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 (www.happiness.co.uk).

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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