kɒnvənt ɡɜːl

Commemorating the centenary celebrations of the Church of St. Michael in Alor Setar, Aneeta Sundararaj remembers the Catholics who played an important role in the community.

‘kɒnvənt ɡɜːl’. If you’re a former student of St. Nicholas Convent, Alor Setar, you must recognise these words, know what they mean and how they’re pronounced. If you do, you’re a credit to the Sisters who once taught us. If you don’t, shame on you! Remember those lessons in Phonetics? In case you’re still confused, ‘kɒnvənt ɡɜːl’ means ‘Convent Girl’.

The memory of my lessons in Phonetics taught by Sister Alphonse Coombs pales in comparison with what happened one sunny day in 1980. It was just us in the airy classroom next to the vast playing field.

Stop it, Sister. I can’t even look at you right now.  

I wanted to scream, but no sound came out. Mercifully, the bell rang. I gathered my books and escaped

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An Evolving Journey

On 14 August, I woke up to the sound of birds chirping and I just knew that it was going to be a good day. An hour later, I was preparing my breakfast as I mentally listed down all the things I needed to do that day. I remember that moment well. In my kitchen, I was pouring boiling water into the cup when I heard the beep on my phone. Who could be texting this early in the morning? I reached for the phone and saw that the notification that a message had come through from one of the editors at the publishing house that helped with the books.

Quickly, I opened the message on the phone app. Hers were the words I’d been waiting to read for a long time. Both my books Two Snakes Whistling at the

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60 Surprisingly Easy and Effective Ways to Market Your Book

By Rohi Shetty

If you have just published your first or next book like Aneeta, make a specific book promotion plan and write down the number of books you want to sell per month. When you have a specific goal in mind, it helps you to plan your book promotion effectively and also serves as a yardstick of your success. At the end of the month, review your results and make a fresh plan.

60 Simple Ways to Achieve Your Book Marketing Goals

You may already be doing some of these methods. You need not do all of them. Choose the ones that appeal to you and let go of the rest. Shortlist the ones that you want to implement and add them to your calendar. Action is supreme.

Amazon Aim for at least 5-10 book reviews after the publication

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Are You a Writer Without An Effective Email Signature?

By Rohi Shetty

“The email signature is the most neglected business opportunity in daily communications. It’s a dynamic and virtual business card embedded in every message you send.” ~Dmitry Dragilev
 

An email signature is the concluding part of an email message. Most of us writers tend to neglect it and use only our names as our email signature. That’s a pity because each email is an opportunity to promote our books and services.

Not optimizing our email signature is costing us money every single day. We are losing the chance to gain readers and clients with every email.

How to Create an Effective Email Signature
Here are a few simple tips that can transform every email you send into a potential marketing machine:

Keep it short, preferably less than six lines. Make sure you include an image, either a picture of yourself or your logo. Decide on the most important information you want others

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Changing Kits

Two weeks ago, I was invited for a lunch in the city. I was mingling with the other guests when, suddenly, a lady appeared in the doorway. I admit that I stared at her for a while. Then, it came to me. This was a person I hadn’t seen for fifteen years. We spent the next hour or so animatedly catching up. Naturally, we spoke about my writing career and she mentioned a pamphlet I’d created for The Banana Leaf Men and sent to her all those years ago. I had forgotten about this. After lunch, I started to think about this pamphlet. The more I thought about it, the more I came to see what’s changed in the publishing world, what hasn’t and what’s evolved.

BOOK NUMBERING
Let’s start with the one thing that hasn’t changed – ISBN. Years ago, I wrote a piece about this called ‘ISBN in Malaysia’.

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A Foolproof Way to Get Reviews For Your Kindle Book

By Rohi Shetty

Once you have published a book on Amazon, it is crucial to get as many book reviews as you can. No one will buy your book if it doesn’t have any reviews.

Reviews are important because:

they provide social validation for your book.
If your book has no reviews, no one is likely to buy it. they boost your rank within Amazon’s search engine.
If your book has more reviews, it is more visible to potential readers in Amazon. they help to get featured on book promotion sites.
You will need at least five reviews for most sites.

So aim for at least ten reviews soon after the launch of your book. Ten reviews is the bare minimum. However, getting even ten reviews can be a challenge, especially if you are a new author with zero followers. However you can do it if you follow the system given below and are willing to

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Marking Memories

We Mark Your Memory: Writing from the Descendants of Indenture

On 17 May 2018, an anthology called We Mark Your Memory: Writings from the Descendants of Indenture (http://www.commonwealthwriters.org/we-mark-your-memory/) will be launched in London. I am very proud that one of my stories was accepted for this anthology.

As I read the other works in this anthology, I am fascinated by the stories they tell. Things become even more interesting when the editors say that many artists worldwide have ‘artfully created literary responses to the scars of the system of indenture and its legacies.’ I didn’t see the legacies as ‘scars’. In fact, when I was writing this story, my father was aware that the setting for this story would be where he born and brought up – Foothills Estate. He insisted that I should not write ‘bad things’ about it and said,

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100+ Awesome Free Resources for Online Writers

By Rohi Shetty

This is my 100th post for How to Tell a Great Story and I want to thank Aneeta for her unfailing support and help through the years. Also, thanks to you all for your valuable feedback over the years. To celebrate, I am sharing a curated list of 100+ free online resources, which I am sure will be of great help to you.

A word of warning, however. “Take what you want and eat what you take.”

Don’t overload yourself with stuff you won’t be able to use – it will just end up collecting dust on your hard drive and contribute to your sense of overwhelm.

Mission Profitable Giveaway
This giveaway organized by Cat Stancik gives you free access to over 30 gifts, from blueprints, templates, checklists, to online training from industry leaders and experts! It ends on 21st May 2018, so check it out right away

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Book Cover Stories

Now that I have come to terms with the idea to self-publish the novel, I’ve got to make a few decisions. One of the most exciting ones, I feel, has to be deciding what goes on the cover. As I reflected on the cover designs for all my books so far, I can see that all my ideas, rationale and experiences have also evolved.

What does ‘cover’ mean?

I still remember that when I approached my first printer, I told him I needed help to create a ‘cover’. He had no clue what I meant. I had to take out a book from my bag and show him what I wanted help with.

“Oh, you mean cover design,” he said, nodding. “That, my designer can help you with.”

The moment I returned from that meeting, I researched the meaning of these words. I learnt that ‘bookcover’ was a term often used for ‘book cover

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Read This Before Publishing Your First E-Book!

By Rohi Shetty

Most writers are clueless about how to publish their first e-book and where and how?

Here are the definitive answers to the nine top questions about publishing your first e-book.

Q1. Where should you publish your first e-book?

You have four choices:

Your own site E-book retail sites like Amazon, iTunes, Nook, and Kobo. Aggregator sites that allow you to upload and distribute to the e-book retail sites mentioned above and other e-book retailers and libraries. They save you time and effort but take a larger share of the revenue. Other sites like Gumroad, Clickbank, e-junkie, Leanpub, Kickstarter, and Unbound. Q2. Should I publish my e-book on my own site?

If you publish on your own site, you retain full control of your e-book and can get 100% of the revenue. However, if you are a new author with little or no audience, very few of your prospective audience are likely to know

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