In November 2019, I launched my very first book – The Janitor’s Elysium: Grammar Errors Begone! To commemorate this date, I will talk about The Janitor’s Elysium being self-published and is now in the running for the Anugerah Buku Perpustakaan Negara 2020. By self-publishing, I mean to say that the entirety of the book was done by me. From the ideation, inception, editing, and publishing – The Janitor’s Elysium: Grammar Errors Begone! is a book authored by me, and engineered by Information Technology.
How It Began
It all started in August 2018 when I launched the Grammar Crisis Helpline. It is for professionals who needed quick fixes for their English sentences. After one year of providing such service, I realised the potential of serving more people than just my subscribers. Capitilising on the recurring grammar errors I encounter from my subscribers, I wrote The Janitor’s Elysium: Grammar Errors Begone!
What It Is About
My book is a short fiction packed with methods to overcome common misconceptions on grammar usage and wisdom in life. The protagonist of the story is a young university graduate who has difficulties in securing a job. A chance encounter with a janitor, taught him the importance of clarity in communication. Being clear in communicating our knowledge is just as important as processing the knowledge we have. The janitor helps the protagonist see the importance of clear communication, money management, and reading quality books. All the while providing insight to the most common grammar errors people make. Not only that, the janitor also provides the reason such errors happen and how to correct them.
The Janitor’s Elysium: Grammar Errors Begone! aims to promote the correct use of grammar for clarity in communication. The high cost of miscommunication is the reason employers seek for candidates who posses the best communications skill. Being concise and eloquent in explaining your knowledge is how a prospective employer gauge a candidate’s readiness for the workplace. If we want to compete in our professional industries, we must accept that communication skill is a paramount. It is the determining factor of your professional competence.
The only promotion for my book was via Facebook for one month in November 2019. As a solopreneur, I withheld the use of any budget for marketing. As an IT practitioner, I am aware of the methods for effective Internet Marketing. This knowledge allowed me to catapult sales with zero marketing budget. Setting up an online shop with hassle-free payment gateway for customers eased sales management.
Via word of mouth, the sales of The Janitor’s Elysium: Grammar Errors Begone reached more people. I began receiving emails and messages from strangers thanking me for writing the book. In fact, PERMATA Pintar of UKM selected this book as compulsory reading for their Form One students. It is humbling to see the reception of my book, as I have no formal education in writing. I am an IT graduate and I had worked at MNCs in the IT field before launching my own company.
To top it all off, the Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia has selected my book as one of the finalists for the Anugerah Buku Perpustakaan Negara 2020. Having The Janitor’s Elysium: Grammar Errors Begone! listed among such books is such an honour. No announcement on the winner to date, as many events are put on-hold in 2020 due to COVID19.
I received an invitation from my alma mater, University Tun Hussien Onn Malaysia. It was an invitation to meet the deans of my former faculty to talk about my work. The session was at the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology. There, I discussed the background of my book and the future plans that stemmed from the book. I must say that it was a relief to discuss about my plans. Only because these are the people who could understand my vision. That of how my book is a product of Information Technology, and not simply a product of literature.
On the same day, I also met the staff from Perpustakaan Tunku Tun Amimah, UTHM to talk about my book. We discussed the relevance of books, lack of reading, and structural thinking as a by-product of reading. Suffice to say, I was in my element when discussing such topics. The library staff informed that to their knowledge, I am the first alum to have been a finalist of such award.
I am thankful for the decision to write The Janitor’s Elysium: Grammar Errors Begone! as a means for me to serve more people. If anybody reading this had ever thought about writing a book, my advice would be to just do it. Writing is a channel of expression that if left dormant, would fritter away at ‘what-ifs’.
Not only that, I am thankful for the support I receive from my family, friends, subscribers, and all those around me for their unrelentless support. I am a firm believer that I am who I become because of the people who chose me.