Expose yourself

Perhaps some of those who regularly comment here on TMH have considered a comment compilation book as a great way to break into the publishing world –or not.

If you do feel you have a book in you and want advice on getting it out there, self-published expat Jeffrey Miller and Chris Backe, of Chris in South Korea, are holding workshops over the next two weekends, one in Seoul and one in Daejeon.

You never know, you just might hit it big or, at least, find what CNN recently called “a cure for rejection-letter fatigue.”

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    One of the guys running it, Chris, runs a blog. I looked it up, the blog is horrible. Makes me wonder how good a person he is to learn from as far as publishing goes.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Caption: “A bank of some sort.”
    Picture: Grand Intercontinental hotel.
    Very sloppy blog.
    Besides, he keeps talking about “downtown Seoul.” WTF is downtown Seoul? Its pretty much all downtown, or, one could definitely argue for 3 or 5 areas to be “downtown.”

  • paulhewson

    The other guy writes for/used to write for the Korea Times. I suggest before anyone spends their hard-earned money they go to the Korea Times and maybe via search or history dig up some of his old contributions.

    To this day I’m still embarrassed to admit that once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away (Ulsan, South Korea) I actually subscribed to that shite publication.

    On the other hand, I should be positive. I was introduced to and had the wonderful opportunity to read many, and I mean many, fantastic Robert Neff and Dr. Lankov articles. Still, doesn’t make up for all of the sub-standard, middle-schoolesque writing I had to endure that would never be published anywhere else on this great, not so great, Earth.

    Which I guess kind of tells you why these two cats are e-published and not, I don’t know, published published.

    Be positive. Be positive.

    Oh, yeah. Also, on occasion, we would read the crap articles out loud in the teachers’ room and have a good laugh. And at the end, we would all wonder aloud who edits this crap? And we would speculate about that e-mail letter that the writer would invariably be sending back to his mommy and friends in America/Canada.

    “Dear Mommy,

    I’ve only been in Korea for two months but I’ve already managed to publish an article in a REAL Korean newspaper. I told you people would want to read about my incredible insights into dog meat. I think I’ve convinced many Koreans that it is bad to eat little Fido. Next, I am going to write about culture shock and my personal experiences here in the Hermit Kingdom. Nobody has ever written about that! Then I think I will write about how Koreans need to be more creative. You know. Too much rote learning in the schools.

    I tell you, this is just the beginning. Soon I will be as big as J. K. Rowling. You know, she used to teach English in Portugal but now she publishes books! OOOOOOOO!



  • paulhewson

    So you want to be a writer?

    OK. Who doesn’t? F**k what we are! We all want to metamorphasise into something we are not. Escape. Transform. Become a butterfly.

    Sting wanted to be an actor. Keanu Reeves and Russell the love mussel Crowe wanted to be a rock stars. Michael Jordan wanted to be a baseball player. We all devalue what we have and desire what we do not yet possess.

    You totally want some chick, right. But once you bang her, she loses all that luster, all that appeal, right? NO??? OMG, dude! You are in love!!!!!

    But I’m talking shit. Who cares! The important thing is you really want to be a writer. You do! OK. That’s cool. Go for it!!!

    But don’t quit your day job. And watch this first.


    Philip Kindred Dick is one of my all-time favorite authors. The dude was a genius. Really!!! The word is over-used and often bandied about like some eighteenth century Parisian whore. But in this case, it is one hundred percent applicable.

    Nowadays, whenever I see a movie I go on and on about how much they are ripping off Phil to my wife until she tells me to shut the ^^^^ up so she can just enjoy the movie. Don’t even start me on Terminator 4. A machine that thinks it is human and doesn’t know it is a machine? I hope Phil’s daughters are busy suing right now.

    The dude wrote some of the best short stories and novels in the twentieth century. The only problem is that most of his life he was dirt poor and he had to eat dog food to survive.

    But wait. You still want to be a writer? OK. You are persistent. That’s good.

    OK. OK. Then I give you this. China Mieville. He is another one of my favorites. He goes into great depth talking about the writing process. And, incidentally, if you do not read “Perdido Street Station” before you die, then you have not truly lived. Honestly. Truthfully.

    Peace. And enjoy. And I pray for you. Writer.


  • dogbertt


  • paulhewson

    Yes. “Kindred.” Did I stutter?


  • tinyflowers

    Self-publishing: For when vanity exceeds ability.

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    I think Q and Gerry should collaborate on a volume entitled Did Somebody Say Dokdo?!!11?!

  • http://koreanlanguagenotes.blogspot.com/ gbevers

    Brendon wrote:

    I think Q and Gerry should collaborate on a volume entitled Did Somebody Say Dokdo?!!11?!

    Someday I want to write a book on Dokdo. I won’t write it with Q, but I might cite him and Steve Barber as my motivation. The title I was thinking about is “Dokdo for Dummies.”

  • hamel

    ….by A. Nother Dummy.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    There is nothing wrong with self-publishing, per se, tiny flowers. In fact, Ive seen plenty of very good self-published photography books that led on to deals with big houses. The point is granted that most self-published stuff is shit…but so is a lot of stuff published by the big publishing houses: TWIGHLIGHT is a good example, or that Shades of Grey garbage.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Chris and Jeffrey are fine writers. And say what you will about Chris’ blog (preferably at his blog, though), but he’s doing a service by providing so much free travel info.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Um, fine writers? About Jeffrey, I have no idea, but since he wrote/writes for the KT, the odds are pretty good that he isn’t that fine of a writer. About Chris, well, judging by the sloppiness and the low level of the writing on his blog, I would argue that he isn’t a good writer, at all.

  • dinkus maximus

    Holy crap. Talk about shark bait. What’s wrong with a couple of guys showing a little ambition and sharing a bit of knowledge? They may not be Shakespeare or Hemingway or even The Marmot, but they aren’t standing around the “teacher’s room” of Lex Kim Academy guffawing at those who show the slightest pretense of expressing themselves beyond Facebook and Dave’s ESL Cafe. Seriously. And why do you have to be a “good writer” to share some valuable knowledge? Even the worst 200 page e-book full of plot holes and sloppy grammar is better than the magnificent prose that never gets written. 50 bucks to get inspired? Sounds like a better investment than a plate of nachos at Outback if you ask me.

    Seriously. It’s smells like hipsters in here.

  • R. Elgin

    It smells like an unawareness of what is good and what is not.

  • dogbertt

    I always enjoyed Jeffrey’s columns, although the tattoos were a bit offputting. Glad to hear he’s still around.

  • jd

    Seems to me what they’re selling is knowledge of how to self-publish, not write a book. Like, the logistics and how to avoid the pitfalls.

    So, it doesn’t matter if they can write or not, because I wouldn’t be paying them to teach me how to write anyway.

    It’s like if I wanted to learn how to sell cars, I wouldn’t head over to the factory. I would talk to someone with direct experience selling cars.

    And, it’s nice that people like Philip K. Dick, but he wasn’t broke because of some relationship between genius and poverty. The man had ex-wives and mental health issues. Let’s all give up the idea of the poor pure genius artist shunned in his own time, discovered only after his death.

  • judge judy

    someone should ring shelton up.

  • paulhewson


    Good point. He did have five ex-wives plus some serious mental health issues.

  • paulhewson

    And yet I’ve always held a predilection for writer’s with a lot of personal demons. For example, Dostoevsky is another one of my favorites. He had a rough life. He was addicted to gambling.

    “Writers are exorcists
    of their own demons.”
    – Mario Vargas Llosa

  • YangachiBastardo

    TWIGHLIGHT is a good example, or that Shades of Grey garbage

    Well i’ll step ahead and confess my pure, absolute, rabid, unconditional love for the Battle Royale rip-off Hunger Games series

  • paulhewson

    #20 (MYSELF) “writers” no apostrophe


  • Charles Tilly

    ….by A. Nother Dummy.

    Thank you, hamel.

    Well i’ll step ahead and confess my pure, absolute, rabid, unconditional love for the Battle Royale rip-off Hunger Games series

    Rip-off or not, Hunger Games is the superior work.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I saw the HG movie….not too impressed.