Sunday, December 31, 2017

OMG it is the end of 2017

There is only one word to describe my 2017: TIRED!

There were some unexpected overseas trips (both personal and business) and several invitations to give talks at various festivals because of my new book. I also setup booths at two major conventions (STGCC and AFA) and two small fairs in schools. Because of that, Monday comic strips had been affected and progress of my 4th book slowed down.

Sadly, after 3 years since my first book, revenue from the books remained modest and I now don't find it worth while to continue after my 4th book unless all sales are taken care of by the publisher. Or I just do an ebook version. This means I won't be buying back my own books to sell at conventions and gift shops anymore. Currently I still have a lot leftover at home and won't be restocking after I clear them all. Besides spending several months making the book itself, I found myself trapped in the selling of my books after it's published. Because my royalties are in depreciating ringgit, I figured it was better to buy back my own books to sell in Singapore. I rented booths, asked retail shops for orders, arranged logistics, generated marketing materials, gave many talks and demo, chased and still chasing payments. The books I had to store and carry increased and I had reached my limit...

Despite my effort to push sales, there is still lack of support from local bookstores. Only books about the late Mr. Lee and anything political would be given prime shelf locations. For the rest like mine, they either refuse to order, or order in very small quantities and tuck them into spaces that are either a few inches from the floor or ceiling (true story). You may say you no longer buy books from the bookstores that don't carry my books, but they are still located at convenient locations. Certain bookstores have their own exclusive titles or imprint and it seems that they want to protect their market share by not ordering my books :(

The fortunate thing is I didn't have to depend on book sales to make ends meet. For some strange good luck I had been having consistent commissioned work to draw comics for organizations and companies. I also conducted a short comic drawing course at a primary school. Support from my Patreon had also been rather consistent. Book sales was an added bonus and I cleared the 5-digit loan I took to self publish back in 2014.

Moving ahead in 2018... I am working on my 4th book with a US publisher about traveling to Tokyo. If I can finish by end of April (*gulp), it will be released in Fall 2019. So you would have to bear with me the B&W Monday comic strips till I finish that book. Luckily the royalties will be in USD and would be sold at bookstores worldwide, including Japan and US (YEAH!). Finally I won't need to depend on local bookstores and market. You can catch the work in progress sometimes on my Instagram stories.

You may ask what about ebooks? Well FYI all 3 books have ebook versions now: Kindle, Google Play Books, iBooks, Kobo, and eSentral. But sales are generally quite pathetic, like only a few are sold in several months. The reality is it only makes good money if your hardcopy is a best seller (like 1,000 copies sold within a week or month). Or you make something with sex and violence, or about cats... ...

I'm not sure what I'll do after I finish 4th book, but definitely not the same as what I have done before.  I'm not going to buy back my books to sell in bulk anymore. Although I'm not in a festive mood to say Happy New Year, but I'll say "THANK GOODNESS EVERYBODY SURVIVED!" May 2018 be better for all of us!

Special thanks to all my patrons at

Monday, December 25, 2017

Comics: Finally over

I'm not sure about other countries, but in Singapore the malls and some radio stations will keep on playing christmas music and carols...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Comics: I did not know yoga can be dangerous

Happened to me on a Saturday class, which half of the students were pretty advance. I was nearly kicked left and right on the face but I won't really wear a helmet to class... I will continue to practice my dodging skill...


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