Book Talks: Secret Lives Of Books

As an author and having attended quite a few workshops about writing, I always keep an eye on various events, symposia, dialogues and seminars (for free, of course!) that would definitely make me grow as a writer. I am just so glad that yesterday, Kim and I pushed our plans to attend this symposium called Book Talks @SecretLivesOfBooks. It was held in the Ayala Museum and for the life of an author, I'd say that this kind of opportunity seldom comes by.

So what have I learned from the speakers? Let me share with you some of the things that greatly caught my interest.

It's the cover that sells.

Librarian of the Rizal Library of the Ateneo de Manila University Dr. Vernon Totales gave a detailed analysis of the evolution of the book covers of Agoncillo's The History of the Filipino People (I think I still have my copy of the latest edition somewhere here), and Si Tatang at mga Himala ng Panahon by the great Ricky Lee. Funny how I haven't paid attention to the details of book covers before, and I even often judge the content of the book by its cover. After Dr. Totales talked about the importance of book covers in the history of books, I know I have to keep in mind on how I decide which cover to use for my next book.

Reading should not end after you finish the last page of the book.

Karin Van Orman is from EducAsian Publishers which produces children's books. This is a book genre that I am willing to try, owing to the fact that I get requests for made-up stories from nieces and nephews. It's just sad to hear that many people think children's books are unsophisticated, although, in reality, this is where we start educating our children and introducing them to vital things and topics that we do not really talk about over the breakfast table.

Self-publishing is great if you are business partners with the right people.

Do you remember that Tagalog movie full of hugot lines, That Thing Called Tadhana? Yes, the director responsible for it, Antoinette Jadaone talked about self-publishing as she also introduced her book, An Arrow with a Heart Pierced Through Him. She shared her joys and pain in publishing the book, and she's also with her business partner Chinggay Nuque. After hearing about their experiences with self-publishing, I gained a brand new perspective about self-publishers and realize they should earn some higher respect.

Hindi ako nahihiya.

Ricky Lee talked about his self-publishing experience throughout the years. He told tales of how his friends helped him in getting his works printed and sold to the public, and how he reached, and still reaches out to his readers to share his work. Apparently, this is something that I should work on myself. I find it hard to promote myself as an author, let alone my works, and so I should keep in mind Ricky Lee's words - hindi ako nahihiya.

After the talks, there was a discussion and the audience are given the chance to ask the speakers.

I didn't get to ask a question, although, in the end, I went up to Ricky Lee and asked for help since I am a self-published author and quite struggling with promotion and distribution of my books. You know what he did? He gave me his phone number!!!

It was indeed an education-filled afternoon that I'd really keep in mind. These opportunities seldom comes by, so I made sure I grabbed them.

Tell me about the last symposium or seminar you attended.

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