What a Great Weekend!
The day I was waiting for have arrived last weekend when I launched my first published book. I was very happy when my friends came to buy my book and have a conversation over a cup of coffee at the Cyclist Cafe located at Presint 4 of Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia. My book is entitled The Joy of Cycling in Putrajaya. Most of those who came are my cycling friends in Putrajaya and many of them belong to my cycling tribe- Putrajaya Riders Club.
Owing to movement control orders arising from COVID-19, many of us could not come and ride together for months. It was more than a book launch and signing autograph. It was like a mini-reunion of fellow riders who missed each other’s company. All my efforts in preparation for this event was a sweet success. Now, I know I have arrived to be a published writer even at the age of 69 years old. Most of you readers are much younger than me. Taking it from me, it is never too late to write a book!
The book was ready to go to print in December 2021. I planned to launch the book at the end of January 2022. Unfortunately, my intended publisher decided not to publish 1000 copies of my book and this subsequently causes another month’s delay. So I decided on taking the bull by the horn. With the help of my friend, I got to meet another publisher who is willing to print my book. Since I am a new writer, I am not sure how many copies I can sell the book. So I decided to be a self-publisher and as a start print only 100 copies to meet my small budget. This is part of my business risk management to limit financial exposure. By the way, the printer can print 200 copies of my book within five days. That is fast enough even for my need to sell online on a pre-order basis.
From a project management perspective, I have suffered two months delay -the dateline to launch the book was at the end of January 2022 but delivered at the end of March 2022. Lesson learned: Sign the commitment and delivery date with a third party. Time and timing are very important in product delivery and sale!
Next to decide was the venue of the book sale launch. Since my book is about cycling in Putrajaya, it is more appropriate to launch the book sale in Putrajaya. Since my book can promote cycling and tourism in Putrajaya, I tried my luck to get Putrajaya Corporation to collaborate with me. My proposal was not well received. This reminds me of the successful author JK Rowling who wrote Harry Potter Book series. Again I have got to go alone. To young entrepreneurs, do not be afraid to go alone in what you have to do to achieve your personal and business goals! The keys to success are your competency and your courage. You only fail when you give up.
I have two choices- Umai Cafe and Cyclist Cafe. Both are popular among the cycling community and located by the lakeside. At Umai Cafe, I have a big space to invite people to come for the ceremony but it is on the first floor. My question was how many will come? Cyclist Cafe is small but it has space on the ground floor for me to put my bunting and books on the table. Its visibility to pedestrians and cycling traffic are much better. In the retail business, especially product launching the most important is the location, location and location. This location is also related to easy access and easy parking.
Considering all the factors including cost, I decided to launch my book at Cyclist Cafe. After two days being there with the crowd and the customers, I had made the right choice. Alhamdulillah.
What is next?
Prior to the launch date, I have also created the book launch awareness on social media. At the same time, I also appointed my online reseller at The Shoppe about a week earlier. As a self-published author, writing the book is only one part of my book business. The next part is marketing selling until the end of this year 2022.