Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's Just So Bally Malaysian-lah!

HERE’S a new one:

A: Oh, you publish books?
B: I guess so.
A: I write novels, stories, everything, in fact. You interested?
B: You planning to get them published?
A: I have an agent in Singapore, you know.
B: What’s his name?
A: I can’t really tell you.
B: I’m so bloody happy for you!


I overheard the following exchange recently:

A: Shall we launch a book as a public-relations exercise?
B: Sounds great. ... But we don’t have a book to launch!
A: Duh! ... Is that a problem or what?
B: I thought we need to write a book before we can launch one!
A: That shouldn’t be a problem. We could just launch a mock-up of the book. All we need is the cover. We can get the book written later!
B: Cool!


One of my favourite all-time classics:

A: Here’s my manuscript. Could you get it ready by next week? I’ll will be going overseas. It will be great if I could have the book before I leave.
B: I’m afraid that’s not possible. It will take some time to get it edited.
A: No editing necessary. It is already perfect!


Here’s another gem:

A: My grandson has written a class assignment. Would you like to publish it?
B: How old is he?
A: Around ten, I think.
B: How many words is the manuscript?
A: Well, around 2,000 words, I think.
B: That’s not enough for a book, you know.
A: I am sure we could pad it up with lots of photos and perhaps launch it at one of the five-star hotels or something. Should be most fun!
B: Yeah, looks like a great idea. Let’s do it!


This is another recent one:

A: Could you have my book ready by next month?
B: No, I can’t, I’m afraid. Your manuscript is so badly written so much so that I will have to farm it out for a rewrite.
A: But I must have it ready by next month.
B: Then you might like to consider sending your manuscript to a production or typesetting house. Then you can have your book ready within a week. You don’t even have to edit it!
A: I really must have it by next month. You see, it’s my birthday and I need the book to be ready by then.
B: Can’t you just buy a cake or something?


Another funny one:

A: Your manuscript is very badly written, you know.
B: I know.
A: Would you be able to rewrite it?
B: It is not really my fault. It is the fault of the education system.



Blogger Vikram Johri said...

Oh dear, Eric..this is hilarious! You could launch an "Overheard in Malaysian publishing" kind of blog, and rake in big bucks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 3:51:00 AM  
Blogger Poppadumdum said...

Makes one rather sick, I think. All these people who want to be authors but can't be bothered to actually write a book.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 7:05:00 AM  
Blogger bibliobibuli said...

i have the sinking feeling that the person who wants her manuscript reading now now before she goes to india is the same woman i blogged about today!!! it's a bloody big coincidence if not!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 6:03:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

Vikram - Always great to hear from you. There are more stories from where those came from!

Poppadumdum - Yes, you are right. Everyone wants to be a writer, but is not willing to work at the craft. The great writers of the world struggle every day with what they produce. And they have doubts all the time. Talent’s one thing; you have got to work on it. Otherwise, it is just wasted talent. Being good with language is just not good enough. You must do wonders with it to make your writing sing!

Writing well is hard work, but that doesn’t really matter if you love it and shouldn’t deter your passion or enthusiasm. However, I do believe that writing somehow gets easier with constant practice.

Thursday, November 22, 2007 3:20:00 AM  
Blogger Artemis Hunt said...

heh heh, so funny. See you Sat.

Thursday, November 22, 2007 5:03:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

Xeus & Sharon - See you on Saturday!

Thursday, November 22, 2007 5:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malaysians are so funny one-lah!

Thursday, November 22, 2007 5:54:00 AM  
Blogger shirley ng said...

if you think you're having it bad, do pity the marketing ppl when the bad books miraculously gets published!

Friday, November 23, 2007 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

Yes - I do pity the marketing people whose job is to promote bad books. It's a vicious circle.

Friday, November 23, 2007 12:46:00 AM  

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