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Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Moderator: hansioux

Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby Camphor Press » 08 Jan 2014, 09:27

Camphor Press is a digital publishing house focused on Taiwan and the surrounding region. Founded by three long-term Taiwan residents, Camphor Press will showcase some of the best writing about Taiwan, and will feature both classics and modern works.

We will launch on 11 February 2014 with seven e-books about Taiwan and China, including the long-awaited re-release of John Ross's much-loved Formosan Odyssey, a book which interweaves the history of Taiwan with the story of the author's travels around the island in the wake of the devastating 9-21 earthquake.

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Besides the new cover, Formosan Odyssey also features a new afterword from the author, covering the years since the book was first published. To keep up to date with our plans and releases you can either subscribe to our mailing list or like us on Facebook.
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby Camphor Press » 14 Jan 2014, 09:30

The second book available from launch is Richard Saunders’ The Islands of Taiwan, a guide to the offshore islands around Taiwan, including Mazu, Jinmen, Penghu, Xiao Liuqiu, Orchid Island, Green Island, Turtle Island, and Keelung (Jilong) Island.

Having already authored five Taiwan guide books (two volumes of Taipei Day Trips, Yangming Shan: The Guide, and two volumes of Taipei Escapes), Richard has now turned his attention to some of the more remote—yet surprisingly accessible—islands of Taiwan. With detailed information on each of the major islands, including where to stay, how to get around, what to see, and where to eat, The Islands of Taiwan is the perfect guide for your short break away from the mayhem of mainland Taiwan.

ImageView of Orchid Island

The islands offer a startlingly diverse range of architecture, culture, and breath-taking scenery. Whether you delight in sandy beaches, postcard-perfect stone villages, visiting the Aboriginal boat-builders of Orchid Island, spectacular hiking routes, the military history of the Chinese civil war, or just a quiet space to think in stunning natural surroundings, the islands have it all.

A short excerpt:

Qimei (Qīměi Yǔ / 七美嶼), the southernmost island of the Penghu archipelago, is famous locally as one of the most beautiful of all the islands — not that this is apparent while approaching the island from Magong and the north. The island’s west coast, on which lies both the harbor and the airport, is flat and quite unexceptional, although the grassy, gently rolling countryside on this side of the island is attractive enough. If your stay on Qimei is restricted to the 90 minutes or so usually given on the South Sea Island daytrip from Magong, turn right, out of the harbor, and head for the beautiful east coast. About half a kilometer southeast of the harbor, the coast road (already high up on the cliffs) passes Qimei’s squat little lighthouse, built by the Japanese in 1939. A hundred meters farther and there’s a viewing platform and shelter looking out over the Waiting for Husband Rock (Wàng Fū Shí / 望夫石), actually a curvy headland connected to the main island by a narrow spit of land, which suggests (at least to the Taiwanese) the form of a wife waiting for the return of her husband across the seas.


The Islands of Taiwan was originally released in 2012 as a paperback; the Camphor Press e-book features minor corrections and updated maps, and is optimized for viewing on a smartphone (ideal for taking on the road). It will be available from 11 February, priced at NT$290.
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby StevenCrook » 15 Jan 2014, 17:31

Can you provide a list of the classics you're going to reissue? Will there be any overlap with the print reissues from SMC?
My books, available from Amazon.com or directly from me:
TAIWAN: THE BRADT TRAVEL GUIDE (2nd ed coming soon!)
DOS AND DON'TS IN TAIWAN
KEEPING UP WITH THE WAR GOD (1st ed)

Available via Amazon.com:
KEEPING UP WITH THE WAR GOD (2nd ed, Kindle only)
DOS AND DON'TS IN TAIWAN (Kindle edition)
TAIWAN FOR CULTURE VULTURES
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby jesus80 » 15 Jan 2014, 17:38

Camphor Press wrote:
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Yeah, I know it, that beer is not bad.
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby ichbinjenny » 15 Jan 2014, 17:56

Steven Crook -- I thought you were one of the people behind Camphor. You're not?
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby Tomas » 15 Jan 2014, 19:19

Folks, do NOT buy Formosan Odyssey by John Ross unless you want to laugh your ass off, acquire both practical and esoteric knowledge of Taiwan, and devour some very good writing.

Full disclosure: I know John Ross. Not well enough to know his wife's name, but we are acquainted. I visited his home about ten years ago and three or four years ago he got me blindingly drunk at Alleycat's Tianmu.

I am picky about what I read, pained by pedestrian prose. John's book is outstanding. It should be in your library if you are at all interested in Taiwan, humour, or good writing.

Just don't drink with him unless you have the liver of a world-class athlete. He will mess you up.
Come on baby, you know you my home slice.
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby Camphor Press » 15 Jan 2014, 19:58

StevenCrook wrote:Can you provide a list of the classics you're going to reissue? Will there be any overlap with the print reissues from SMC?

There is some overlap with SMC, yes. One of our initial three classics is already out in an SMC version (though of course not in e-book format), and future releases will see further titles already available in print elsewhere. Our versions are reformatted, include new introductions, and notes on archaic terms, specialist vocabulary, and place names.

The Flight of the Lapwing
H.N. Shore, Baron Teignmouth
The Flight of the Lapwing is a fascinating account of 1870s China, Taiwan, and Japan from a Royal Navy officer charged with policing the seas around China.

On a Chinese Screen
W. Somerset Maugham
Vignettes of early-twentieth-century China from one of the most popular authors of his time. A warm and sensitive portrayal of China in transition.

Through Formosa
Owen Rutter
A balanced view of Taiwan under Japanese administration, with praise for some of the development but criticism of the brutal approach to the aboriginal Taiwanese.

We were going to release the titles of the books one at a time over the next few weeks, but you've put paid to our masterful marketing strategy. We'll post previews of each book shortly.

ichbinjenny wrote:Steven Crook -- I thought you were one of the people behind Camphor. You're not?

Sadly not. He kept making extravagant demands for M&Ms (no brown ones) and mineral water flown in from the Alps. We can't afford that kind of largesse.
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby Camphor Press » 13 Feb 2014, 15:00

We're very happy to announce that Camphor Press is now live. Right now there are five excellent books available from our website, formatted for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, PCs, and a whole variety of other e-readers.

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We accept major credit cards and PayPal, and once payment is received you'll receive an email with a link to download your files. Readers in Taiwan can also pay by ATM transfer.

Here's a little sample from John Ross's latest, You Don’t Know China:

Picture the following scenario; a graduate from China — let’s call him Wang — flies to the United States, enrols in a language school for visa purposes and to brush up on his English, and then sets about job hunting. Wang would prefer a position with a multinational company but he’s not picky about the field; any high-flying executive job will do fine. Wang is an English major who speaks it well but certainly not fluently, and his literacy level equivalent to a local twelve-year-old’s. Other than Mandarin and passable English, he has no skills and no work experience. Oh, one more thing: for any position he gets, Wang wants at least triple the salary of his American colleagues. Would you hire him? Of course not, but as ridiculous as it sounds, this is basically the mirror image of what many Westerners expect when they study Mandarin and head to China.

By turns funny and informative, it's a real treat, and very readable. Highly recommended.
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby Chris » 13 Feb 2014, 15:04

What shipment/delivery options do you offer?
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Re: Camphor Press: A New Taiwan-focused Digital Publisher

Postby Camphor Press » 13 Feb 2014, 15:11

Chris wrote:What shipment/delivery options do you offer?

We are an e-publisher, so as soon as your payment is confirmed you will receive an email with a link to download your e-books. One of the many advantages of the shift to digital is that the delivery process is significantly simpler!
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