You may have noticed from my previous article entitled "Book Publishing" that I have started a new project. This project comes from my personal experience. I have been dreaming about it for a long time. The right timing and great passion for languages have made my dream comes true.
I make pocket-sized phrasebooks in many languages. I don't think about earning profit from this project but rather earning achievement and satisfaction from helping like-minded people. Up to this day, you can find some of my Southeast Asian language books at an NGO-owned cultural space called Southeast Asian Migrant Inspired (SEAMi). I plan to donate more books to similar NGOs and libraries. Besides, I also give out my books to some foreign friends and guests as souvenirs.
What's in the book?Since the beginning of the planning, I have made up my mind to make phrasebooks. I believe that we can learn languages well by learning phrases, especially phrases that we often use daily. The book won't be a customized book for everyone but rather, a set of life situations that everyone might encounter. For instance, in the hotel, airport, train station, etc. It includes basic self-expression, like asking 6W1H (What, Who, When, Where, Which, Why, How) and using different subject pronouns in the phrases.
I also include a brief grammatical explanation and wordlists, so learners can get deeper understanding of the target language, and hopefully, learners will have adequate knowledge to form sentences by themselves.
Where's the funding from?I know it could be costly to print the books, not to mention the "cost" of energy and effort that I have put into the making of it. So, I try my best not to save as much as I could by managing almost everything by myself, such as the layout, design, content, etc. If anyone purchases the books, that money will serve as the funding for my project.
Lulu, an online print-on-demand, self-publishing, and distribution platform, hosts my books, thus buyers can purchase the books there. However, Lulu doesn't have the function to properly categorize my multilingual books. It displays everything together and it sorts the books based on the update time. This doesn't look good at all, and it looks confusing from a buyer's perspective. Imagine yourself in a supermarket to buy a bottle of milk, and you see many imported milk placed on the same shelf without a proper categorizing based on their countries of origin.
Besides, I have also made a website where I showcase all of the books with proper categorization. You can visit Nee's Book Depository to experience it by yourself.
Do you have a similar project? Share your story with us!