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Feb 19

Some things are worth waiting for. Like good book reviews for instance.

My book has been out two years and I’ve just received probably the best review yet. It is a wee bit bizarre that it’s so long after it was released.

I suppose continually bugging people to do features and reviews pays off eventually. Though it doesn’t pay off commercially of course and I don’t believe I’ll sell hundreds of extra copies because of it.

But it is great to have professional reviewers – because that is what they are if they are paid to do it – think highly of your work. I know I have been very, very lucky when it comes to the reaction to my book. The Press / Reviews page on this very site is obviously testament to that and that’s exactly why it’s there: Hopefully some people who stumble across my cyber presence will read the reviews, figure so many journalists can’t be wrong, and rush out and buy the book. That’s the plan anyway.

But even with overwhelmingly positive feedback you don’t make any money from a book like mine. If you are Stephen King or John Grisham then sure, you’ll have beach homes in Malibu and apartments in New York. But at my level, a first-time author of a regional nonfiction work, forget it.

Of course I would love it to sell tens of thousands of copies and for it to become a block buster movie and to make millions from action figures – but that’s not going to happen. It’s a bit of an achievement just to get a book published, but to have it reviewed as favourably as my book has been is a big bonus. It’s one of the most pleasing things about the whole write, release and promote a book thing in fact, and I’m very grateful people have enjoyed it so much.

Obviously it’s a very subjective business when it comes to reviewing any kind of artistic work (I know, I know, that makes me sound precious). Whether it’s books, films, records or whatever, one person may love it and the next one hate it. It doesn’t mean anyone is right or wrong, just that they have different tastes (Well, anyone who doesn’t like my book is just plain wrong). But seriously, it is flattering when your work is praised and I don’t take it for granted.

I wonder if it’s some kind of record, a book review appearing two years after release (I should say the reviewer in question didn’t take two years to read it!)? But I’m not complaining.

Anyway, the piece I’m talking about that sparked this blog was in a paper for the Irish community in England called The Harp. In case you are interested you can read it here on page 17:

http://theharpnews.com/images/pdf_files/harp_jan2010.pdf

Here’s another wee article that appeared last month as well:

http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/article/3824/0/1/the-death-and-life-of-a-football-club

It’s all good publicity no matter when it comes. Better late than never…