Heart of Glass
My tour merch has arrived-arrived in time for my book launch on Saturday 30 June 2018. Not only did I write the book, I wrote thesoundtrack and shot the trailer. And now it seems, I designed, curated AND modelled my promo merch. Why? Because a) I am a grassroots person. b) I make everything if I can and c) I cannot afford to hire anyone and no one else will work for free except me. Therefore I am my own asset and commodity.
There are many reasons why I chose this form of marketing.
1. It is cost-effective
Manufacturers of promotional products keep the prices very low for mass distribution. I learned everything I needed to know from when I was doing a band, Satsuma 2005-07. The difference was that in those days there was NO social media and very limited internet. The only way to reach people was to reach people physically, with real things they will touch and hold, and real people you smile at. Prices of the gift items are low but the impact is high. You cannot afford a huge scale advertising budget. Merch is cheaper than advertising. It is cost-effective for me because I am already a designer. I can design and curate and I can source products which I may safely say, are tasteful and funky. I have been designing for more than half my life, therefore the experience is there.
2. It is instantly my brand
I designed the black and white line drawing pointed heart logo with H G monogram before I mass produced the cards on which they were printed with all my contact information. The brand is themed through my story. I am using cultural references, the period and the settings throughout my merch products. I am telling a story through these products.
3. Greater exposure of my novel and my profile as an author
My products are fun and eye-catching. A leaflet or advertising on the internet will pass before the eyes whereas a physical entity, I believe, is attractive, permanent thereby having gravitas and lasting impression on consumers. Let’s face it, readers are consumers, are we not.
4. It is my business card
Every themed product has been packaged with my contact information, thereby acting like a handmade business card.
5. Reader loyalty
I am building loyalty through merchandising because I am hoping that readers will not just read this one novel but my other future books too. I am hoping that Heart of Glass will achieve a cult following, not to mention the fact that each item has been individually packaged by yours truly in my cottage industry. This strange and unique story of branding, merch and the book itself which is deeply rooted in the 1980s reflects the obsessive, foolhardy and youthful nature of music and how it drives our passion, my passion.
2018 All rights reserved © Ivy Ngeow
Ivy’s tour merch has arrived. Featuring the piece de resistance 1” Heart of Glass cabochon pendant and silver chain necklace.
Wrote the book, wrote the soundtrack, shot the trailer and now designed, curated and modelled the promo merch. Each item 5£. To be launched on Saturday at #booklaunch #limitededition
Look. Writing is a non profit organisation. Anything I make from these goes into buying coffee, cosmetics and printer cartridges. #myrequiredtools
OK nevermind. Just admire my cheekbones. Thank you.
As you are hopefully aware, I’m currently crowdfunding my new Lincolnshire-set thriller East of Englandthrough Unbound Publishing. And I’m not alone! So, I’ve asked a few fellow writers on Unbound’s current roster to give a quick overview of their writing work, and the book they’re crowdfunding themselves in a ten questions format.
Today’s guest is Ivy Ngeow, the author of Heart of Glass:
1. Who are you and what’s your book about?
I am award-winning author Ivy Ngeow and my book Heart of Glass is a dark pacy tale about obsession, greed and music in 1980s Chicago and Macau.
2. Why should folk read your book?
My book addresses the themes of the Reagan era which are greed and success. The protagonist is an American girl of Chinese origin. She is a young, uneducated, pretty, and naive musical genius who happens to be an immigrant to the USA. She is blinded by her desire for fame, success, love, everything. She is an antihero and this is a story of an underdog and underachiever with hopes, dreams and fantasies usually squashed by mainstream society and realities of life as an immigrant.
Ahead of publication, the FIRST official review has come in for my FIRST novel out in the UK, “Heart of Glass”. And it’s SMASHING!
“This story is a fascinating literary thriller and incredibly original. I have never read anything quite like it before.”- #bookblogger Lauren Knapper
Curious? Check out the link! Headphones not required this time.
“The twists and turns in the novel leave you shocked and desperately wanting to continue reading.”
“Ngeow writes in such a talented way that you are completely immersed in the time and setting of her book.”
Instagram – LozzysThings
#HeartofGlass #MadeinGreatBritain #9daystogo #bookreview #Chicago #Macau #underdog #Chinatown #1980s #disco #JamesBond #music #crime #crimenoir #noirfiction #crimefiction #thriller
Fancy some big beats? Switch on your Bluetooth speakers and do yourself a favour: check out the TRAILER I made for Heart of Glass the Novel. Music written, performed and produced by me. Film production by Satsuma Music (which is my alter ego). Hell, I even wrote the damned book.
TIP#1: you might like to grab headphones if you do not have giant speakers. It would be a crime to miss out on my killer basslines.
TIP#2 : You might like to read the book! Pre-order now, out on 30 June 2018 on AMAZON.
Heart of Glass is a dark tale about obsession, greed and music. It is a pacy literary crime noir thriller exploring the darkness in human nature. It contains Realism, Drama, Tragedy, Horror and Gothic elements. It is loosely naturalistic as a genre, which means the narrative style is straightforward American vernacular prose about mundane things in a way seemingly devoid of sentimentality, emotional investment or attachment. It is written in first person narrative. The characters are products of their environment and their upbringing, and they behave exactly as they please i.e. badly.
The character of Li-an is inspired by the titular character in Thérèse Raquin by Emile Zola, a spoilt, immature beautiful woman who does one bad thing after another and another until she cannot stop. She is miserable from doing these things, yet she cannot stop. This is due to her naivete, selfishness, her lack of education and her greed.
Such a thing as a ‘good character’ is impossible to find in Thérèse Raquin as in Heart of Glass; there are just evil and less evil characters. In Thérèse Raquin, all characters are accomplices in some way or another of the murder of Camille, even Camille himself. As in Heart of Glass, all the characters are only concerned about themselves, their own interests. This leads them to cause crazy and intolerable situations in an endless chain of guilt-ridden activities. Survival is the main objective for each character. In Thérèse Raquin, death freed Thérèse and Laurent of their crime, and futile remorse after months of mutual hate and misbehaviour. In Heart of Glass, Paolo’s true love and forgiveness save Li-an and freed her from her obsessive and unreasonable behaviour. The other characters including Ben her accomplice and her Achilles heel, are all guilty or less guilty. Camille, Madame Raquin, Thérèse and Laurent are all victims and guilty; even secondary characters can be accused of selfishness looking just for self-satisfaction.
Emile Zola is one the finest voices in literature and one of my heroes: “I have simply done on two living bodies the kind of analysis that surgeons do on dead bodies.” He aims to strip away the usual literary polite nonsense of describing people to get at the truth of “the human mechanism”. Hence Zola writes about brutality without judgement, without contempt. As a writer what I have written about in Heart of Glass has no sermon, no moral code. The clue is in the title. Warning label: Heart of Glass may shock.
I am not attempting to pass judgement or inflict my own values. The human problem is not of God and morality. It is of the psychological condition. The reader will be coming along for the ride to experience the horrors and the brutality as my characters and I experience them. The reader is trapped inside a world of despair and desperation of the bad character, the human beast. The idea is to explore the beastly character who gets worse and worse until her heart changes what it desires.
Which brings me to the final point: is there redemption in crime noir or crime writing? What if there is none? What if there is no solution to evil, no Jesus, no Buddha, no saints in this story, only sinners?
Painting: Sobbing Woman in Bed by Edward Munch.
Yoohoo! ‘Tis the final instalment day. Is there any hope for Li-an after the trouble she’s caused? Is she damned? Be damned, but read it! Sign up to read for free.
Oh yussssss, my boy, we are on the PENULTIMATE day. In which Li-an has to discover for herself what exactly is Hotel Central besides being a 9-storey brothel. No, really. Ya gotta live it to believe it and believe it to live it.