Selected books we've helped authors self-publish in Malaysia

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Some questions answered

Why would anyone want to self publish?
Self-publishing in Malaysia is still regarded with much disdain. But it's now the trend worldwide for many reasons. Self-publishing does not mean a compromise in quality, although it has earned some disrepute in that regard due (mainly) to sloppy and indifferent production houses. However, with proper professional touch a reasonably priced world-class book is not impossible (if you keep costs down, we'll show you how).

Reasons to self-publish are many. First, Self-publishing allows authors to have full control of their work, build their own platforms and fanbase. Second, It will allows them to bypass traditional gatekeepers of content, presentation and marketing to connect with readers directly. Additionally, self-publishing can provide a faster path to production and potentially higher royalties.

Isn't self-pubishing about vanity too?
Yes, that's true. Famous authors who have self-published their books include Margaret Atwood and Stephen King. Self-publishing has become a more viable option in recent years, with the rise of digital platforms and print-on-demand services, which make it easier and more cost-effective for authors to self-publish their work. However, self-publishing does come with its own set of challenges, such as the need for authors to handle their own editing, formatting, marketing, and distribution. This is why it's important for authors to be aware of the pros and cons of self-publishing before making a decision.

How does one market one's books?
Name recognition plays a big role in the success of a book, but building a following through social media can be a powerful tool for authors to promote their work. Social media can help authors connect with potential readers, build a community, and generate interest in their book. By sharing their ideas, engaging in conversations, and providing sneak peeks of their work, authors can build a following of fans who are excited to read their book when it is released.

Word-of-mouth is also a powerful form of advertising, and authors can leverage the power of their community to promote their book. When readers enjoy a book, they are more likely to recommend it to their friends, which can help to grow an author's following.

It's also worth noting that self-publishing allows authors to build their own platform and fanbase, in a way that traditional publishing route doesn't, as publishers usually only invest in authors that already have a large following.

Ultimately, self-publishing gives authors the opportunity to take control of their own career and to build a readership through their own efforts.

Can authors rescue publishing from predatory publishers?
The invention of writing allowed for the creation of written works, and printing made their distribution more efficient and widespread. Before printing, works were chicelsed on stone or cave walls, copied by hand, making publishing a slow and labour-intensive process. Printing made books more accessible and allowed for the development of the publishing industry.

Bi Sheng, a Chinese inventor, created the first movable type made of earthenware in 1045. No surviving examples of his work are known. Choe Yun-ui, a Korean civil servant in the Goryeo Dynasty, later invented the first metal movable type in 1234-1250. These innovations laid the foundation for printing and the dissemination of written works.

Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type in Europe around 1450, making it easier to cast type based on a matrix and hand mould. This invention reduced the cost of producing books and made them more widely available. Books printed in Europe before 1501 are called incunables or incunabula. During this time, more books were printed than had been produced by scribes since the founding of Constantinople in 330 AD.

Fast forward to 2013, to the merger of Penguin and Random House created the largest consumer book publisher in the world with a global market share of over 25%. The "Big Five" publishing houses, Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan, produce about 60% of English-language books. In 2020, ViacomCBS agreed to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House, creating the first mega publisher, but the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the merger on anti-trust grounds in 2021. The D.C. District Court ruled in favour of the Department of Justice in 2022 and the merger was permanently blocked. Modern printing tech allows authors to directly impact the
publishing industry by writing and producing quality content, promoting their on work, building a following, and negotiating favourable terms. Self-publishing and the rise of e-books and online platforms have also provided authors with alternative routes to reach audiences without relying on traditional publishers. However, authors alone may not be able to entirely "rescue" publishing, as publishers play a crucial role in editing, marketing, and distributing books. Ultimately, the success of publishing depends on a balance between the interests of authors, publishers and readers.

Books are forever. There is a mysterious, alluring charm about them: people want to own them, buy them, keep them, lend them and, most mysterious of all, people still want to write them and publish!

The world may be crumbling all around, but we still want — no, need — to write; to share our thoughts. With new technologies and self-publishing service-providers, it may be possible for more writers to see their books in print. But, unfortunately, this has only made it more difficult to choose. The sheer number of companies offering different services — from pre-publishing to marketing and distribution — can make it exhausting to to find the right one. Remember, our urge to create and leave behind a legacy is primal, not a mere cultural affectation to make us look good. It's in all of us.

PAKKA hopes to make it all clearer and easier for you to decide; to make you aware of publishing options available and offer advise so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Would you like a free consultation? Talk to us.