The First Thrill

In today’s world, when anyone can easily publish a work through the Internet, it still gives me a thrill to have a book accepted by a traditional book publisher.

Though I have had other work accepted (plays for radio, TV and journalism), this is my first book: a nonfiction title called The Science of Happiness.  United States publisher Marshall Cavendish will publish it in 2009.

To me, having a book published by an established firm is like to seeing your own child come out into the world. Moreover, to maintain tradition, there will even be a Foreword (something you do not see much of nowadays) written by renowned psychologist Dr Robert Holden, who recently appeared on the Oprah show (

In the last few years, more traditional publishers are turning to online channels. However, writer told me of the three months he spent wrangling over a contract with a traditional publisher, while his online book received 500,000 hits a day. In the end, he said he did not need the publisher. Processes still need to change.

If a writer gets the chance to put out some books with a traditional established publisher, then I think it is still worth the hassle. The credibility and brand power that comes with a traditional publishing may give you a slight edge in the crowded online world. A personal choice, of course.

A title accepted by an established third party as opposed to self-publishing still seems to carry some added weight, not to mention the enormous confidence boost that most writers need.

More later.
Kuala Lumpur, July 11 2008

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