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Why people from around the globe would like to read about my personal life?

cylburncharlespub-020PHOTO CREDIT ANONYMOUS/INTERNET

Although all of my 6 books were published only in 2015, I started writing since 2009 and the book I am currently writing is my 9th book. Writing is not hard, it should come easily for most if you dare to try and if you don’t believe me, check Amazon website. But it is the good writing that is really hard, winnowing it from the chaff is even harder, and the literary world is so crowded with a myriad of pretenders that you can hardly separate them. And the possibility of being drowned into that vast pool of obscurity without trace is more than real.

If you happened to be a nascent, unknown and self-published writer like me, you will understand my predicament without even uttering a word from my part and you know we cannot possibly be wearing only one writer’s hat anymore. Self-publishing means the responsibility of marketing your books is also yours job as well. Without marketing, nothing will move, and marketing is not an easy job for all. Writers are naturally a bunch of shy and sensitive people, we mostly keep things for ourselves, and frolicking around in an ostensive way to the outside world is definitely not our cup of tea. But in a modern day writing, we have to wear many hats all at the same time: such as blogger, host, social networker, public figure, speaker, columnist, contributor, entrepreneur, business owner, manager and so on, the list can go on and on, and if I were to talk from the bottom of my heart on behalf of all writers here, I would rather have nothing to do with the list of euphemism listed above here. As far as I am concerned, it gives you nothing but overinflated ego and they are certainly good for nothing but self aggrandizement at the most.

I have been doing precisely the same as explained above for the last eight months, I have been so preoccupied with the marketing of my books that I hardly have time to continue writing my books again and that cannot be good for a writer at any sense. When you go through the social networking sites, there are no shortages of experts on almost everything and everyone has at least some advice to give. But when I advertised recently seeking for an expert help, paid one that is, there wasn’t even one who has balls to take it, and it said all. As a result, the onus of promoting my books is upon me, and I have no choice but to do everything by my own. I buy paid ads, try to be super-active on social networking sites, write for a local paper, find media people who want to talk with me, regularly update my blogs and website, contact people who have interest on my books, trying to find right contacts, participate book fairs, enter awards competitions, offer my services for free if there are anyone to take, and the list can go on and on. However, it is the content of my blogging that is bugging me from the inside for quite a while and I am trying to offload my concern through this blog here today.

I have been trying to cover various subjects on my blogs, but mostly I write about my writing, marketing my books and our pressing social issues, and it has been mostly liked by my readers. However, my dear editor has been suggesting me from the very beginning that I should write about my personal life, she genuinely thinks that my life journey itself is pretty amazing and it should be a great interest of my readers for sure. Nevertheless, I am still not sure about it, I have two reservations about it and a question has incessantly been lingering on at the back of my head since then. Why would people from around the world like to read my personal story? First of all, I am just a new, aspiring and a self-published writer, not too many people know me that well and it is a universal truth that people don’t care about nobody like me. Secondly, if there was genuine interest, people should mostly read about my works first, pay more attention on my works and express their opinions. If you try a bit more, one can easily learn a lot about the writer through his/her way of writing, and that should be more than enough for most readers. If not, they can still write to the writers directly, ask questions and most writers will be more than happy to oblige. After all, writers are not celebrity, we are rather boring and humdrum people, and we rather prefer to keep our personal details within ourselves in the families. Besides, we resent unnecessary attentions.

If you agree with me or not, no worries, just throw all the comments at me this way please, thank you so much!

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

BOOK MARKETING – WHY BOTHER?

Old Men Don't Cry!

 

For the last 7 months, as you all should know by now, I have been busy promoting my books through many channels and I am almost ready to announce my final verdict here for all so those new and struggling writers out there like me can learn a thing or two from it. It is certainly very hard to be a nice and honest man in this world, but my endeavor will go on, and you can be assured of hearing only truth or nothing else from me. Here is the list of some steps that I had taken since then and how it had faired until now.

1. Most of the paid ads simply don’t work – I have bought almost a dozen of paid ads through social networking sites, they all promise instant successes but the final results are disappointing, and only the most popular few did generate some results albeit meager. The others are mostly useless, a waste of money, and I think we should avoid them unless you have a bottomless pocket. Most of them would defend their position by saying they provide exposure, exposures should lead to sale, and as far as I am concerned, it is the final sale that counts the most. I am sorry to say that those so called exposures didn’t turn to sale for me and I can say that for all out there. If you need exposures, use the free services instead which are easily available on the internet out there.
2. Social networking is a necessary devil – Writers of modern days, whether we like it or not, social networking is a must, and the sooner we adapt it the better. If you are a writer, especially the new and self-published one like me, and don’t know how to engage in social networking sites, then you have a big problem. We can connect with our peers, media people and eventually our readers; we can engage with them and learn a lot from them as well; and make necessary changes on our writing, promotion and other aspects accordingly. After all, it is the age of IT generation, most of things happen in the virtual world and if we can use it properly, we can make a lot of progresses for ourselves. But as long as I am concerned, it is still a bit too early for me to determine which platform of social networking site is actually working for me and the saying ‘there is no such thing as one fit all’ also applies here too. Yet, turning your connections to actual buyer is still a very difficult job and if you expect much out of it, you are certainly going to be disappointed at the end.
3. Most of the groups in the social networking sites are just for the chat – Most experts will suggest you to join many groups, which I heeded and joined a few, even the ones that need paid subscription, and you can certainly learn a lot from those groups. But if you are new, don’t know most of the members personally or through a longtime interaction, please don’t be surprised if you found yourself in a rather cold, lonely and remote position. It is by our nature or humans’ folly, we tend to interact more with the herd we are familiar with, and here is no exception. They are mostly there for a friendly chat, they interact, respond and compliment mostly to their own herd and don’t give a monkey about a new and unfamiliar guy like you and me. However, don’t be disheartened though, the best way to deal with such situation is, just like I always do, go through their threads of discussions, take the good ones for your own use and just leave them alone.
4. Writing good, powerful and meaningful blogs is still the best – For writers, end of the day, it is all about our writing and if our writing is good, people will start reading it and we can eventually find our readers. It can be through regular blogs, articles on newspaper, and literary magazines. But finding them is one thing, being accepted is completely another thing, and yet, one must strive to the end. It is not an easy task, especially to a new and aspiring writer and the reaction from outside can be sometime really cruel. Before contacting them, try to do some researches on them, find the right type for your writing and only contact them if there is a possibility. Instead of imposing your writing upon them, write about what they actually want and the chance of being accepted is good. One good article can bring you thousands of followers, my first article on the local paper got 3.8k likes, and most of my articles there still get almost a thousand likes each time. But of course, turning your followers to buy and read your book is a completely different matter, and I still have to benefit from it. All in all, if your writing is good, your readers will come back to read it again, and you will definitely get the recognition that you deserve at the end.
5. Book fairs are mostly good for big bookshops & publishers – I cannot say much about others but here in Hong Kong, book fairs are mostly good for big bookshops and publishers, and definitely not for fainthearted ones. They have big budget, big collection and know all the tricks and gimmickry on how to attract crowd. Especially for the new and small guy like us, it is really hard to compete with them and it also doesn’t come cheap. Although I have managed to sell a few hundred books during my last book fair, I still think it is not worth of my try and one should find other alternative ways to find more readers. In addition, you also need to have quite a big collection of books before opting for book fair, I had six books on my collection, and even that was almost nothing in comparison to other big ones in the fair. For those writers who have just one or two books, book fair is definitely not an option and I strongly recommend against it.

Writing is a very slow, long and assiduous profession; it can take a lot of time, energy and effort to make it a successful one; and one must have patience, passion and heart put into it. It is also very crowded. If one comes here looking for a quick success, they will be disappointed and should start looking for other professions soon. I am definitely not trying to be a smartass here, nor am I an expert on book promoting, and I am just writing about my own experiences and nothing more. However, if you ask me for my honest opinion, after what I have been going through for the last few months, I won’t hesitate to say, why bother? If it wasn’t for the love and passion of my writing, I would have definitely stopped doing it by now and you should also do the same. But for the sake of my own happiness, I must carry on and persevere until to the end.

There are plenty of alternative ways of promoting books, I am just writing about the ones that I have used for promoting my books during the last few months and hope my honest feedbacks can be useful for other new writers like me. Thank you all for your time.

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

My 7th book – An Epic Novel about Hong Kong

Old Men Don't Cry!

This is the first time I ever showed the cover of my 7th book, I have worked for this book for the last 3 years and I had to do a lot of researches about this book. I have never worked so hard for a book before, it is an epic novel about life in Hong Kong, and I really do believe that it could be the best book of my all books. It has 3 main factors in the book which I had set out before start writing the book and they are: Hong Kong, Chinese traditions and it’s a tearjerker. As I had come to Hong Kong in 1980, this book chronicles the story of HK as well from 1980-2014, I have researched and wrote all about Chinese traditions and the story is very sad, moving and it has plenty of struggles about life. It is also a story of sheer determination, will-power, devotion, sacrifice, love, friendship and of course, as usual social issues.

All in all, it is my gift to Hong Kong, my home for the last 35 years and I sincerely do hope that people will like it.

Hope I have done my job here, my readers will read and like it, and it will get what it deserves. In a nutshell, it is my “ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE” hope I have not disappointed all.

The official release of the book is still to be confirmed, it will be soon for sure, and please mark this page, thank you!

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

Nepal’s Earthquake Diary – It is the Feudal caste system that cripples Nepal.

Nepal people

Amongst many predicaments, it is the ingrained feudal caste system in the society that cripples Nepal for so long, and unless it is uprooted from the society, the chance of Nepal becoming a modern, sophisticated and developed nation is almost zero. Nepal prides itself as the multi-cultured, ethnicity and race of people, they also have their own dialects, and all have been living together peacefully hitherto as the various color and type of flowers of a single garland. Unlike other places from the globe, amazingly, there was hardly a conflict amongst the people that instigated from race, culture or religion, and people from different color, ethnicity and religion have lived together as neighbors for ages without any problems. That achievement alone should have been enough to make it a great nation, but why Nepal is still lingering on at the bottom of the table as poorest nation? And in order to find that out, one must fully understand its caste system that has been crippling the nation for so long and this blog is trying to highlight just that.

If I guessed it right, there must be at least a few hundreds, if not thousands, different castes in Nepal, within the main caste there are also so many sub-castes that are hardly known by others, and most people use the main caste as their surname. People from the same caste and ethnicity mostly live in a particular place of the country; they follow similar cultures and traditions, and mostly live as a self-reliant, independent and close society. Agriculture is still the main source of living, they practice their own culture and traditions, and they connect and marry within their own society and hardly venture out of the peripheries of their closely knitted society. It can be surprising for outsiders, but in Nepal, the work, career and way of life of people is mostly determined by your caste, you follow the family tradition and people hardly look outside or change profession beyond their respected family. In brief, it is not your preference, ability or opportunity but your caste that decides your future and the practices are so dogmatically enshrined in the society for so long that one could hardly unshackle out of it. Due to harsh terrains, commuting from one place to another is hard, infrastructure is poor, and that makes integration between different communities also very difficult.

Although different communities follow different culture, traditions and religious practices, the main religions of Nepal is still Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and a few of small tribal practices that have very limited existence. However, Hinduism and Buddhism are the main two religions which not only coexist side by side in a society but also garner the most supports amongst from the total population. Still, it is the Hinduism that holds majority hence wield more power and influence. As per Hindu mythology, the people of the nation are divided into four main castes: Brahmin – the supposedly highest breed, scholars full of knowledge thus hold offices; Chhetri – the supposedly stronger breed, warriors and protect the nation; Baishya – the supposedly ordinary folks, business and farming people; and Shudra – the supposedly lowest ones so good for doing all the dirty jobs in the society and also known as untouchable.

It is this categorization of the caste system that is flawed from its very inception, it is not only discriminatory, unfair and injustice but also inhumane, and creating a very bad society that gives some party unparallel privilege and power to dominate the others for so long. It has created a hierarchical system in the society; the perception of high and low class of people gave rooms for inequality and discrimination, and eventually divided the entire society in expense of country’s eventual development. It never let people to come together, unite and become strong, and be able to take the nation forward. Infighting amongst people for superiority has become our main hobby, dominating fellow countrymen of different caste has become our main goal, and protecting our old tradition at all cost has become our national priority. As of that, everyone had forgotten about the most important thing in life, e.g. the nation, and foolishly ended up neglecting their own country that should have been mattered the most to all.

The feudal caste system that had handicapped Nepal for so long must come to end; people must come out of this primitive, outdated and baneful system, and must start striving for a modern, equal and forward looking society. If not, the doom is much nearer than all want to see or accept and carry on living an undignified life of a pauper.

TIM I GURUNG/AUTHOR AT ISSLCARE – http://www.timigurung.com

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