Thursday, August 02, 2007

good review

I don't do it as much any more, but every so often I Google the title of my book, to see if anyone has written anything new about it. If I let a month or so pass between searches, I usually get a few new hits, typically blog entries by some stranger out there who's reading the darned thing. It's kind of satisfying, in a narcisistic sort of way.

Anyway, that's all a long-winded way of saying that tonight's search turned up a full-length review that came out when I was on my honeymoon. I can't recall having read it before, but it's a good one. I liked it so much that I clicked on the link from the writer's name, trying to find an e-mail address, and I discovered it was written by a guy who appeared with me on this weird-as-hell late-night radio talk show in New York, back at the beginning of my tour. His name is Joe Williams, and he's also written an important book about public education.

In other book news, we're gearing up for release of the paperback on October 2.

It did decently in hardback, but I have a hunch it's going to do a lot better in paperback. The publisher is Picador, and they tend to market their books pretty well. But even if they didn't, it's been my sense that the natural audience for it -- teachers, schools, college education departments, high school kids, book clubs -- tends to buy paperbacks. So, who knows? Maybe I'll sell 20,000 or so, and it'll remain on the shelves for a decade or two.

None of which means I'll make any more money on the deal; I'll never buy my way out of my advance. But it does mean more people will read it.

And, after all, that's what we write for, isn't it?

To be read.

So you can Google the title every now and then and discover that someone out there has spent a few hours of their life immersed in your work, and that they thought enough about it to write a note on the Internet.

Worth more than a big, fat royalty check, doncha think?

(Me neither.)


Pink Shoes said...

And if we take a few minutes to blog about it or otherwise write about it, most likely we've talked about it, too. I can see how one might become obsessed with googling the title.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I read it and thought it was interesting. I coach college parliamentary debate (or, did until this year) and found much of the same BS existing on a class-basis in college. Coaching at both a selective college and a community college showed me the academic reputation effects.

I recently gave your book to my debater who is now on full scholarship at Western Kentucky U. He's a suburban kid from a challenging home life, so I suspect it will resonate with him.