Monday, 28 March 2016

Book Marks: Eka's Kurniawan's Wound, Self-Publishing, And Jalan-Jalan

Eka Kurniawan has won the inaugural World Readers Award with Beauty is a Wound.

The award, "organised by the Hong Kong and Australia-based Asia Pacific Writers and Translators association, was given out in Hong Kong." Kudos was also given to the translator for her work on the Indonesian original, Cantik Itu Luka.

Before receiving the grant to publish the book from the Yogyakarta Cultural Academy, Eka had offered Cantik Itu Luka to four publishers, but to no avail.

"A major publisher included a note [with the rejection letter], saying 'the novel is too literary'. I have no idea whether that's a compliment or something else," he recalls, laughing.

"Self-publishing? It generates a lot of noise on social media. It results in many flashy-looking websites from authorpreneurs keen to sell success secrets to other aspiring authorpreneurs. With Amazon's Kindle and CreateSpace as the major outlets, it continues to put money in the coffers of the company largely responsible for destroying author incomes in the first place. But it isn't a route to financial security. For those who prefer orchestrated backing to blowing their own trumpet, who'd privilege running a narrative scenario over running a small business, who'd rather write adventures than adverts, self-publishing is not the answer."

I'm still trying to decide whether the writer of this piece is for or against self-publishing.


  • In The Guardian, the interesting story of Mike Stoner's self-published novel, Jalan-Jalan, a tale about "a heartbroken young Brit through Indonesia, where he finds himself embroiled in a murky world at the bottom of the expat barrel after accepting a teaching job at a dodgy language school after a five-minute telephone interview."
  • Parnassus Books is now mobile. Bookmobile, that is. "The bright blue bookmobile, which hit the road this week, is a roving offshoot of Parnassus Books, a popular independent bookstore ... co-owned by Karen Hayes and the novelist Ann Patchett," wrote The New York Times/ "The store’s name comes from Christopher Morley’s 1917 novel Parnassus on Wheels, about a middle-aged woman who travels around selling books out of a horse-drawn van."
  • Bloggers and social media people in Singapore now have to pay tax for freebies they receive. According to the report, "The rule applies to not only blogging website but social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the likes. Payments are taxable regardless whether they are received directly from the advertisers, or indirectly through a social media influencer companies."
  • Sabah-based artist Tina Rimmer launched her memoir, A Life on Two Islands "The memoir tells the story of Tina's life in the United Kingdom and British North Borneo where she arrived in 1949 as the Colony's first female education officer," according to The Borneo Post. Sounds like a good read.
  • RIP Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall, and Barry Hines, author of A Kestrel for a Knave. Still a bad year for the arts.


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