Book Reviews (II)
Some days ago, in an earlier post, I wrote about the importance of book reviews to publishers. So much so, I am sure some of them would happily walk barefoot over broken glass just to get one of their new releases reviewed in a major metropolitan newspaper. But let’s not be too harsh on publishers (Hello, Richard! Hello, Bec!!). Authors can be just as bad, if not worse.
I may be relatively new at this game but I have learned that reviews – good reviews – can be totally addictive. It’s a serious condition, too.
A case in point: Since Child of the Revolution hit the shelves in the first week of June, the book has been reviewed by all major newspapers. I am very happy about that, especially since all the reviews to date have been positive. What is beginning to worry me is the fact that each new review makes me crave more good reviews. I don’t want them to stop! I guess it’s no different to being addicted.
My first review appeared in The Australian, which is the flagship of Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspaper group. I didn’t know it was coming, which made it even more special.
Let me set the scene for you (well, it’s my bloody blog …)
Went out celebrating publication of the book on the Friday night with my best friends Henry and George. Both are clinical psychologists – make of that what you will – but more importantly, they enjoy the occassional Cuban cigar. As I do. So, naturally enough, after dinner at the Palisade Hotel at The Rocks (highly recommended) and a few drinks at the Lord Nelson (also highly recommended), we ended up at a cigar bar in Macquarie Street, Sydney. That's my explanation for waking up on the Saturday morning feeling a little queasy, to say the least. While I brew a cappuccino in the kitchen, I walk out and pick up an armful of the weekend papers from the front lawn. Make some toast, all the while keeping quiet so I don’t wake up my wife, who likes her Saturday morning sleep-in. After checking the front pages of all the papers (more problems in the Middle East, East Timor in crisis, trains running late, etc, etc), I open the Review section of The Australiam –- and there it is. Totally unexpected. My first review.
And the first thing I notice is that it’s written by Peter Corris. Not just any Peter Corris but the Peter Corris, the Australian novelist with some 35 odd books to his name. I am one of his many fans. I love his Cliff Hardy mysteries. And Peter Corris has reviewed my book! And he says … Yes, well, I can just about recite his review almost word for word, but I won’t bore you with the details. You can read the whole thing here.
I rush into the bedroom, wake my wife up (Sorry, darling …) and say, Look, look at this – my first review. And because she is my wife, she indulges me by sitting up and paying attention. It’s by Peter Corris, I tell her, all excited, and he says the book is … and I go on to read the entire thing to her. Then I wait until my daughter wakes up and I do the same thing. Then my son. Then a friend calls. He has read the review. Then I call my pal Henry: Go get The Australian, I say … I spent the rest of the day in this amazing state of utter bliss. Of course, I went to the newsagents and bought two more copies of the paper. As you do.
See? Intoxicating. Next weekend, there is a review in another paper. And it's also positive. Then the weekend after that ... I am hooked. I don't want them to stop, but I know they will. I am addicted, though ...