Published on 5 March 2018

Credit: (Left) Epigram Books (Middle) Marshall Cavendish (Right) Math Paper Press

By: Melanie Lee

The second edition of #BuySingLit campaign kicks off this month with a rich line-up of programmes encouraging the public to read homegrown literature. While a National Art Council’s National Literary Reading and Writing Survey in 2016 revealed that only 11% polled read books by Singaporean writers, there are local books which have been received well in the Singapore market. A few local bestselling authors share their thoughts on why people read their books.


Husband-and-wife author duo Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez have sold over 65,000 copies of their middle-grade detective series Sherlock Sam. They recently released their 13th book in the series – Sherlock Sam and the Fiendish Heist in London.

“We do our best to never deliberately include things that might seem overtly educational or part of the school syllabus. We hope our stories are a way for kids to read, have fun and relax. Our Singapore-based kid readers are always excited to recognise local places in our stories – hopefully, they also see themselves in the characters that appear in Sherlock Sam. We meet our readers regularly at events, school talks and workshops, and we will always write back when kids (and adults) write to us.”


Pooja’s second poetry book has gone through four print runs and sold around 2,700 copies. She is also Singapore’s first Youth Poet Ambassador.

“Perhaps Love is an Empty Barstool resonated with local readers because it is a simple book of love poems – and what is more universal an experience than love and loss? I do believe, however, that stories from Singapore have something for everyone if we allow people to explore and encounter them organically. Singaporeans are as diverse as people anywhere else on the globe, and book shopping involves looking for something particular to one’s needs at that moment.”


The poet, graphic artist and literary critic has created a local bestseller with what has been described as a “definitive book on Singlish”. It has sold 2,500 copies since its release last October.

“I feel that many of the readers of Spiaking Singlish wish to grasp Singaporean-ness and locate a sense of community. Singaporean readers from various parts of the world have been sending me photos of their copies, which had been shipped to them or received as gifts. That being said, book sales performance is never a primary concern. I hope that my writing can lead readers to trust my creative instinct, sense of adventure and belief in certain values.”

Fall in love with local literature with the #BuySingLit campaign which will take place from 9 – 11 March 2018 with programmes across the island. Visit for more information.

Scroll Up