Independence to publish what you want and how you want was the message from speaker Mo Tejani at the March 4 Sunday meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. This was the primary difference he found when he chose to publish his latest book as an eBook (digital format) and market it on the Internet. Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg introduced Mo as a well known author of several books about his travels and experiences. Currently, he lives in Chiang Mai where he continues to write. He previously spoke to the Club a couple of years ago about his earlier book, “A Chameleon’s Tale.” which briefly describes his life as a global refugee.
Mo has written and published several books in printed format but chose to publish his latest book, “Global Crossroads” in electronic digital format. He said that he wanted to share his experience of switching from publishing in print to digital media. First, he explained some of the restrictions on an author when publishing in print media. The publishers have a monopoly, you are at their mercy. They decide on what they will print. For most author manuscripts they receive, they only read the first 10 pages or so before deciding if they will publish it.
Special guest speaker for Sunday was Mo Tejani, who describes himself as a chameleon, a global refugee. “Torn apart from his family and exiled from his continent of birth, Mo was left homeless, and without sense of his own cultural identity.”
Further, Mo said that this decision is not based on the quality of the manuscript, but is based on their perception of its marketability. Will it sell? What market will it sell in? How much will someone pay? Also, the printed book has to fit in their particular niche. For example, his “A Chameleon’s Tale” was a memoir about his travels. The publisher wanted to know, was it a travel book or was it a memoir? They had to fit it in one or the other niche.
However, things have changed with the advent of the Internet and the ability to publish a book in digital format (eBooks). Unlike dealing with a print publisher, with an eBook he described how the author has total control. It is the author who decides on content, illustrations, photographs, book cover, and how it will be marketed. This is what led him to publish his latest book, “Global Crossroads,” as an eBook. Currently it is available only on Amazon for their Kindle reader, but since there are many websites for Internet eBooks, he may decide to also publish it later in their formats and market it from their websites.
Board Member Al Serrato takes the stage to conduct the Open Forum – where you may find the answers to all those questions that arise, living in the ‘L.O.S.’
Mo briefly explained the process and how it differed from publishing a book in print. Although he had complete control, he said there were two others that an author cannot do without. One is an editor as you do need someone that can read what you have written and make suggested changes. The other is a “technical” guru, someone that knows the ins and outs of how to put an eBook together and make all the parts work.
Mo said that you can do so much more if the book is in digital format. In his book, he has embedded two video clips, about 50 photographs, and even audio interviews with the author. He also pointed out that in the digital world of the Internet; you the reader also have certain advantages. You can adjust the font size and type on your “reader.” When you see a book you want, you can purchase it without leaving your home and it downloads and is available within minutes.
Frugal Freddy organiser Hawaii Bob kicks off the meeting with a few special discounts for members from some of Pattaya’s better value eateries.
Another great feature is the ability to market the eBook to different audiences. For example, Amazon has several categories and you can list your book in many of them. They also have certain tags that you can attach so that your book will appear for certain “search” terms that the prospective reader may use. Mo also pointed out that an author spends months and maybe years writing their book for which the print publisher will set the price and pay them 10% as their share. Whereas, with Amazon, he sets the price and receives 70% of the amount paid. Mo concluded by reading some of the prologue from “Global Crossroads.” He then answered several questions from the audience.
Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg called on Al Serrato to conduct the always informative Open Forum where questions are answered about expat living in Thailand, recommendations made about movies and restaurants, and occasionally the telling of a joke or two. The Pattaya City Expats Club meets every Sunday at the Amari Orchid’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. Read more about the Club’s activities on their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.