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wFriday, March 25, 2005

Readings at Darling Muse (Wilayah KUTU) 6

Ruhayat X

Readings at Darling Muse (Wilayah KUTU) 7

Fahmi Fadzil

Oh… The publisher just called me and told me that he will not publish any of my books and told me that his director, upon reading my blog is pissed off with me. Because I've published all my works online (and subsequently, 'reveal' their so called 'strategy' to repackage my work into something more commercial and make me into a woman writer - tudung clad preferably). BTW, they are paying me RM800 per book for all the rights of each of my written work (and no royalties whatsoever). I KID YOU NOT! I get paid RM200 for a 3-page article at and RM150 at Malaysiakini. Go figure this one out yourself.

So, I told him about a new blogging movement where people had actually gotten their blogs published as books. I said, there's already a movement to novelize blog contents (please take some time to read this article first published by The New York Times). But he said it's in the West lah. Malaysia it's different, according to him lah (I don't agree with him lah. We Malaysians are so Third World, meh?).

Something about what he said in our discussion a couple of days ago bothers me, of course… Like the dumbification of the Malay readers for one (which his company is proudly doing). This is perhaps something that I have fought for - since my halcyon days in Singapore. I refuse to be a part of the problem in the malaise of the Malay literary scene. I believe that Malay readers deserves better. If you give them options to buy well written book, they will go out and buy these books. I'm quite sure there is a sizable market for Malays like me with a respectable level of disposible income who will buy well written books in Malay.

So, when they say they refuse to publish my works on the basis that I have my works already published online, I was relieved. I was thankful, in fact.

God work in mysterious way after all. Because, I did pray to God to show me some signs over something that had been bothering me this couple of days. Something deep inside me told me that something is amiss.

So, I don't have to sell my soul after all. I'm glad, in fact. I will continue writing in my blog. The publisher wished me luck, as if I need it to survive as a writer in this country. Sayang... To succeed as a writer, you don't need luck - you need talents and readers. Something he obviously think I am lack off.

No… I don't have to change my name to Siti Nurhanim or what have you. I will still be called Nizam Zakaria (he did mention that I am 'just another writer in Malaysia…'). So, this humble 'just another writer' will keep on writing and entertaining you guys with alternative Malay writing that will not make you puke blood. (This other guy who is supposed to handle Awang Vampiro told me that I can be rest assured that I can stick with 'Nizam Zakaria' because that name has a following online, thus a ready market. Phew! This novel will take some time to be edited and all that, but I can wait!).

posted by Nizam Zakaria at 10:35 AM |