“If you’re going to do something, do it properly.”
It’s a motto that’s guided my foray into publishing, leading me to contact every single literary agent in London representing non-fiction, applying to around 90 agents, all of whom rejected me, 40 or so directly, with the others not replying to emails.
All those blogs you’ve read weren’t lying. You want them to be wrong, but they’re so very, very accurate. Writing your book is just half the battle. The marketing, promotions, PR, tinkering, pleading, and pushing is just as much work, if not more – and for a writer used to hiding behind a screen it’s a tough process to take on
Make a marketing plan and gradually work through it. Take breaks. Mix with humans at least once a day
It turns out, and don't be massively, jaw-droppingly surprised to read this, that guests don't appreciate the author-organiser showing up late to his own book launch. There I was telling everyone to show up on time as "we only have the venue for a few hours..." and what do you know? Yep, they show up on time. As in, bang on time. As in, the bouncer had to stop them pushing in, telling me later that if my stepfather had been 60 years younger he'd have "taken him out". But there was to be no octogenarian versus pro-wrestler punch-up, as I arrived just in the nick of time, rushing everyone in, showering them in a thousand apologies.
This is particularly common for the returning Gulf expat, and even more so for those who’ve been working to ensure the Gulf’s ‘black gold’ is constantly pumped from beneath the sand. But regardless of vast salaries, expats have a canny way of spending vast amounts on cars, clothes, drinks, and rent, scaled up to match their income. So is your returning oil exec friend a billionaire? Not unless he’s also a Sheikh.
This is a question I hear all the time, especially from people leaving school and university. And I get it. The world’s a big place. It can be daunting. How do you know where to go? How do you know where you CAN go?
This question pits Hong Kong against Singapore, Melbourne against Sydney, London against New York, Dubai against Abu Dhabi.
But it’s a subjective question. There is no ‘best’ place to all people. I prefer Singapore to Hong Kong, but many people will recoil on hearing that, bleating about HK’s culture, dynamism and blah, blah, blah… You know why I liked Singapore more than Hong Kong?