One year recap

It’s been a year since the memoir was published. 1,527 books were sold or downloaded, which surpassed my expectations, but it was mostly possible because of large amounts of downloads during free promotions. In fact, 85 percent of my “sales” were downloaded, and only 230 books were actually paid for. Most important to me is that people are reading something I’ve written, and I’m happy to have the surpassed my goal of 1,000 people reading my book. So this first year was pretty good.

The fact is that I’ve only made about 350 dollars in gross profit and am far in the red when considering the inventory I ordered from China. I still have 475 paperbacks in boxes cluttering up my apartment, but that has allowed me to get the book back on the shelves at Kyobo in Gwanghwamun. I’ve been meaning to reach out to other branches and other bookstores, but I’ve been fairly occupied as of late.

In terms of my projects, I finished writing the English book, but yet another translator backed out and I’m on the search again. I’ve been debating whether to continue asking around or whether to approach publishers and have them do that for me. I’ve also started translating the memoir into Korean with my shitty Korean ability, and I’ve actually managed to get about 30 percent done. I’m hoping to get both of these projects completed by the end of the year (the earlier, the better).

I was on vacation last month, but since I work so few hours, vacations are not very different from other times. I was actually busier than usual because free chunks of time meant that I had the time to take my family on a family trip to Osaka and Kyoto, and that meant a lot of work for me because I’m the only one who can speak passable Japanese and is familiar with the culture. After the trip, I also had time to get admitted to Chung-ang University Hospital again—it’s becoming an annual occurrence—this time for a cyst in my sinus. It turned out to be nothing, but getting medical instruments stuck way up my nose—much farther than I thought was safe—is no picnic. I felt like Quaid in Total Recall (the original), when he’s trying to extract the bug from his head.

Anyway, to commemorate one year of the book, I’m going to do one last free promotion at the end of the month from the 26th to the 31st. Thanks for sticking around.


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4 Responses to One year recap

  1. bighominid says:

    Kudos on surpassing your readership goal by over 50%. Very impressive. Sorry to hear about the nose thing. So was there, in fact, a nasal polyp or something in there? Also sorry to hear about the translator problem. Mr. Poetry has bagged on you, I gather? Ah, the fickle masses. Can’t trust ’em when they breezily offer help without realizing the full extent of what commitment entails. Still, if you’re almost a third done with translating the ms yourself, then—assuming you finish in a few months—you’ll be saving yourself a ton of money by only needing a proofer instead of a translator. (Sorry I can’t help with that; my Korean needs to be a thousand times better before I have the right to proofread anything.)

    Good luck as you forge ahead. I’ll be swinging by SNU next month to teach a class and, I hope, collect a hard copy of your book.


    • Young says:

      I’m not exactly sure what it was because doctors here are not so keen on sharing information and I probably wouldn’t have understood it anyway. All I really know is that it was a cyst in my nasal cavity. Nothing serious.
      The Korean poet didn’t back out. He’s the one who’s going to edit the memoir, and he’s been better about staying in contact than I’ve been. I was talking about the translator for the English (text)book. I have a couple more people who I have yet to ask to help me out.
      Let me know when you have time and are on campus. I have a copy of the book in my office waiting for you.


      • bighominid says:

        It’s good that Mr. Poetry is sticking by you. Too bad that that’s not the case for your English textbook. Hey—why are you getting that translated, anyway? Don’t you want it to remain entirely in English?

        I’ll be on campus on April 15, US Tax Day (woo-hoo!). See you then.


    • Young says:

      I actually decided on a change in the audience of the book as I was working on it. I don’t know if it was the natural evolution of the project, but that’s how things turned out. At the beginning, I originally started writing notes for myself and thought it might be a good reference for the other teachers who can’t speak Korean and therefore don’t know why the students are making mistakes. I still think the book can be a valuable resource for people who are teaching English in Korea, but as I was working on it, I decided that it would be helpful to more people if I targeted Korean learners of English. Monetary considerations also played a role in the decision, especially after the meager profits from the memoir and a lack of side projects for this coming year. As it is, I hope to have the book published with English and Korean side-by-side. If the publisher only wants to publish the Korean translation, I’ll probably publish the English version on my own, with a few tweaks to change the audience back to non-Koreans.

      I don’t have classes on Fridays, but I live nearby and don’t mind going to school on a day off. Hopefully, the weather will be nice weather for riding the bike.


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