Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This is how much a book review costs as it could take about a week or more to read the book, and at least 2 days or one to write the review and that magazine publishers hardly pay for anything these days, this sounds reasonable enough. It is about 1/2 of the real costs. And one has to like the book, or hate it, in the first place. At least read it. One editor thought I'd love the book, in fact it had such a bad odor I regretted buying it at hard cover price and never finished reading it, did not feel like it. Don't know now where to chuck the much lauded but useless book. Maybe I should use it as a door stop. On principle I don't review fiction set in Burma because find it limp and unconvincing. And sometimes I decline because I just don't have time - for e.g. to download a whole 2 hour documentary or because I had other things to do, like look after myself. For those of you who thought my book review led to a certain book being made into a movie, you flatter me. Optioned books may never see the silver screen, but the option is bought already (one famous area writer and writing teacher regular tells us in class how his book was made into a movie without his knowledge - he is now suing the movie makers) the book I had not reviewed yet at the time, was liked by a famous actor due to the efforts of the author's agent and marketing PR. And sometimes, to be frank, some people get too pushy and I hate being pushed, so I push back. How dare you say you will call me at 8 PM tomorrow and would I please have the book review ready by then. And you left a message! This does not apply to those of you who sent me books, but which I can't review yet either because 1. They are very heavy books that are hard to read, even for me, i.e. heavy technically, and then events move fast so I get to writing other things 2. Logistical reasons in that the book maybe somewhere else from where I am. 3. However if you are over 80 and spent 19 years in prison, I would make an exception for you. Maybe I could take a plane to go get the book back, yes? 4. This reminds me of the former friend who got her nose out of joint because I did not review her book (self-published) as I was in process of being pushed out of one job. She did not give me a free book. As the book was self-published, I'd have to order her book sight unseen at the bookstore, it was not displayed on the shelves. So I can understand the friend who could not give me a review copy, as she had given away too many already, she said. And I believe her. But as I was too poor to buy the book so I never got to read it. However, another mutual friend came to see me, and spent time with me, even though I told her my review would be broadcast in Burma in Burmese and probably would raise her sales zero %. She even patiently recalled from memory the first paragraph of her bestselling book and recited it for me, can you beat that. The story I love best was of a German-born woman who was asked to review a book in German, and again, "I'll call you tomorrow for your ideas." kmk
Balloon floats over 11th century temple in Bagan, Burma. Frame grab.