Preserving Our Legacy & the Legacy of Our Loved Ones
By Stephen Ng
It will cost at least RM20,000 for a plot of land at one of the more established burial grounds in Malaysia.
It is a good way to preserve our legacy and a rally point for our descendants, but I am not sure how many generations thereafter will visit the graveyard.
But just give it some thoughts: we can have the best tombstones, but is that a legacy? Is that how we can preserve our legacy or that of our loved ones for posterity? Would our great grandchildren know the achievements of their grandfather or grandmother?
Tombstones were the only way people from ancient days can preserve their names. Those who were richer could afford statues, not to mention that the Emperor of China could have an entire army of soldiers carved in stones, too! But, how many people could afford to have their own image carved in stone, not to mention a portrait of themselves?
To be honest, since my father died in 1998, I hardly visited his grave in Nirvana, but the fact that I still have a book written about him, even my children who never met their grandfather will still be able to read the book. They can pass it to their children and grandchildren. In fact, much of our written history come from the scrolls that were preserved for many generations.
To my Christian friends, I always say that the reason why the Bible is one of the best preserved history is because the entire Old and New Testament had been meticulously copied by the scribes and passed on from one generation to another. We may no longer be able to find the tombstones of some of these great men, but their legacy lives on because of the written records.
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 RM20,000. 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 tycoon paid handsomely for my writing fees. It is the value that they see in the quality of the books that we put together for them.
I have also done projects that cost less than RM10,000, but it is the value that you place in the book that you want us to produce. 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 RM20,000, 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 us to discuss if you are interested to have a biography or autobiography written for your or your loved ones. Even the biography of a deceased can be written by interviewing the siblings.