Here’s the book!

ss-cover-page-no-flaps

We are almost there! Click the book cover to read the nice quotes on the back! I’ll be couriering a small number of books from Taiwan for the book launch of SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah by mid-December. Datuk Masidi Manjun has so kindly agreed to launch our book. It will for sale in late January 2013 in the bookstore Borneo Books on the ground floor in Wisma Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu. You will also be able to buy online, from the Natural History Publications (Borneo) website.

In addition, you will be able to pre-order from me before the book is out, at a 25% discount to the store price. I’ll let you know about that very soon by email, Facebook and here.

It’s a beautiful book. Graphic designer Chan Hin Ching of Natural History and Opus Publications worked so hard to get this book out before my move.

What I can do here is show you screen-dumps of the Contents pages from the final pdf, so you can get an idea what, and who, is in the book. Click on these to make them bigger. If you can’t remember what was in the original story….just go to it in the blog 🙂

I picked about 70 stories for the book out of 254 on the blog. The book includes a few stories which I wrote for megaboogie.wordpress.com only, in a back section which is about Mega Boogie.

Contents1 for post

Contents2 for post

I thought putting this together would be easy because the content was already written on the blog. But it was nothing like that. Boy, once these stories were going to be in a hard copy, I wanted to re-read and edit every story several times over. Things needed re-shaping, tightening and in some cases, even a little censoring.

sample three double page spreadsThe book is squarish – 8.5 x 9.55 inches, with 250 pages. So in the picture above, that’s a screen-dump of three double page spreads from the zoomed-out pdf. In the early chapters, the pictures are small, because I hadn’t made friends with photographers yet. I got a nice pic of Moses, who was only Chapter 3, because I had already met CK Wong. But later that all changed, and we have plenty of full page pics to go with the words.

It was a big project and the writing was the easiest part. Yap Keng Vui, Chris Pereira and Roger Wang had conned me into turning SabahSongs into a book, while sitting in the mamak shop underneath RAM. I didn’t realise at the time that this was called self-publishing. Although Datuk CL Chan of Natural History identified the passion about the subject matter and was happy for his publishing company to design the book, I had to learn how to market this book and raise funds; there was so much to be done behind-the-scenes before anything could go to print. Sometimes I thought the challenges were insurmountable and this was just NOT going to happen, especially because I had a deadline to move.

But by the end, the book had so much support. My heartfelt thanks go to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun; Sabah Tourism Board; Mega Boogie; Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival; Society of Performing Arts, Sabah; Asian Supply Base, Labuan; Sabah State Library; Bombers Burger; Bella restaurant; Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Additional thanks to supporters Sabah Property Magazine, Juara Media & Entertainment and GALC.

But in the Acknowledgements, you’ll find plenty about YOU, since without your voices and your music, we wouldn’t have a blog or a book, would we? I think the book SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah is both my gift to you, and Sabah’s gift to me.

I will bring this with me to Australia and, with a bit of liaising with a certain friend of musicians and all things artsy Chris Pereira, you’re gonna be continuing to express yourselves on this blog, and I look forward to reading it.

SabahSongs! Your voices, plus mine. We did a good thing.

p.s. Chris took a beautiful picture of me wearing my glasses, when we were sitting around in the mamak shop. I loved it so much it became the photo of me on the back flap of the book. I have added it to the ABOUT section of the blog. Thank you Chris.

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