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Preserving Your Own Legacy

Updated: Jan 25

By Stephen Ng




Books are the best form of preserving one's legacy.


Books written a few thousand years ago are still available to us today.  In fact, much of our written history come from the scrolls that were preserved for many generations.


While digital technology can be obsoleted or get corrupted, books will never disappear if preserved properly.


To my Christian friends, you know that the Bible is one of the best preserved books through over 4500 years of history. This is because the entire Old and New Testament had been meticulously copied by the scribes and passed on from one generation to another.


The tombstones of these great men and women of the past may no longer be discovered, but their legacy lives on till today. It's is because their stories are preserved in the form of books.


Books Compared to Tombstones


Yet, many of us spend so much money on a tombstone. A plot of land at one of the more established burial grounds in Malaysia, for example, costs at least RM20,000.



Yet, to be frank, I am not sure how many generations thereafter will visit the graveyard. At the most, it is probably just once a year, but for how many generations?


Is that a legacy to be preserved for posterity?


To be honest, since my father died in 1998, I hardly visited his grave at Nirvana, but the fact that I still have the book I wrote, even my teenagers who never met their grandfather are still be able to read about him. In the future, they can even pass the book to their children and grandchildren. Isn't that wonderful?


Value for Your Money

These days, it is not expensive to have your book written. Because we are a team of writers, editors and graphic artists who operate on low overheads, we can do your book at a cost not more than RM25,000. Of course, it depends on how massive a project it is.


There are tycoons who paid over RM100,000 for their books. I have in recent years been commissioned to write a book where the business entrepreneur paid me handsomely for my writing fees.


I find it hard to understand when the rich can afford RM120,000 for a car that will last them only 20 years at the most, but they would not fork out RM30,000, especially when it can be paid progressively. At the end of the day, it is the value that you place for your own legacy.


Scope of Work

The most tedious part is in the writing itself. The cost will depend on a lot of factors:

  • How thick a book you are looking at;

  • How fast you want the book done. It is cheaper if you have a shorter time frame than one that drags on for years;

  • How much material you able to provide to us;

  • How many interview sessions would be required, and whether it can be done on Zoom or it must be physical meetings.


After the writing is done, you will also need to decide:

  • How many photographs? This will affect the number of pages;

  • How many copies of the book you would like to print;

  • An editor and a few proofreaders who can further enhance the writing.


Every major publisher in the world would have a team of professionals who handle different stages of the work. Even the cover design is decided by a team of people who are involved in the marketing of the book. They meet several rounds just to discuss how to further enhance the cover design before a decision is made.


This is why these publishers have to print a few hundred thousand copies of the book to drive down the cost of each book. And their mark-up is a few hundred percent of their production overheads. After they have sold a certain number of copies and made the targeted profits, the remaining books will be sold in bulk to wholesalers like Big Bad Wolf for a pittance.


Please write to me or Whatsapp/call Stephen Ng 012-3347880 to discuss if you are interested to have a biography or autobiography written for a family member. Even the biography of a deceased can be written by interviewing the siblings.





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