marcel barang

Christmas in May

In English on 07/05/2011 at 7:46 pm

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Last night I got an email from immateriel.fr, where three dozen Thai novels and collections of short stories as translated by me are on sale as e-books in PDF format.
Immateriel.fr is offering to have these PDFs get ‘the Apple treatment’: they’ll be turned into cider ePubs, free of charge, for sale exclusively by Apple Store for two months, after which I’ll be free to place those ePubs on any sales platform – immaterial.fr included of course.
Merci Xavier ! Merci Élisa !
I’m glad immateriel.fr has adjudged my production as deserving of such a treat, perhaps because current sales are no real indication of its quality: since the end of December last year, immateriel.fr has sold eight titles to five customers. This compares with five titles sold to three customers by thaifiction.com during the same period.
Actually, the comparison is invidious: the use of PaySbuy makes it inordinately difficult for would-be readers to purchase books from thaifiction.com: it takes real dedication or luck to get through that payment system: the latest purchase, on 3 May, was achieved after five unsuccessful attempts; the previous one, on 18 April, at first try.
Unfortunately, my humble request to switch to PayPal (which immateriel.fr and everyone else in the world uses) has fallen on deaf ears, under the fallacious pretext that ‘the PayPal code is too complex to set up’.
If and when the Apple deal takes place, no doubt sales will skyrocket.
If so, I may consider recompensing myself with an iPad.

On another front, the latest I hear is that the fortnightly Thai-English web page of short fiction at manager.co.th is at the formatting stage – a matter of … did you say days?
Nah. Maybe – touch wood or Bakelite – a few weeks? Remember: it only took nine months of pregnancy by the same team to reformat thaifiction.com.
Beggars can’t be bosses.
In any case, my formatting is well advanced (half a dozen short stories and another two dozen translated and edited in the pipeline); typists of the Thai texts have been found; and payments to authors budgeted. Or so I’m told.

PS: On Friday afternoon, effusive Siriworn Kaewkan paid me a surprise visit, officially to offer me his latest production as writer and publisher, unofficially to down a few beers against my one glass of pastis. I provided the naem. He says he’s busy rewriting his latest, botched novel, โลกประหลาดในประวัติศาสตร์ความเศร้า – and many other things I’m not at liberty to report here. In turn, I told him about a Facebook initiative on short story collections competing for this year’s SEA Write Award, a useful gadget of instant Thai<>English (or any other language) translation on screen  – and many other things I’m not at liberty to report here.

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