February 24, 2010

How to market a book....

When I went to a seminar on How to Write a Bestseller in 88 days by Azizi Ali, the so-called Millionaires Coach, which I told its stories in the first and second entries of this blog, in 2008, which you can read about it here and here, I was told by Azizi Ali that he liked the idea of my book. I actually approached him and ask him would he buy my book if it is in the market.

He said, "Yes, he would". That was good enough for me. I know I have a good idea...

...but putting idea on paper was another matter altogether. I only managed to really write in October 2009, which was nearly one year after I attended the workshop. I was sidetrack by blogging (which include attending events and trying to make money out of it), work, life and travel. How I even managed to finish the book is still a mystery.

Then, come the hard part. Promoting my book.

The advice given by Azizi in that workshop was easy. The author sells his book. Not the publisher, the distributor, the bookstore, his friend or whatever mode of marketing you can think of, done by other people (of course, this comes after getting the right book that sells)

So, that was what I have been doing. Long before I have a book to market. I think I mentioned my book anywhere I can get an audience. In real life and in what is now popularly known as social media. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I also have a YouTube account and such but for the purpose of marketing a book of this kind, the three links was enough.

And, my book seems to have an audience. It managed to be on MPH (a local bookstore with a nationwide presence) Malaysian local author bestseller list for 2 weeks in a row after just 2 weeks of its release. You can see it here and here.

I am not sure how did the reader found my book, which they can comment here or anywhere. I am also curious on whether social media really did play a part. Of course, I did managed to sell a few of the book myself but that does not count on the tally did by the bookstores.

I am busy with my book now but I know it is important for a presence to be kept in social media and that is why I am writing a blogpost on what I am busy with.

February 18, 2010

Tourism is all about marketing

"Welcome to (insert country)", would be the standard greeting in most countries which promotes itself as a tourism destination. Do you live in such country? Unless you are somewhere where no airline flies to or not even on any map (which I don't think any of the extreme adventurer will let you be if they even get a whiff of you), I think nearly every country is a potential tourism destination.

But, in Asia, where every country tries to be THE tourism destination, including mine, which goes by the name of Malaysia, I sometimes wonder why are we being passed over for countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. 

One of the problem that I can see is the value of things in those countries and ours. As Malaysians, when we go to those said countries (and a few others around ASEAN or even Asia), the value of our money is more than theirs. You can say that we have a better standard of living and we are paying for it by not having cheap things available to us anymore. But, in contrast, we are still have cheap travel options.

So, it must be that they have better service or better grasp in English language? Fat chance. I just came back from Thailand, where it is so famous that rarely will you not find a Thai restaurant in any one of the European countries in the world. The Thai province I went to is so famous among Eurasian people that I couldn't find any Malaysian. I talk to them in English and in every 10 persons, only one will speak proper English. You actually have to speak using sign languages just to get the message across (my wife actually took pictures of signs which used laughable English, and they are everywhere).

Their service? I have been to islands around Malaysia too and have stayed from supposed 5 stars hotels to budget accommodations. Nearly 80% of the places I stayed in Malaysia have better trained staff and better facilities (I know, this may surprised a lot of Malaysians who always never think anything good about the service industry in Malaysia).

And if it is about the view or the unexplored or the activities, if you are Europeans or Americans, we have whatever Thailand or Indonesia (except the volcanoes) or Vietnam or Laos has to offer. For me, I do have places still to explore either in Malaysia or in ASEAN countries and is guilty of trying to go places near enough fly just a bit but far away enough to not meet any Malaysians.

So, I think, the best explanation is the marketing of our destinations. Just that. As simple as that....

We are bad in doing it and we maybe too complacent in our promotion. Or we are just too expensive...

Whatever it is, it is NOT the language barrier or the service. Those are the same nearly everywhere in Asian countries and whatever you call these foreigners either as farang, mat salleh, gwailo or whatever, they do bring those tourism money which is always welcomed....

February 13, 2010

When you set a goal for yourself

I am currently on holiday in Thailand in a small island called Phi Phi Island. We have been to here before and we know what we want to see or do.

There is a Viewpoint on the hill of the island and the climb can turn your legs to jelly if you don't have the determination.

Yesterday, I left my wife with the intention of going to another part of the island. I got sidetracked when I see one road leading to a viewpoint which I thought was difference from the one that I know of.

So, I climbed.

It was steep and I nearly gave up.

Then a girl, of Eurasian origin cut me off. Walking very fast. Without breaking a sweat.

Being a man with the normal ego that a man is supplied with, I gave chase.

The reward?

We actually enjoyed the view together as she also asked me to take a picture of her.

February 4, 2010

My legal firm Facebook fan page (re)launch

As most of the readers of this blog should know by now, I own a medium size legal firm here in Malaysia and last Monday, I did a small event at my office to relaunch a Facebook page which I have created for my legal firm in 2007 but was very little promoted. As social media in Malaysia and most part of the world is currently being the 'in' thing, I realised the potential that a Facebook will have in promoting my firm and whatever activity that I may held at my firm (such as the launch of my first book, which is another matter altogether).

The event was a success although those who did RSVP'ed to the event through Facebook and other method did not all turned up. However, we had enough food, satisfied lucky draw winner (I think) and friends old and new. I am quite active in the social media circle as you might have read that I attend events and befriend so many bloggers and social media advocates since I started blogging nearly 2 years ago.

The event was simple. A prayer, a speech by me where I introduced my legal firm, the reasons why I use Facebook to promote my legal firm and an announcement about my first book (which I will blog later), a shorter speech by my partner, a cake cutting ceremony by my partner as it was her birthday and a lucky draw while the guests tucked in into their meal.

Let me not bore you with what happened at the event anymore as you can see all the photos from the events through this link : Pictures from KSH Facebook launch but here are some pictures :

 My staff
 Me introducing my book

My partner with her special birthday cake

Some of the bloggers and guests who were there that day
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