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Hi, I'm Jim, and I am making a series of language and guide books, e-books and apps.
I started out because I had lived in China for a couple of years, and noticed how easy it was to pick up the basics you need of the language to get by in the country. This was a bit of a shock because travelling to China seems so daunting, and I noticed that there wasn't a book on the market that really covered this language that we, as ex-pats, really needed to live there - a bare minimum to get by, but also everything you actually do need and use when you are there. There were other phrasebooks and language books, but nothing that covered this level of Chinese, so I set out to write down everything that most ex-pats get by with while living there.
One thing I set out to do was to break down as many barriers as I could, and to present the language in as simple a way as possible - the fact is, that with a bare minimum of any language, you can get by to a certain extent in most countries, and it is often fears or school memories about languages that prevent a lot of people them from even trying - but to pick up enough of a language just to get by or survive somewhere is often a lot simpler than many people realise.
The book surprised me a bit with its success, basically going straight to number 1 in its chart and staying there ever since, and it was in retrospect that I really reflected on its main positives - as well as its negatives, and it has been a job, reading people's reviews and comments, and trying to improve the book based on them.
Since the design was working, I decided to expand it into a series, because the same thing was also lacking for many other languages. I also knew the basics of a few other languages, while for others I didn't know, I thought it would be fun to work with translators from other countries too, and so it has proved.
Right now, that's still where I am, and it has been interesting from the point of view of writing the books and making it into a larger project - in fact one that is growing more rapidly than my own time permits.
If anyone is interested in self-publishing, I would say it's a great experience to go through - whether a book is successful or not, you have to learn a lot to create it all and get it going. It is very easy to do, and if anyone is just getting started and are after any tips, feel free to email me at:
Jim@MostBasicLanguages.com - there is definitely a constant learning process, but I am more than willing to share anything I have learned along the way, although I still a long way to go myself.
Wish you all the best with your language learning!