The little brother is born!

A difficult delivery

As I commented earlier, finally the little brother is born!
I always looked at my second book as a learning curve on how to completely self-publish. As expected, I often hit the wall and for sure it will not be the last time.
First of all I got refused as author to publish on Amazon (Kindle, KDP) because I reside in China. Nowhere on their website or publishing media this is mentioned. Until you fill out all info then, the web page stops working. I had to contact the service to get the explanation. Why? WTF, I am Belgian. Oh well, I changed my profile to my Belgian contact address and launched my Kindle book.
But then I got shot down because “some of my content was on the Internet”. Yeah of course it is because it is in a way a study and compilation of what is going around on the Internet, in emails, in chat rooms.
I gave KDP all the explanations and clarified that better in the Foreword of the book. Well, thanks to Amazon staff who accepted it and approved the ebook.
I then launched the print version, same objections, same explanation, then approved. Whew!

I had a proof copy made of the printed version, sent to my daughter in Brussels who checked it and sent me pics back. All OK, online!

The little brother is born! What’s his name?

See here the links to Amazon USA. Both versions are on all the Amazon sites worldwide.

“LAUGH AND GET WISER! Jokes and witty wisdom for adults” is out! The Kindle version US$2.99: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H291Z61
ASIN: B07H291Z61
Leave a comment after reading!

“LAUGH AND GET WISER! Jokes and witty wisdom for adults” is out! The print version US$19.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720004226
ISBN: 9781720004226
Leave a comment after reading!
If you buy the print you can get the Kindle for US$0.99!

More about the content later!

The pricing

As I am completely doing self-publishing, I can fix the price myself.
Some books and ebooks set a too high price, pretty unreasonable especially for ebooks. See here some examples, typical when you depend on a “real” publishing house such as Springer:

I opted for a pretty low price, so one has no reason to complain about the cost: the Kindle goes for less than the price for a cup of coffee!
As for now the ebook is on KDP Select, that means only available on Amazon.

My first book will soon have a little brother

No, not my new book

I posted a picture on Facebook of a shipment that arrived in my Beijing home forces me to clarify that my first book will soon have a little brother.

“Toxic Capitalism” was published in 2012, through AuthorHouse – a bad experience. I have been regularly importing 120 copies to Beijing, selling myself and through the well-known book shop “The Bookworm”. See: http://beijingbookworm.com/

The last shipment was a near disaster. Suddenly Chinese customs did not allow anymore shipments of foreign books of more than ten copies. There was no way around it and I had to send back the shipment to the publishing company in the UK, They then sent 120 copies to my daughter in Brussels and now we are slowly getting copies to Beijing. The picture shows a recent arrival of ten copies, celebrated with a Pussy. Yeah that was to wake up dirty minds. It is a passion fruit drink from The Netherlands, now distributed in Beijing.
So many of my Facebook friends thought it was my recent publication…
A friend posted this pic, yes it is still for sale in The Bookworm:

My next book

People talk about “writer’s block”. I think I have many more “blocks”. One is to upload my e-book to Amazon, supposed to be done this week. Please check the definition of “procrastination”! I must hold a PHD in that field.
So what is the book about? Well, you will have to wait till it is out, in e-book and in print, all through Amazon. Kindle will be first. Basically everything is done. I just need to do the electronic paperwork on Kindle website… A bit scary.

How I did it

My first book was done 100% on MS Word. It was a very complicated document. That went to the publishing company that made the e-book and the print version. The design of the (front) cover page was done by ourselves, with daughter Valerie being the final artist.
This time, 100% self-publishing and the second book is a bit of a learning curve on how to do it. Book number three is still a work in progress.
The second book was originally started using MS Word. Then I switched to Scrivener, a special software to write books and – produce the versions for e-book and print.
Learning Scrivener was OK but compiling for print and e-book was a real challenge. After many failed attempts I have now mastered the settings. The print output, in MS Word (exported from Scrivener) is done, for a format 6 x 9 inches paperback; page count is 359.
The e-book, Kindle version is also ready.
I did not use an third-party editor because of the special nature of the book (yeah, suspense), but my daughter Marianne suggested a few corrections. But after some searching I first hired a cartoonist to make a cartoon according to me ideas. Then the cartoon was used by a service company that makes the cover page for the e-book as well as the wrap-around cover for the print version (front, back, spine). All done.

Writing requires never giving up

Writing is really hard

And writing requires never giving up. The example of JK Rowling is so emotionally moving – and encouraging –  for a small writer that I am. I still can’t believe how the lady did it all. Impressive.

See: “This Animation Of JK Rowling’s Life Is Seriously Powerful”
Posted by Doireann Garrihy – 29 Mar 2017
An animation that follows the life of JK Rowling has gone viral.
Starting with her being rejected from college at the age of 17, it goes through the journey of her miscarriage, her marriage breakdown and her severe depression.
http://www.spin1038.com/entertainment/this-animation-of-jk-rowlings-life-is-seriously-powerful

See here the clip directly:

How I came to write my first book

See the story here: https://www.damulu.com/about/
The problem was first of all to start the real writing. Jotting down ideas is not enough, one must start “the real stuff”. The way I managed to start was disappearing from Beijing, getting away from office and home. The first escape was near the Western Ming Tombs (Yixian County, Hebei), in early August 2009.

Some pictures of the guesthouse, its fabulous view on the lake (I think called Wolongshan Natural Scenic Area), and the tombs: Western Qing Tombs (Qing Xi Ling, 清西陵) in Yixian County, Baoding, Hebei. Pretty close to the new Xiongan Zone…

The second escape was to a small village in the far north east side of Beijing in Pinggu County near Hebei Province (late August 2009). See the “main road” that leads to a dam. the simple guesthouse and the local food. During the week the place is empty but in the weekend people from Beijing come in great numbers to eat the, yes, delicious food.
Later I simply retreated regularly to a modest IBIS Hotel not very far from home. No contact with others.

Another long night in IBIS

When I started working on Toxic Capitalism I somehow managed to do it all at my home office, mostly late at night and burning the midnight oil.

writing and thinking at the home office

The next challenge

I am working on a couple of books. I have set the goal of finishing two completely different books this year. I have scribbled tons of notes and collected newspaper clippings, plus some files in the computer.
But nothing really written yet for the “most important book challenge”. So, after months of doubts and overloaded schedule, I have finally decided: in May I will disappear… Hopefully to start building the foundations for the “Manifesto”.
The other book will be more easy, the main challenge will be to first master the needed software: Scrivener. The topic? Jokes… Yep. No kidding.

Introducing Toxic Capitalism to Rotaract and Rotary

Finally

Yes, introducing Toxic Capitalism to Rotaract and Rotary in Beijing took some time but finally!

Rotaract Clubs of Beijing

On 27 March, Gilbert presented his book Toxic Capitalism in Cafe Ruhe (Pacific Century Place, Sanlitun), the new venue of Rotaract Beijing. members of Rotaract Beijing West also attended.
It was followed by a lively debate, fueled by sharp questions!

Rotary lunch 14 March in Kempinski: Gilbert introducing his book

Gilbert is the founder and president of a Beijing-based management consulting company that provides strategy guidance to foreign and Chinese clients. He was deeply involved in the building of the 2008 Olympic venues and as a result got the highest decorations from the Chinese government.
His talk focused on how the idea of his book “Toxic Capitalism” was born, on the challenges of researching and compiling data and then on his experience with publishing.
Toxic Capitalism – The orgy of consumerism and waste: Are we the last generation on earth?
Gilbert elaborated on the theme by shedding light on consumerism and the consequences of too much waste.
Living in China since 1980 Gilbert became alarmed by the dramatic pollution levels in Beijing and the trends of overconsumption and waste around the world.
As an engineer he delved into the data to better understand the seriousness of the situation, the reasons why it had come to all that and what we can do about it.

FYI: Penguin Random House Is Still In The Vanity Business

Consider me one of the many victims of those publishing scammers. Always interesting to understand why the press shuts its mouth on their shady practices. They simply are afraid to criticize their partners and clients.
As David Gaughran mentions (7 January 2016):
“When Penguin purchased Author Solutions in 2012 for US$116m, virtually all the press had the same angle: Penguin was making a smart move into the fast-growing world of self-publishing. No mention was made of the controversial business practices of Author Solutions, or that the giant vanity press resembled a viable self-publishing platform much in the way a glass of hydrochloric acid is a recommended way to cleanse after the holidays.”

Read to whole story here: Penguin Random House

One of the many complaints I have is the way they give totally unreliable “reports” about sales, while I am not waiting for big sales. They are refusing to enter the 21st century in banking they do not pay electronically but through stupid checks in BP sent by snail mail from the USA. When I signed the contract they promised electronic payments. Those checks are worthless as the cost of sending those to Belgium (you can’t cash checks in Beijing) plus the Belgian bank charges would produce a negative payment. Why checks? Because they want to save money. Who still uses checks?
In other words, as good as zero income from my book.

Anybody wants the worthless checks? Need to pick them up in Beijing!