Monday, August 02, 2010

Monday Writers Craft Online: Post Office Obstacles

Bookshops in Malaysia tend to buy local books in tiny orders: like 5 copies at a time.  Restocking can take time, so lots of potential buyers give up or forget buying books they were once interested in. 

Another problem is that overseas buyers tend to be slapped with HUGE postal fees.  Like the book I reviewed on Thursday that costs RM32 in Malaysia (less then US$10) but retails over Amazon at an amazing US118.

This is partially because books, magazines and other goods sent via Malaysian ordinary post tend to go "missing".  I have lost so much valuable post that I only use registered mail.  And for things that are valued at more than RM50, I use courier services.  It's just not worth the risk posting stuff here.  So book sellers making overseas sales quote overnight courier service rates.  Not only does that jack up the price tremendously, but it also annoys me that the courier makes more money than author and publisher - combined!

So for those of you like Mishcat who've asked about Katz Tales and Logomania, I'm offering the following deal.  I will send books via registered air mail.  Delivery takes about 2 weeks to Europe and North America.  For Malaysians who don't live near a book shop, or whose shop hasn't got stock, I'm using Post Laju as it works out the same.

You can see previews and excepts by clicking on the book covers.  If you then want to buy a copy, email me at and give me your address.  I'll send you an invoice via Paypal.  Prices for posting 1 copy are posted here.  If you want to buy more than one copy, or one copy of each, email me and I'll check out best postage prices for you.

Katz Tales: Living Under The Velvet Paw
Katz Tales by Ellen Whyte Book front cover imageWest Malaysia Pos Laju: RM33
Sabah and Sarawak Pos Laju: RM36
USA registered airmail: RM49 (US$16)
UK, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands registered airmail:RM44  (Euros 11, UK pounds 9)

Australia registered airmail: RM41 (Australian $15)
Singapore registered airmail: RM40 (Singapore $17)

Logomania: Where Common Phrases Come From And How To Use Them
Logomania by Ellen Whyte Book front cover imageWest Malaysia Pos Laju: RM38
Sabah and Sarawak Pos Laju: RM41
USA registered airmail: RM61 (US$19)

UK, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands registered airmail:RM55  (Euros 13, UK pounds 11)

Australia registered airmail: RM49 (Australian $17)

Singapore registered airmail: RM49 (Singapore $21)


~CovertOperations78~ said...

Tell me about our substandard postal service! We've had so many things go missing from our mail! My housemate Jake tells me that when he was 3, his grandfather in Amsterdam sent him a ride-on fire engine for Christmas. It never arrived, and the whole family in Holland has a really bad impression of the Malaysian civil service (not just postal service) ever since. Some postman's child somewhere must have had a great time with the fire engine.

I don't know why books are so expensive here too. My boyfriend in India brought me lots of lovely books as gifts, including Penguins' stuff, and it all cost approximately 55 - 250 rupees, which is less than RM20 at most! No wonder they have a stronger reading culture over there!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

P/S: Oh and I gave him a copy of Katz Tales too! He has finished reading it! He loved it, as it reminded him of his own cats, Tia, Spotty and Poochi.

dArtagnan Rumblepurr/Diego Hamlet Moonfur said...

How cool!!! You guys have your own books!

Angel Simba said...

How frustrating to have so much trouble with the postal system even for books. Might it be more economical to use a digital printing service like in the US? They would print and ship the book (one copy at a time I believe) entirely outside Malaysia.

Brian said...

Always something with the postal humans!

Hannah and Lucy said...

I think postal services as a rule leave a lot to be desired - we can go days with no mail and then get a big delivery - possibly with them cutting down on delivery people.

Mishkat said...

Ellen, thanks so much for doing this! It's such a shame that you cannot put things in ordinary mail without worrying about loss. (That happens here too, but it's very, very rare.)

I'll be in touch :)

Ellen Whyte said...

Hey thanks, Ee Lynn!

Simba, I have contracts with publishers so services like Lulu are out for me. In general though, US companies don't work with Asian companies. I attended a talk in Singapore last year and the US distribution people didn't even want to consider working together. They say there's not enough money in it.

Katnip Lounge said...

My Hubby's busines ships overseas. Italy is another nightmare to ship to from the US!

What about an electronic version of the book, in PDF or on Kindle?

pee ess: our Monsoon in the desert refers more to the torrential rain...when and IF it rains. It's not a "rainy season" per se, but wherever it DOES rain, it floods.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Interesting. Since we moved to California we have found that mail is routinely misdelivered out here, so I don't think it's just you! ;-)