are a norm like nowadays. We were quite jakun seeing a cinema with multiple screen. I was from the generation where we went to one cinema to see one movie. The joke among my younger friends is I am so old I watched Superman (with Christopher Reeves) and Star Wars in cinema. Even when I said I watched the first Die Hard in cinema they had a laughing fit.

Anyway, this year, my second book will be out (it is sold as eBook since Friday the13th of March - I asked specifically for that date) and the printed version will be sold today, Friday, 20th March 2015). For the eBook, it can be bought here :

The printed version can be bought at most major bookstores within a week and can be ordered at Fixi's website. And of course, at the Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest 2015.

Pentas is about magic and 'real' magic. It is based on some story found in the Quran and how the magicians were judged when an incident happened on stage while they were performing. It refers to so many well-known magician including Houdini, David Copperfield and even the street magicians who are quite popular today. It has a bit of courtroom drama at the end and in true Fixi's books form, it has a twist.

This time around, Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest will be held at a new venue. It will be at Dataran Underground which is an event space under Dataran Merdeka, the place facing an iconic building no one shouldn't know if you are Malaysian or if you ever been to Malaysia. It has a nostalgic connection to me too, but enough of that. This place will be featured in my next novel, Persona, which I need to finish writing first.

Come over to Kuala Lumpur Alternative Book Fair and here are some links for you to check out in order for you to get an idea what it is all about.

Kuala Lumpur Alternative BookFest 2015 reviewed in the Star and Poskod.my. Both listed full schedule of the BookFest.

Here are some other events you can find at KL Alternative BookFest 2015. Fellow alumnus of my high school, Nasron Yassin is launching his Karya Agong, released by Dubook Press, at 3.30pm the same day.

Here's another event by Fixi much earlier at 12 noon (quite interesting but I can't be there as I am in Putrajaya Book Fair)

Check out their Facebook event page here

March 18, 2015

Equinox, Book Talk and Book Launch

Who else sells book if not the author?

That's what I have been told long ago when I wanted to write.

On 21st of March 2015, the day of the equinox (the phenomena when the sun is exactly on the equator) and which is expected to be scorching hot unlike any other (for that, please drink lots of water), I will be at two places (at different times, of course) and will be promoting my books. Two different books from two different genre. I am hoping to pull it off by having a change of clothes in between.

Hey, if all those American artistes and even Malaysian artistes can change their clothes in the middle of their show, why not me.

My first event will be at 11am on that fine 21st March morning at Putrajaya International Convention Center, where BookerVille, Facstory, Putrajaya International Book Fair 2015 under the MPH Bookstore. Click here for more details.

Other than me, here are the full schedule of speakers from my property book's publisher, including Azizi Ali :

​17 Mac 2015 (Selasa) ​4 ptg-4.45 ptg
​Jamilah Samian - ​Pelancaran Buku 'Ajaibnya Kebaikan'
18 Mac 2015 (Rabu) 4 ptg-4.45 ptg
​Zamri Aminuddin - ​Rahsia Menjadi Jurujual Berjaya​

19 Mac 2015 (Khamis) ​4 ptg-4.45 ptg
​Zaid Mohamad - ​Strategi 7S : Ibubapa Bijak, Anak Hebat​

20 Mac 2015 (Jumaat) 11 pg-11.45 pg
​​Dr Noor Hayati​ - Rahsia Menulis Buku Bestseller

​21 Mac 2015 (Sabtu) 11 pg-11.45 pg
Khairul Anuar​ - Tanya Peguam Anda! - Apa Yang Anda Patut Tanya Peguam Anda Sebelum Membeli Rumah Di Malaysia

21 Mac 2015 (Sabtu) 1 ptg-1.45 ptg
​Azizi Ali - Mencipta SPP (Sumber Pendapatan Pelbagai)

​22 Mac 2015 (Ahad) ​11 pg-11.45pg
Norsa'adah Ahmad​​ - Bicara GST - GST Dari Perspektif Peniaga & Pengguna
​22 Mac 2015 (Ahad) ​1 ptg-1.45 ptg
​Azizi Ali - Bagaimana Melindungi Diri Anda Daripada 'Scam'

Although I am listed to speak in Bahasa Malaysia as most of my books are in English, I will be using more Manglish than anything, depending on the crowd.

Follow my updates on my Ask the Lawyer series in my Facebook page here. My Ask the Lawyer series can be bought at bookstores across Malaysia or buy it online at Bookplanet.com.my. All my books (and other books ) at Book Planet are being sold at a discount due the new revamped Book Planet website until 23rd March 2015. 

At 5.30pm, on the same day, I will be heading to Dataran Underground, the active-again below-ground space under Dataran Merdeka, where the KL Alternative BookFest 2015 is going to be held.

There, I will launch my new Fixi book, PENTAS.

What I would like to do is to invite EVERYONE that is reading this to come see me either to hear me talk (for free) or buy my book(s) or just hang out at these awesome places/events. If you are around and see me, pictures below, at least introduce yourself and say hi...

Follow me on my Facebook page for Pinjam (my first book with Fixi) here. My Fixi books can be bought at Fixi's website.
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