RSS

Tag Archives: goodreads

The Hate In Art

Recently, I read an article about a young adult novel under fire by the YA twitter community. Influencers claimed the pre-released book was racist. They questioned the publisher for publishing it. Members of the campaign advised their followers to stay clear of it. And whatever good reviews it previously received… well, those were buried under a 1-star average rating on Goodreads. But, while I scrolled through the article – it was really long, so I skimped through – I found myself frowning. I frowned not because the book was supposedly racist – I frowned because I felt for the author. And after I wondered how she faced the criticism without breaking down, I feared… for myself. Reminded that this world is unafraid to voice its opinions – most of the time in a brutal manner – I was anxious.

Yes, we know not everyone will love our work. There’ll be haters. Many will bash the good out of our art. Some will even take it personally and attack us as creators. It’s a scary world we live in. And as much as we wish for harmony, kindness, and our faith in humanity to be restored, the reality stirs warranted anxiety. It’s something we, unfortunately, cannot avoid. So, I guess now’s the perfect time to say, we can change the world, right? Alas, I can’t say that. Because, we can’t. At least, we can’t change how people chose to respond. We can’t convince others to go easy on us. We can ask, but it doesn’t promise a kinder response. However, there is hope. Because amidst the hate, there is love.

Out of curiosity, I headed to the questionable book’s Goodreads page. There, I found an average 3-star rating. Outside of Goodreads, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it had an above 4-star rating. It’s safe to say, the heat it took prior to its launch didn’t burn it to the ground. Now, I’ve not read the book itself nor do I intend to -I’ve long past my teenage years obsessed with supernatural YA novels – but I’m glad. I’m glad for the author. Though the review section alternates between good and bad ratings, the book has its defenders. There are those who saw what some found negative to be positive. There are those who chose to give the author the benefit of the doubt. While I don’t dismiss the bad reviews, because some of them are objective, not all hope is lost for the future of this book.

Using this book as a case study, I realised how fleeting events are. No matter the intensity of a campaign, for or against something, it will come to an end. It has to come to an end. Though some crusades last decades, there’s always a finish line. Just like a ripple, its waves eventually abate. We cannot predict how long it takes, or when the remaining residue evaporates, but we can find rest in knowing it’ll end. And such is the case with hate.

I believe hate has no lasting throne. Despite its countless attempts to crown itself, through events, people, and circumstances, it’ll ultimately be dethroned. So the next time we find hate in a battle to take us down, let’s look at the end. Let’s find love in those who’d stand by us. And let’s not forget, that in time, it’ll be over. Hate may have the power to set us off track – detouring our dreams and destroying our passion – but hate can only do so within its short term. If we stand firm during it’s brief tenure, it’ll lose its power… and we’ll win the war.

Advertisements
 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Posts on 21 & 28

Heads up dear reader, there will be no posts today and on the 28th of April. That’s because I’m taking a vacation in the picturesque island of Tasmania! It’ll be a silent two weeks, but I’ll be back 🙂

If you’re missing me already (which I highly doubt) you can use the lack of posts to catch up on The Clubhouse, read already published short stories and fan fictions, or spam me with comments. I’ll also try to be active on Twitter. So if you wanna come along my little trip, you can do so over social media 🙂 I’ll try to tweet pictures daily, as proof I’m still alive and well. That should be fun. Haha! Also, did you know I have an Instagram account?

*Oh and don’t forget to join the Goodreads paperback giveaway of The Battle for Oz! Also, submit your comment HERE to win the e-book version! You only have 4 days left to enter. 

Don’t ask me why this is here. I just thought it fitting. And I don’t even know why.

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 21, 2016 in Others

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday Giveaway

mondaygiveaway

*TL;DR: Read the bold-ed words.

Phototastic-25_3_2016_3c0a52c3-badb-4ed3-9450-101a4fe90704Prior to the launch of The Battle for Oz, my publisher threw a Goodreads giveaway. 20 copies were up for grabs and over 1,000 people entered. I’m still in shock at the number of readers interested in the book. I know some books get way more participants, but for me, 1,000 is a lot! So anyway… now that it’s a little over six months, my publisher and I have decided to throw another giveaway.

Just like round one, there are 20 paperback copies to be won. And don’t worry, despite the blog title, the giveaway is not just open for today. In fact, it runs from March 28th to April 25th. The only downside is this paperback giveaway is only open to residents of the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, my publisher cannot extend it globally… yet. However, they’re more than happy to give 10 free e-books to my readers living outside of US and Canada.

So, if you’re living in the US and Canada, you can enter the Goodreads giveaway HERE. But if you’re not from either of these two countries, you can leave a comment below stating who you like better, Dorothy Gale or Alice Liddell, and stand a chance to win an e-book! Sounds cool?

I’m not sure if any of my blog followers won the Goodreads giveaway the last round. I saw a familiar name, but I cannot be certain. This time, I hope one of you do win a copy. It would be awesome to hear your thoughts on the book. So be sure to join! You have close to one month to enter, and I don’t advise waiting. What if you forget? Ok, ok, fine, I’ll remind you when the date is nearer. But if you have nothing to do now, enter/leave a comment today!

That’s it! I used a lot of ‘so’s in this post didn’t I? So I better end this here. Happy Monday dear reader! And thanks for always sticking around 🙂

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2016 in Others

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does Blogging Help?

doesblogginghelp

If you’ve been on the blogosphere for a while, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. Heck, if you’re new, you’ve probably asked this question as well. More so if you’re a creative individual who’ve been told over and over again that blogging will help in your pursuits. And even more so if you’re a writer, as it’s been advised and advocated by writers everywhere.

Well today, I just want to tell you that blogging does help. This is my fifth year on WordPress and I wouldn’t have stuck around if it didn’t. So as a personal testimony (and hopefully as an encouragement for you to keep on blogging), I’ll share how blogging has helped me over the years.

*These lessons are what I learnt as a writer, but I’m sure they’re applicable to any form of creative work.

#1 Becoming A Serious Writer

You know what they say: if you want to be a serious writer, you gotta have a blog. Well, let’s just say I started blogging without this in mind. In fact, I started this blog for two reasons. One: to post the first chapter of my first novel, and two: to deal with my Post Potter Depression (PPD is real, guys).

If you’ve been here since the very beginning, you’ll know that all I wrote back then were Harry Potter fan fictions. It was my first time diving into the fanfic world and I was a complete newbie. But because I was upset Harry Potter was officially over, I needed to write to make myself feel better. And while I wrote, I was taught to take writing seriously.

Back in my fan fictions days, i had a habit of not capitalizing my ‘i’s’. It was me being a lazy writer and i was awakened by the fact through the comments i received on my stories. After the revelation, I began taking writing a little more seriously and started capitalizing. It wasn’t so hard holding down SHIFT, to be honest. But if it weren’t for those comments, i would still be typing like this.

Those early days of writing snapped me out of my delusion of being a good enough writer and forced me to see how naive and immature I was. Simply put, blogging forced me to grow up.

#2 Becoming A Better Writer

The desire to become better naturally came after deciding to take writing seriously. Blogging itself helped with the process.

The comments I received during my fan fiction days kickstarted this learning journey. With more people reading my stories and more comments pouring in, I knew I needed to improve. So I took every advice and polished my works as best as I could. When I ultimately transitioned to posting original works, I paid closer attention to my writing style and attempted different genres.

I wanted to be a better writer for myself and for you. And because of this blog and its readers, I’ll always endeavour to outdo myself and be the best writer I can be. Without this platform, I wouldn’t put much effort into writing. And without the much needed practice, I wouldn’t have improved over the years (or at least, I’d like to think I’ve improved. Haha!).

#3 Accepting Criticism

Oh, how we hate it when a stranger trashes our precious piece of work. What do they know, right? Sadly that’s reality, and it isn’t something we can escape.

I’ve had my fair share of criticisms – some harsh, some kind, some insulting, some gentle – and they all started on this blog. Though I must say, bloggers are generally nice. There is rarely any hate on the blogosphere, except for a tactless few. Dealing with different comments taught me to accept that there’s still room for improvement, that not everyone will like what I write, and that some people should be forgiven. It has taught me to embrace constructive and thoughtful criticism, and ignore those that leave nothing but heartache.

Unfortunately, this lesson has yet to end (and I doubt it ever will). There are times where I still struggle in facing harsh reviews on Goodreads, but my blog has prepped me in advance and for that I’m grateful.

#4 Believing In Myself

I won’t lie, I still doubt myself these days. But when I receive personal emails and read wonderful comments, I’m encouraged. Those words are like nitro to a car running dry. And without the faith of readers I’ve never met, I wouldn’t have shifted gears and started writing and posting original stories.

It it because of you that I braved myself and put up my own short stories and blog series’. It is because of you I stopped fearing being plagiarized (as though my writing was so awesome to begin with) and hit publish. It was because of you I stepped out of my comfort zone and attempted different genres.

The shift from fan fiction to original works was the biggest move I made on this blog. I was nervous because the readers then were mostly subscribed for my fan fictions. There was a probability that many would unsubscribe when I made the switch. Thankfully, no one did. And that itself made me believe in myself.

Yes, I still have doubtful days. Yes, I still question if I have what it takes. But your emails, comments, likes, and reblogs, have the power to turn those days around. Don’t think your comments are worthless. Your comments mean a lot to me and they make a big difference in this writing journey. So… would you like to leave a comment now? Oh, please do!

#5 Receiving Support

When I started the crowd-funding campaign for The Battle for Oz in October 2014 (wow, time really flies), I reached out to you on this platform. Though not everyone responded, some of you did. Now if you didn’t respond, please know I don’t hate you. I was a nobody… I still am. And I didn’t expect to receive an overwhelming support. But to the few that responded, supported the project, shared it with your family and friends, gave a shout out on your own blog, I am extremely grateful.

If it weren’t for this blog and the readers who were willing to back an unknown writer, The Battle for Oz wouldn’t be published. I’m hoping that one day, should I attempt another crowd-funding campaign, more of you would be onboard. Still, all the support I’ve received up to now has been a blessing. And I’m very thankful to have you as my reader.

Well, there you have it… my testimony of how blogging has helped me.

The biggest challenge for every blogger is the discipline to be consistent. It’s my challenge as well. Sometimes, I wish I could skip a week with a lame excuse. But knowing that blogging, even when I don’t feel like it, is helping me in my writing journey, I keep at it. So if you’ve lost the mood to blog or you’re growing tired of having to blog, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t give up so quickly. Blogging is the kind of activity that takes time before you see its fruits, so just be extra patient.

Now, for some quick shameless plugging: if you have no idea what to blog about, you can join my 3 Words 1 Story writing challenge. This once a month prompt should be able to help you produce at least one post a month. There are no rules and it’s fun. Go check it out! Okay, shameless plugging over.

I hope this post has been somewhat encouraging. I’m an advocate of blogging, not because it gives you a web presence, helps you reach out to fans, and all those things people say – which are true – to help you grow your business, but because blogging helps you polish your craft and gives you the courage to be better in it. You can do it for the business, but you should also do it for yourself.

As I like to say, always blog for YOU!

 
47 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2016 in Writing Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Go To War

letsgotowar

*This is a special note to those who have supported The Battle for Oz. If you’ve not supported the book, READ ANYWAY.

1,000 copies sold!

I’ve hit a milestone in my publishing career that I’ve been dreaming of for a long time. Thank you for being a part of this journey and helping me accomplish this feat 🙂 I have never sold this many books before, that’s for sure. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

That being said, the question that begs to be answered now is, will it be possible to sell another 1,000 copies?

I say, yes. If and only if you’re still willing to stand beside me. I need an army to fight my way in this competitive publishing industry, and I could really use your help. Will you enlist?

If you think I’m worth partnering, if you think this war is worth fighting, here’s what I need you to do:

#1 Share The Battle for Oz with your friends.
Conveniently, the book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes & Noble at a lower price. The cover is also green… which makes for an awesome Christmas present! (Look —>)

#2 Leave reviews.
On Amazon.
On Goodreads.
And on your own blog, if you own one.

These are the only two things I need from you. I can only do so much, but you can help me do more. So, I’m leaving it in your hands.

You’re in command of this battle now, General. Should we go for war? It’s your call.

On a side note, The Battle for Oz was pitched to United Talent Agency. This book needs to get more attention should it stand a chance at becoming a movie! This fight might be all it needs, and this fight needs you.

(If you read this and have yet to get your copy of The Battle for Oz, please check the book out! You might like it. You really might. You might end up loving it, for all I know. So please, pretty please, give it a look.)

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Others

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Making of The Battle for Oz

tmotbfo

The making of The Battle for Oz was more than writing The Battle for Oz. Here is the complete production process.

Pre Production

In film making, this is where the script is written, a budget is given, the cast and crew are hired, the locations are recce-ed, the production schedule is set, the costumes are made, and etc. When pre producing The Battle for Oz, I only needed the completed manuscript and $7,700. Seems like a much easier process compared to making a movie, right? Well, it is… except that raising $7,700 was not easy at all.

Since my manuscript was already completed, I simply had to focus on getting the funds. I reached out to my family and friends, and gotten my parents on board to reach out to their friends as well. I Facebook messaged everyone up to five times and thickened my skin during the entire process. I’ve tried different ways in the 3-month time frame and can now conclude on what works and what doesn’t.

What works:
– Spamming your Facebook friends, especially when they don’t respond to your first message. Tell them it’s OK for them to tell you to stop if they find it annoying. Many will ignore you, but some will turn around at the very end and support you because they admire your perseverance.
– Reaching out to family, because they will support you. Ask your uncles and aunts, cousins and cousins-in-law, nephews and nieces, and everyone in your family tree.
– Don’t be afraid to ask mum and dad for help, because mum and dad have contacts and mum and dad will shamelessly support you. Because they are mum and dad. (*Neither of my parents forked out any money, but they successfully convinced their friends to support my dream.)
– Email blog followers. Not all but some will respond. (Those of you who did, thank you!)
– Tweet Twitter followers. Not all but some will respond. (Those who did, thank you too!)

What doesn’t work:
– Messaging book bloggers.
– Promoting your book in Goodreads groups that you’re not active in.
– Spamming Facebook groups.
– Trying to get the support of famous YouTubers. (Not worth the effort no matter how desperate you are. Trust me.)
– Reddit.

Hitting $7,700 was almost impossible for me, especially when majority of my backers were from Malaysia. The currency exchange made it difficult for people to give more. Still, after a lot of convincing and praying, I managed to hit the goal. I would call it a miracle. So if I can do it with an exchange rate of more than 3.0, you can certainly do it too.

Production

Once my book was fully funded, I was introduced to Inkshares’ editorial manager who asked for my manuscript and gave me a questionnaire to fill. We also had a brief Skype chat where she answered all my questions. After that, she introduced me to the project manager from Girl Friday Productions. They took over the manuscript and began the editing process. From developmental editing, copy editing, to proofreading, they walked through each stage with me. It was my first time going through such a tedious editing process of my work and I learned that red lines do not necessarily mean bad.

When the editing was finally done, the project manager started with the cover design process. I was given three rounds to comment and change the design, but I pushed it to four. Once I was happy with the cover, the marketing manager from Inkshares came into the picture. She took the digital proofs and began the marketing process including getting early readers and press interest. Before the official publication date, the digital advance reader copy was passed around, a Goodreads giveaway was set up, and I was given an interview questionnaire to fill.

I think the longest production process was the editing, as reviewing edits for each stage took a while. I also had to reread my manuscript many times. It was worth it though.

Post Production

Now that the book is out, marketing becomes the primary focus. Getting reviews is an important part of this stage. Being that Inkshares is a crowd-funded publisher, both author and publisher have to put in effort in promoting the book. On my end, I have to seek reviews to boost the sales. I’ll have to reach out to people again and wear a thick skin once more. Though, I do believe readers would be more supportive this time around. After all, they’ve already bought the book… right? Right? I can only hope.

So there you have it, the making of The Battle for Oz!

Now, for some important post production work.

Click HERE to visit the book page. Buy the book if it piques your interest!

If you have read the book, please, please, please, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Especially Amazon. Help me out! It’s difficult to get reviews. So please do lend a hand. I would really appreciate it!

Curious about the interview I did with Young Entertainment Magazine? They called my book a literary equivalent of a masterful musical mashup. Click HERE to read it! I talked about my background, inspiration, and personal favourites in it too.

OK, I’m done with my little post production segment. Thank you for your support in advance. *AND PLEASE LEAVE ME A REVIEW!*

I hope this post has been helpful for those who are considering crowd-funding their novel. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment 🙂 I’ll be more than willing to answer them.

Till my next post, have a great weekend!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Writing Journey

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrating (Almost) 7K With A Giveaway!

Thebattleforoz

This day has arrived. Never thought it ever would. I mean, 7,000 6,900 subscribers… who would imagine? Well, I have imagined, but I never thought I would reach it. A month or so ago, Big Bang had a concert in Malaysia. They had 15,000 attendees. 7,000 6,900 is less than half of 15,000, but the sight of half a stadium packed with people is still mind blowing. (No, I’m not a Big Bang fan. I didn’t attend the concert. But I think T.O.P is cute though.)

Anyway, that being said, I am just so honoured to have each and every one of you as my reader. I’m not sure how many of you are still reading my posts every week, but even if you don’t, you subscribing shows your support. Thank you for your support. It means a lot to me. Every single reader is a boost of morale. Thank you for being that one. Without you, it wouldn’t be 7,000 6,900. Thank you 🙂

So, to celebrate this awesome milestone, I have a special announcement to make.

As some of you might know, my latest novel, The Battle for Oz, will be out in September. It will be on bookshelves in the US and Canada. Some bookstores have already placed orders to have my book in stock. I’ll list them out in the near future. But that is not the special announcement today. As per the post title, there is a giveaway!

If you’re on Goodreads, there’s a Goodreads giveaway happening right now. 20 copies of the book will be freely given to those living in US and Canada! Click HERE to join the giveaway – it ends on September 15th.

Unfortunately, it’s not open to all the countries in the world. So perhaps I’ll throw my own giveaway in the future. That being said, if you would like to get your hands on The Battle for Oz, you can find it listed on many online bookstores worldwide. If you live in Asia, Open Trolley in Singapore has my book listed. You can also get it from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you want most of your money to be sent to me, you can buy it from Inkshares. I make the most profit from direct sales there. Inkshares also offers free shipping 🙂 Win-win!

On a side note, if you are a game developer, music composer, filmmaker, visual effects expert, artist, jewellery maker,  or anyone along those professions, that would like to collaborate on expanding the world of The Battle for Oz, send me an email. Let’s create another win-win situation 🙂

Well, that’s all for this post. Thanks again for your readership! Do continue to stick around for more awesome adventures ahead. And have a great weekend!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Others

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,