I recently relished an interesting and somewhat insightful experience into the world of self-publishing. Away from the reality of traditional publishing came POD – Publishing On Demand. Again, an indication of the march of technology.

Some former colleagues and friends joked that they can now say that they know a published author! Quite embarrassing for me really as the reality is that I’m a self-published author – a vast ocean of difference with say, J.K. Rowling!

There are no agents, publicists, big book deals, movie rights and least of all, selling a minimum of 9,000 books weekly to qualify as a New York Times best-selling author. Just a measly attempt, not for fame or notoriety (or maybe that), but one of personal achievement. And the courage (or foolishness) to “put it out there”.

The book’s life began as a frustration with the “system”, the bureaucracy if you will. One that most of us are familiar with unfortunately. It was my catharsis and these thoughts of provocation were jotted down, only to be typed up – for fun and reality therapy – on the laptop when a number of provocations had been listed. Over time, other life’s challenges were added.

They were ‘in the moment’ events, and it spanned over two years, starting a year before I retired and ‘completed’ at the end of my first year of retirement. It was then that I decided to self-publish – for me.

Hopefully, it provided not just reflections but also of reflexivity. The latter speaks to Cause and Effect not as a linear relationship but a circular one.

George Soros, a prominent (and very rich) Fund Manager – certainly up there with Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger – applied this Theory of Reflexivity to financial markets in his acclaimed book (yes, a New York Times and International Bestseller!), “The Crash of 2008 and What It Means: The New Paradigm for Financial Markets”.

For Soros, reflexivity is a two-way feedback loop that serves to introduce an element of uncertainty into our thinking as well as an element of indeterminacy into the situation in which we participate.

So, this two-way interconnection between our thinking and the actual situations in which we participate means that our decisions are not based on the actual situations that confront us but on our perception or interpretation of that situation/event.

This is not dissimilar to our thoughts that a certain situation causes our stress, when in fact, it is our interpretation of that situation that does so. And our interpretation is informed by Our Frame of Reference (our Family of Origins) – all the experiences in our lives to date which informs the way we interact with the world around us.

In short, it’s about our Direct Interpersonal Relationships.

I propose that my book is about self-reflective and reflexive therapy. My eldest son said it was really about my rantings and ravings! He’s probably right! It did, however, gave me some ideas about titles for my trilogy (not!). I could title the 2nd book: “Rantings of a Perturbed Mind: Some Filters Suggested” and the 3rd. offering: “Ravings of a Paranoid Mind: All Filters Needed”.

Oh sorry, my current (and only) book is: “Ramblings of a Provoked Mind: No Filters Required” (under JYK Wong – my initials, and no relation to JFK). It was published in mid-June 2019 and available from Amazon (as a Paperback and E-book) and Barnes & Noble (as a Paperback).

As an E-commerce giant (Amazon), you would have to purchase $35 worth of stuff before free shipping applies (unless you’re an Amazon Prime member). Otherwise, it will cost an additional $9 in shipping. Hence the complaints from some folks who bought a copy of the book! I bought 3 (one for me and the others for my kids) and so was eligible for free shipping. And I doubt very much that my kids have read theirs!

So, my foray into self-publishing produced some interesting knowledge. Say Amazon sells the book for $12; they only pay the publisher the market rate of $6 (yes, Amazon makes 100% profit on each book!). The publisher in turn, takes out the printing cost per book, which is $4; leaving a profit of $2. If my royalties were 50%, I would get $1 per book sold! Even at 100% royalty (which usually means that the initial capital outlay from the author will be much higher), I would get $2 per book sold.

So, we have to sell a lot of books to be a successful (and rich) author! In their defence, in my case, I received $1.17 per book sold and actually, $3.12 per e-book (guess the delivery charge is lower than the paperback’s printing costs!)! Maybe I’ll just stick with being notorious!

And what did Amazon do after the first day it went online? Well, the initial first day price was $12.99. After that, it was $17.99. My question then, is, does Amazon then pay the publisher about $9 instead of $6? And no prizes for your guess.

And I remain eternally grateful to the folks who boldly paid big bucks for a copy. My only hope is that it offered some light entertainment. There are glimpses that are up close and personal to and for me. Nevertheless, a very light read (cause it’s all drivel really) and only 114 pages. Now you will feel really cheated cause a ‘standard’ book is at least 250 pages. Sorry – a No Money Back Guarantee is in effect!