18 Dec 2014

Ebook publishing pioneer... that's me!

All those years ago I made my first foray into ebooks. Back then people didn't quite know what to make of it or whether it could be workable. Yes it can, ebooks and books coexisting, just like music being downloaded via digital means existing alongside real records. One of my earliest written interviews ever published in The New Straits Times in print form. Recently I found a digital archive of it. Look out for mention of Dominae Primus in the article.

6 Sep 2014

Social Media messes up the narrative and can be a parasite(A broadside at social media)

The matter with social media, the variety that is highly restrictive on the number of words that you can convey, is a hindrance upon expression which curbs the necessary length required to put across a message that is faithful to the original intent/context. Say too little and its full impact is lost.

The variety which restricts and expects messages to be compartmentalised into one picture frame also compromises the context and impact of the original intent. One picture may not necessarily tell the full story.

On both counts above, it is the disruption of the narrative. The form that builds on start, middle and an end with all its elements like premise, suspense, climax and outcome contained within. Social media that restricts rather than encourages expression and communication subverts the subject matter.
The audience receives only aspects of the full story and not its gist. Even the progression of the narrative is disrupted.

Not everyone has a short attention span. People have the capacity to maintain attention and interest. Even elaborations.

Social media is fragmented. Its users have to clamour and grapple with different platforms to put across the same message from the official channel which may be from the official website and/or weblog. This causes additional workload on its users.

Official channels which are unrestrictive such as a weblog and/or website allow full length elaboration and highlights. Is it not easier to have a mailing list and send periodic updates to your established base of interested persons?  Does it not make sense to encourage people to bookmark the website or weblog page and have them return time and time again? Why should work be repeated unnecessarily?
Why go through so many channels in saying the same thing?

Often, social media postings refer to the source and the links point back to the source. So what’s the use of this extraneous step? Why not let us all go straight to the official website or weblog address? Why bother with so many social media sites? Pick one and stick to it.

The most sociable media I’ve ever encountered is the forum format. You can choose to follow/participate a discussion and join in when time allows it. There is no compulsion or immediacy expected. Warts and all, this is a format that does not impose on its users. Even if arguments or attention grabbing headlines occur, just as in real life, things settle into a measured pace once more.

Social media is different. It is impatient. It expects immediate gratification and/or response. I’ve seen quite a lot of social media that is insincere, flippant, coarse and inane. It’s something that many enterprises and persons, without examining the nature of their dealings and business, have allowed themselves to be misled with the mistaken belief that social media is the key to success/relevance. It isn’t always the case. Examine the history and nature of your dealings. Should it be social media or just simple common sense and human touch? Did social media bring you the success that you enjoy today?

Social media thrives on trends. Whoever is popular is king. The popular ones generate interest, followers and are able to attract the attention of advertisers who wish to employ such popular figures to popularise their wares. Nothing based on social media is sustainable.  It is short term and unfaithful. It owes no one anything. It is a parasite that feeds on popularity and shallow mindsets, that popular is best and knows best. Once popularity fades, social media and their legion of willing advertisers feed on the aura of the next fad and the next.

By the time you’re done with the digital parasite that is social media, another one might just crop up and you have to add that to the duty list. That would be a silly way to fritter away time, effort and talent.

A website or weblog is as good a digital presence as any. Use it well, sustain it and it will turn out well eventually. You will even have a digital history.

16 Aug 2014

The Virtual Digital still depends on the Actual

As much as the Internet, digital tools and gadgetry are attractive, they are not substitutes for knowledge, prior knowledge, experience, encounters and memory.

A search on a subject matter becomes easier when you have a point of reference in the form of prior knowledge, memory, a previous experience or encounter. You’re in a better position when you possess those compared to the next person who starts with nothing.

Do not foolishly dismiss or deride old world(historical) and real world knowledge.
They’re the reality and/or the result of previous proceedings that one faces outside the screen.

Passing things around or forwarding them, clicking here and there, may not always translate to action. There are still things that have to be done directly, on the ground where it happens. That’s the reality that virtual reality mimics, with mixed results.

Just because something isn’t on the Internet does not mean that it does not exist.
There is no recorded digital knowledge, prior knowledge, memory, encounter or experience with it. Once there is awareness of its existence, then only will the matter manifest in the digital realm.

One can be relevant, with the ability to move mountains yet be hardly known by one’s presence in the digital media. One can be ubiquitous in the digital realm and still remain trifle.

The Internet is a living encyclopedia, where its contents evolve over time. Although an archived version of its previous incarnation can be found, often it is the latest version that is accessed when a search is made.
Thus, at times information can be manipulated.

Thinking skills such as cross-checking, evidence gathering, logical deduction and having possession of out of print books (deemed old fashioned) will assist in deriving the desired result rather than mere reliance on the digital realm. 

Is it not better to have knowledge within than to have to search for it when you need it most? By all means use the digital and adopt it yet bear in mind that digital is not always superior for it is no substitute for real living, dedication and learning.

13 Aug 2014

Critique of Social Media Mania-addendum

At least an old fashioned press release is a polished piece of writing. Any author worth one's salt will be able to formulate a decent one, for others and when the situation calls for it, for oneself. 

I've generated my own press releases independently. These get read and people do click to find out more. Whether they buy on the spot or wait a little longer, it is hard to ascertain.
But at least it is easier to track readership compared to social media. On purely social media, many see, many read, but only a sprinkling 'like' or 'tweet' and even fewer bother to check things out. 

In the social media sphere, it's like we're all trying to shout out in an already noisy room. A few of those who hear bother to check things out. Most of it is missed because the place is too loud to pick out anything that stands out. It has less to do with quality, but the fact that we are all shouting in an overcrowded noisy space. 

Treat social media as one of the tools in the tool box not as the only tool available.

Explore other options while keeping to your budget and personal values.  

10 Aug 2014

Critique of social media mania

Social media is treated as the holy grail of the moment. Organisations falling over themselves trying to implement it and hyper-ventilating over the search for social media practitioners to fill their ranks. It’s not as simple as it seems. Sure the advertising industry will rave over this as it presents another outlet to sell their branding and marketing expertise to prospects and current clients. The term ‘media’ in social media already provides a clue as to its links and complement to traditional advertising media.

It may have started as a simple platform for people to contact one another but it sure has become a honey pot for advertisers, or so it seems.

Let us venture beyond that.

How do you reconcile the effect of social media on the bottom-line?
Do you painstakingly match every e-mail address, every social media web page with the actual persons who registered their details in your list of attendees at an event?
Even if you did make it a point for people to register their details for data matching purposes, have you captured them comprehensively?
What about privacy and people’s right to it?
Surely, I can be a client and be anonymous about it. I can walk into any upscale restaurant, have my meal, pay the bill, tip the staff and then leave.
All this without fuss. Even if there is a review form with a guaranteed discount voucher, I don’t have to take the bait. I can choose not to fill it up. I can still return to the same place at another time.
Even if I did return there is no obligation for me to provide my e-mail contact, blog address and proof of social media presence. I can just choose to come and go as I please.

Even if you have my e-mail address, I can opt to unsubscribe and be removed from the mailing list because I do not find it amusing to receive too many unsolicited digital periodicals, reminders and offers.

Do you really think that a mere picture will persuade revenue to come your way? Picture perfect is the domain of professionals. Anything and anyone can be enhanced with such methods. It takes more than photo spreads to sell something of value. Out of the millions who view, how many actually were persuaded by such images? It won’t be easy making a survey and even so, the honesty of the sample population can be questioned.

Can you actually gauge if all the ‘likes’ received really add up to revenue or all those ‘likes’ are just the digital equivalent of lip service? I’ve known and received ‘likes’ that never add up to anything substantial. I’ve received ‘likes’ without anyone exploring the links given after investigation. I’ve seen sponsored advertisements on social media covering a probable demographic but not turning up a single click that resulted in a sale.

We’re almost back to the wild, wild Internet boom when ads were displayed at the bottom, top and side of web pages, with flashy words and graphics, with hope that someone will click them and be cajoled into a purchase. Social media claims to target adverts to specific demographics. All easier said than done, when you can consciously lie about your age, earnings, location, education background, just about anything on social media. Thus again, we are thrust back into the digital dark ages! You’re shooting again in the dark.

To sustain interest in social media, requires constant effort in posting, re-posting, making new twists to the subject matter. But do all those efforts add up to increased revenue or are there other factors also at play resulting in an upsurge or downward plunge, such as a coincidental event, politics, fashion, novelty, media interest?

Every approach contributes to revenue in business. However it would be foolish to place all of one’s eggs in the social media basket. It is new but it isn’t the turning point in longevity of an enterprise. It is too much of the moment tool and channel to make a lasting impact.

Social media also works better amongst already established brands as in corporations and brands as in names of personalities. It is more difficult for an unknown to burst into the scene compared to established names. The huge followings and fans commanded by major brand names were the result of achievement in other fields and not solely in social media.
Perhaps it is their exclusivity, quality, affordability, popularity, durability, artistry etc. 

But to really sell the brand just because it is on social media? For established brands, it is merely reinforcing its presence and reaching out to a population segment weaned on digital media. That too is open to question. Does it really sell by virtue of online presence or is it from influence, recommendation or incidental mention? 

For new brands, it is more difficult. Very few are aware of their existence. People online need to be persuaded, maybe through constant presence or even a sweetener, in terms of something free. Even so, the demographical concentration is flawed based on flawed or compromised information as mentioned earlier when people can deliberately mislead, wilfully.

The above is based on my personal observation and experience.

Social media simply is another channel to communicate. How truly effective it is remains to be substantiated. Social media as we know it now, like all known digital methods, can never take the place of real human interaction. So how can it really know and relate to sentient, intelligent beings who value their privacy?

I’m sure you’re aware of the phenomenon on social media where you’ve listed friends who aren’t real friends but acquaintances in the digital realm. Followers who aren’t genuine followers. Perhaps voyeurs to a certain extent?

So hold your horses! A well-written press release or statement backed by credible evidence, hard work, consistency and relationships has more substance than all the shallow ‘likes’, ‘tweets’, ‘re-tweets’ and ‘views’ in the digital universe.

1 Apr 2014

3 stars for Absolutely Done by Dominae Primus

Absolutely Done  is a stark contrast to the novels and novellas in the news or stuff which are out there. It's not a controversial conspiracy, it's not racy and it's not riding on the current trend, rave or hottest wave among young adults, not so young adults and what not. 
It's a case of telling what you want to put across regardless of what is in fashion. 

So getting three stars consistently, which is above average rating despite the odds is something which I'd take as a positive endorsement.

So here are the links to ratings :

Jessie Potts' review 3 stars out of 5

Bitten By Books, paranormal book review site

Absolutely Done was hard for me to rate. I was unsure what to expect when I first picked up this book. An Angel named Absolute is taking over the Grim Reaper’s job while he’s meditating because he’s become too grim (Absolute’s joke, not mine). Absolute has two co-workers, so to speak: Lady Hope and Trench Coate. He’s determined to see the lighter side of death and not to let his grim job bring him down.

This book had a feel of the college books my English professor made us read–books that had hidden meanings and spiritual truths woven in between the lines. Dominae Primus (the pen name for Wong Li Ming) has infused humor and deep thinking behind the simple story of an angel. Like my college books I feel like you need to go into reading  Absolutely Done  fully expecting a philosophical book. There’s dry humor between the three characters, very simple thinking (to hide a deeper meaning) in Absolute’s head, and small jokes between Absolute and his mentor. If you are looking for something a little more in your books, then check out any of Dominae Primus’s books for that philosophical spice. If you’re looking for a paranormal book about angels, this may not be for you.
Thank you to all the reviewers. 
Absolutely Done

ISBN: 9789675785016


Absolute, a rebel Angel is recruited for the unenviable task of stepping into the Grim Reaper’s shoes for the time being. Absolute wants for nothing of this world, but the divine right of earning his keep as a competent enforcer of order in a world wracked by chaos & greed. An Angel serves his God not only by saving, at times he too must kill to even up the scales of crime & retribution. Presented in frame after frame of action interspersed with humour, Absolute’s adventures lead him to bloodshed, discovery & personal triumph. In his role as the Angel of Death, Absolute is determined in an unpleasant trade, finds ample room for his mischievous wit while being thorough in his execution of duty. The book's prequel is Second Chances.

ABSOLUTELY DONE is a book with vivid scenes that can be adapted as a feature film. 

Absolutely Done is an adventure, action comedy that is as full of slam bang action as it is in terms of witty comic exchanges, wise cracking and spirituality with a nod to mythology. Light enough for the casual reader, engaging for audiences looking beyond flash and explosions and intense enough in action for those who wish to have a cinematic feel of brawn and adrenaline.

Available at :
Amazon UK

Kobo books


Angus & Robertson (Australia)

Rakuten (Japan)

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Amazon Germany

Amazon Netherlands

Amazon India

Amazon France

Amazon Brazil


Amazon Spain

Amazon Mexico

Amazon Japan

Amazon Italy

17 Jan 2014

What is the Future of Bookstores? I'm mentioned in this article.

I am among the 25 authors featured in the article 'What is the Future of Bookstores?" written by Carmen Amato. I'm still under the radar so I don't think I'm 'influential' yet. 
Read on and enjoy. Click on the given link ...