Category Archives: Writings

Announcements, articulations, etc…

Free Book Swap in Singapore~!

*survey shifted to top left hand corner of this site

So I decided to have host book swap at BooksAvenue. It is not a new thing, however, it is not a big thing in Singapore, nonetheless, it is worth a try.

Well, book swap is simply swapping book/s with another reader for free. Assuming you have ABC book and you can swap with someone one who got XYZ book for free. The only cost is probably time and effort to meet up with the other party.

I have been thinking of how to make this possible, and at the same time creating a safe environment for readers to safely post their contact information. The easiest and efficient way would be to copy those pages like those SGConfessions, SMUConfessions where only the admin knows where the postings come from. Hence the admin will be the server, sending counterparty’s information to the other.

Yet i wonder if this is necessary. If users are comfortable with leaving information online, why trouble myself?

Nonetheless, i am working on making this book swap happen for BooksAvenue. Do comment and let me know what you think.

Till then. ^ ^

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Hiatus

Sorry guys, we have been busy for a while to settle personal stuffs.

As such you would have noticed there are no additional of new titles yet.

But rest assured that this is temporary, probably a short hiatus for us to get away for a while. We have acquired some titles and we lack the manpower to do the logistics. We seek your kind understanding.

Meanwhile, if you have any requests, or any titles, feel free to drop us a note. On Facebook, or on this site by commenting on the order page. Also help us by sharing our post on your facebook page. We need ur help to expand and ‘socialise’. 😀

Thank you for supporting BooksAvenue, a small local online bookstore in Singapore. 

 

P.S. It really mean a lot to us. Thank you. really. 🙂

Seeking fiction/non-fiction book suppliers in Singapore

BooksAvenue is expanding! Thank you all for your continuous support~!

Currently we are seeking suppliers who are carrying fiction/non-fiction books. If you are a supplier seeking an online entity to sell your books, please contact us by writing a note on our Facebook wall, www.facebook.com/booksavenue.

Thank you once again~!

Why book lovers cannot be in the book business?

When we first started this book business, BooksAvenue, we had an ideal business model. We started by doing rental concept, hoping that through this way, we can share the joy of reading to more people. Eventually we decided to revamp our entire business concept, based on the feedbacks and statistics that we were getting. It seems that our fans are not interested in renting the titles they love. They want to own the books, buy them home to collect or to store. Thus in order to survive, we had to alter our business concept, changing from rental to selling.

And this is where we faced, or rather, facing another problem. This problem is pretty unique. It is not seen by any readers, or fans of BooksAvenue. It could be solved by, perhaps, a change of mentality. But this is unlikely, very unlikely.

The problem we are facing is the fact that we LOVE books too much. We love it so much that we are not willing to put it up on for sale. We have the books and to see it sitting neatly on our shelves, nice and tidy. It gives us a sense of pleasure and thrill to know that we own certain collections. To build a small little library, a personal collection to all the books that we love. And most importantly, the fact that we are able to be still in access to the books that we love and have been loving all this while, at any time of the day, at any time of the year regardless rain of shine

This probably also explains why some of our clients prefer to buy books than to rent it. It is also why this same love of books and the magical world of reading that propels us to do up and establish this book business. Surprisingly, it is the same love that is holding back the business.

So long story short and back to the topic, we concluded that book lovers CANNOT be in the book business. Or perhaps they can be in the rental business model if that market is sustainable since books will eventually be coming back to them.

To simplify this post, and for the convenience of those who do not read and skim through the post to find the answer to the above headline, we shall jot it down in bullet points. Even though this has been explained earlier, we just wanted to troll and ease up a little since it is Friday today.

There are 5 reasons to why book lovers cannot be in the book business.

 

 

 

Why cannot?

Because…

  1. Book lovers will not be willing to part with the books that are meant to be sold.

  2. Book lovers will not be willing to part with the books that are meant to be sold.

  3. Book lovers will not be willing to part with the books that are meant to be sold.

  4. Book lovers will not be willing to part with the books that are meant to be sold.

  5. Book lovers will not be willing to part with the books that are meant to be sold.

No really, there are 5 reasons that has been explained earlier in this passage. Due to some technical error on WordPress site, we are only able to replicate the first reason 5 times.

 

OK ok… it’s not that funny. sorry.

P.S. We love books and got a bad sense of humor. Forgive us.

9 Good Reasons Why You Should Read

Reading is the cheapest form of entertainment. There is no electricity involved, of course other than printing the book. There are a myriad of stories, interesting knowledge learnt and new insights and perspectives gained.

However due to more and more ‘fast’ media being produced, slower media like reading are being pushed aside. Fast media includes, movies, internet and many other rapid information disseminating mediums to come in the near future.

It has come to a point where there are people who gave up reading completely. Nonetheless, there are benefits that reading can bring us which its counterparts cannot.

These are the reasons why you should find time to read.

1. Enhances the 5 senses 

Merely reading a word reflecting a color or a scent immediately fires up the corresponding section of the brain, which empathizes with written experiences as if they actually happened to the audience. This is why when you are reading, you will feel that you are actually in the scene as described in the book. It is also one of the main reasons why many find reading pleasurable.

There are researchers who believe that this might very well help sharpen the social acumen needed to forge valuable relationships with others. With enhanced sensory skills, perhaps you will become more efficient to pick up hints from babes?

2. Activates lifelong learning 

In correlation with the previous point, sensual stimulation makes it easier for aging brains to keep absorbing and processing new information over time. That is to say, with enhanced senses, the brain is more efficient in capturing information. This is possible because the occipital-temporal cortex essentially overrides its own programming and adapts to better accommodate written language.

Brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the better it is.

3. Better skill retention

Reading acts as some sort of a “shield” against mental decay, allowing the body to continue through the motions even when facing temporary or permanent challenges. Readers will have a heightened ability to retain their cognitive skills over their peers who prefer other media. These other media includes internet, television programmes and even mobile phone apps. 

4. Better verbal abilities

From the big picture, readers tend to display more adroit verbal skills than those who are not as fond of reading. However, it must be noted that this does not inherently render them as better communicators. Still, they do tend to support higher vocabularies, which increase exponentially with the volume of literature consumed, and may discern context faster.

5. Increases knowledge

It makes sense to know that heavy readers display greater knowledge of how things work. Of course, nonfiction books obviously tend to send more facts, but i am sure fiction certainly can hold its own in that department as well.

6. Higher test scores

Some students don’t perform well on tests despite their prodigious abilities and the amount of effort they have put in. But in general, findings reveal positive correlation between pleasure reading and better scores. As examinations are focused on analyzing reading, writing, and verbal skills, only by reading can one achieve better results and to ace the papers!

7. Reduced stress levels

According to a 2009 University of Sussex study, picking up a book could be one of the most effective strategies for calming down and to relax yourself. Refer to this link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5070874/Reading-can-help-reduce-stress.html

8. Improves thinking

Fully engaged reading sessions actively engage brain parts that are responsible for thinking critically about more than just texts. By reading a line, or to read between the lines, you will need to think of the possible contexts and the reasons why is it so. In fact this explains this point why it helps to improve not just thinking, but critical thinking

9. Better reasoning

By reading through what is written by the author, you are actually going through the thought-process of the author. In this way, you are learning the mentality of the author when he/she is writing this. Literary intake will positively influence your logic and reasoning so long as you are reading some good material. 

 

So what are you waiting for? Or are you actually waiting for the 10th reason? Read today! 🙂

 

6 Things you MUST HAVE for a Blogshop/Online business in Singapore

In case you forget, or have known already, I decided to write it down to serve as a reminder for all. Comment on my post if you feel that there are other points to be listed, or other perspectives.

1) List Building –

Staying in touch with your prospects and customers is very important. And since every single person in the world has an email address and contact number, building an list is one of the cheapest, most cost-effective solution for doing that.

So when to start?

Right now! Start building your email list today.

You will need a database of contacts, a network of people so that the word gets out there fast. Without them, there will be no returning customers.

2) Content –

You will need well written content to get more customers coming back and for that, content is King. This should be the focus of the site. If there is no content worth reading or seeing on the site, then people will not bookmark and return to your site.

The “if you build it, they will come” saying works to a point, but people will still want to read and explore to understand your site better. These content can be in the form of writings, posting or graphic posters. Nonetheless, make sure content is never undercut in favor of other aspects of the digital campaign.

3) Generating Traffic –

Generating traffic is THE biggest obstacle online. Some businesses got to be so successful on the internet, while others are not. Their success did not come by luck, but it came by knowing how to market effectively on the internet.

Not to mention, shouting out on Facebook or twitter is another method too. But still, it is more efficient if you can market your blogshop well.

4) Google Ranking –

After learning how to generate traffic, it is necessary to learn how to generate traffic. It is true that for an online business, Google helps to direct traffic to your site.

Google PageRank, which is largely based upon the number and quality of backlinks a webpage has, is an important factor in how well a particular webpage ranks within the Google search results.

These can be googled easily by googling “Google Page ranking”. Click here to check your page ranking

5) Mass Traffic – 

Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site. Since the mid-1990s, web traffic has been the largest portion of Internet traffic.

Traffic is one of the most important elements in the success of your website. It won’t matter if you have the best website on the Internet if no one ever sees it!

Yet after learning to generate traffic, checking page ranking online, it is necessary to increase the traffic to such that there will be a massive traffic everyday.

Sales is a number game. If 10% of your visitors are your actual buyers, then more visitors is equivalent to more buyers isn’t it? 10% of 100 << 10% of 1000,000,000. Do the math. 🙂

 6) Referrals

This point is  extremely important. Without referrals, business will wither and die.

It is not the same as building a database as mentioned in point 1. These referrals could be people who bought from you, or people who communicated with you. It is very important to keep them close to you, so that they will return back for more purchases.

All in all always remember, doing up a blogshop or setting up an online business should be fun. It is a way of communication and networking with like-minded people who are also interested in the same product. Except this time around, you are talking to them as a seller and you are able to provide them with a service. How much your online business can provide you depends on how well your service is.

Good luck. ^ ^

Why It is Cheaper to Buy Books Online

We used to buy books from retail shops, typically Popular, Kino and previously Borders. But nowadays a majority of us buy books online because it is more convenient and it is cheaper.

The proof?

Well firstly based on statistics, the top categories for mobile commerce in an online research done by The Nielson Company in 2011 shows that the online book market is standing at S$12 million. That is 4th in position. (ref:http://e27.co/?p=26126).

Also, it is convenient that through your smartphones and tablets, you can get the desired books delivered to any location you prefer without the need to leave the house at all.

And so that leaves the question; why is it cheaper? How much cheaper and what are the pros and cons? find out.

Calculations

Let’s look a comparison based on a book, that is “Lightroom 2″ by Scott Kelby:

  • Amazon :  S$29.69(book) + S$9.98(shipping) = US$39.67 x 1.3(currency rate) = S$51.57
  • Book Depository : S$36.10(book) + Free Shipping = US$36.10 x 1.3 = S$46.93
  • Kinokuniya @ Takashimaya : S$68

*Note that I did not put up Borders prices as they are usually pricier than Kino’s ones (correct me if I’m wrong)

The numbers speak for itself. It is obvious that online prices are lower than buying from a physical retail shop.

Recycle

Recycling books
Recycling books

Though i observed that recycling and conservation actively is not a big thing in Singapore. But buying second hand books are considered as recycling books too. Not many people realise this. Lesser fresh pulp is need to produce a batch of new books when the old ones can serve the reading needs of many. And lesser fresh pulp will mean that lesser trees to be felled to cater to production of new books. You get the drift, and it is a fact.

Of course one of the easiest way without getting out of the house to obtain a second hand book is to find them online, be it individual sellers, or online stores. BooksAvenue has some second hand books too, mostly priced at S$5 with free delivery.

When i started BooksAvenue (actually under the business license it is registered as Books Avenue), i wanted to push out book rentals. It is one of best ways to recycle books commercially. But from my observations, it seems that Singaporeans prefer to own books. It is what my partner and i labelled it as the ‘HDB mentality’, in that sense that readers prefer to buy and own the book rather than renting it. Which is true that when i own the book i have all the time to read it.

Back to the topic, when you buy books online, you can choose to buy first or second hand books. That is if you were to buy secondhand books, you are actually recycling books, saving the world one book at a time.

Costs

Rising costs
Rising costs

When retailers are paying their lease, rental or utility bills for selling their books at a physical location, where do you think this cost will go to? That’s right, ultimately and inevitably, customers are the one who bear the costs.

Yet it is not the same for online bookstores, there is no rentals to pay, no high overhead costs or any high running costs i can think right now. The only cost, or costs, would probably be web hosting fees (if you are using a registered domain), and other than that, time and effort.

Alas, shipping cost could be a problem too. Due to that, a book with a cheap online price tag could be increased much by shipping cost. This may, as a result, becomes logically cheaper to buy from retail shops. Thankfully there is a way around it. That is purchase secondhand books, or local online bookshops where you have both the low price and cheaper delivery methods.

All in all, buying books online are, no doubt, cheaper.

Still….

As much as it is cheaper to buy books online, especially cheaper when buying from local online bookstores, there are still a few downsides to it. One of the possibilities is that you run the risk of getting damaged books. I understand that, and in fact, it happened to me on an occasion before. It is just annoying to pay for damaged books. Hence, i took the effort to take photos of the books that i am listing it on BooksAvenue. Close up shots, page view and edge view to show and share the quality of the books that BooksAvenue is carrying.

Also, because it is purchasing it online, there may be a long wait due to delivery. This, however, can be avoided  minimised if you were to buy it from a local online store. I took out the word ‘avoided’ because to some extent, there will still be time required for processing and delivery. Unless you HAVE to read the book now, buying books online is still more economical. As for BooksAvenue, i ensure that the purchased books will reach my clients within 3 days after payment.

pennies
A penny saved is a penny earned

Ultimately, what I’m trying to put across here is this: Decide on the books you wish to purchase, check it out online before buying if you do not need to read urgently. There are cheap books online, compared to retail shops. It is always good to have more options. If you can get the same book in another place cheaper, why not? Afterall, every penny saved is a penny earned. 🙂

 

 

 

 

*All images belong to the respective owners.