Saturday, February 3, 2018
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017
I know very little about Falun Gong beyond what's posted on their web site; if members of the group are being prosecuted for something other than their stated teachings and practices, the world wants to know what that might be. Although this web site has no foreign policy, I think the Chinese government needs to know that it's being accused of religious persecution, and clear itself of those accusations in the Global Court of Public Opinion.
Amazon link? The resources of Amazon are astonishing. Here, although I'm not sure I'd recommend it if I'd read it, is a book about the imperial tree, also known as the Empress' tree, Princess' tree, Paulownia tree, or Paulownia tomentosa. Though native to Asia, it thrives in the Eastern States and is becoming a familiar "exotic" sight; some even worry about its becoming "invasive."
You can also mail a U.S. postal money order to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.)
One of the more unusual writing contests publicized at winningwriters.com was for poems that just casually mentioned Singapore, written by people who were not in, of, or from Singapore. As a hack writer, I just happened to have written something like that one day, so I sent it to the contest. It didn't win. So, as usual with things other people haven't bought or published, it's going live here just to assert my moral right to it. (To see the poems that won, click here:
Here's what I wrote, back in 2015. Details have been blurred; I'm 5'4", not 5'6", an so on.
Beyond that...this web site tried to say supportive things about Turkey, once, long ago, after Reuters had reported some sort of weather disaster there, and not long after that my Yahoo account was hacked into by some vile person, reportedly in Turkey, who changed my Yahoo Classic to Yahoo Neo. Ugh, ick! How can I ever feel any sympathy for anyone in Turkey, ever again! This web site currently gets a lot of traffic from Turkey. If I had faith that that traffic meant readers rather than hackers, I'd be pleased.
Maybe, if we have actual Turkish readers, they'll post comments...Google doesn't handle comments on Blogspot blogs well because Google tries to route them through Google +. Google + is global and easy to join; you don't have to disclose inappropriate information or pay for anything, and e-friends who also use Google + are easy to find. I don't want to grow a horrible prejudice against Turkey, so if you are an actual reader in that country, please identify yourself on Google +; I'd be delighted to meet you.
To buy it here, send $5 per book, $5 per package (four books of this size would fit into one package), and $1 per online payment to the appropriate address from the very bottom of the screen.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Title: The Coconut Diet
Author: Cherie and John Calbom
Author's web site: https://www.juiceladycherie.com/Juice/
Publisher: Time Warner
Length: 310 pages
Quote: “Coconut oil works wonders when combined with a low-carb diet because it...helps improve metabolism.”
Is coconut oil a health food or a mild poison? The answer seems to vary from person to person. For those who can digest coconut, the pulp, juice, and oil seem to have nutritional benefits. Some people, mostly those whose ancestors lived in cooler climates, do not digest coconut. For us it may help us lose weight quickly, in perhaps a safer way than popping laxative pills, but it does that by making us sick.
It's called biodiversity and it improves the chances of humankind being able to survive in different conditions. One person's meat is another's poison.
Coconut is poison as far as the members of this web site are concerned, and a high-fat low-carb diet isn't sustainable either. So, nothing in this book is useful to me or has been useful to anyone I know, but there are people who apparently lose weight and feel healthy on low-carb diets. The Calboms developed this diet by working with those people. They might help you too.
If you can eat coconut (a lot of coconut), you'll probably enjoy this recipe collection and meal plan. If you live in a place where you can have coconut trees in the back yard, this book will be a real frugal favorite.
To buy The Coconut Diet here, send $5 per book, $5 per package (four books of this size will fit into one package), plus $1 per online payment to the appropriate address below: Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, or the e-mail address you get by e-mailing salolianigodagewi.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
You can also mail a U.S. postal money order to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.)
Wow. I've not read Hillary Rodham Clinton's What Happened, nor have I any immediate plans to read it, because: for reasons of national security, I know HRC's not going to tell us much more than we already knew about what happened. Oh, there'll be a few tidbits like "...and when we heard that, Bill said..." and some previously unpublished photos, but the serious student of history can't rely on those celebrity memoirs. Celebrity memoirs are mostly written by hack writers, they're mostly trivial, they're marketed to the kind of "readers" who are most interested in the photos...and they sell like space heaters during the record freeze that arrives after the big-chain stores have set up their "think spring" displays.
I resell celebrity memoirs, and read them and review, them, for the following reason: they move. Celebrities write, or commission, them for a similar reason. Celebrity memoirs are all about the money.
|If you are going to buy What Happened, y'might as well buy it here.|
But I was flabbergasted by the reactions displayed on The Blaze. That site has really been trying to upgrade from hosting all flamewars, all the time, to hosting snarky, funny, non-abusive comments on news items (with a point system, yet)...but it's evidently being read by a lot of people with zero experience in the writing, publishing, and bookselling fields.
It's not often that I get to be the Voice of Experience in those fields. I can't resist.
First, about Amazon, let's review the evidence. Star ratings and the balance of writer-rated-as-favorable and writer-rated-as-unfavorable, buyer-rated-as-helpful and buyer-rated-as-unhelpful, reviews on any Amazon page will change from day to day, so here are some links you can use to check out what happens to partisan political books on Amazon. That's Amazon.com in the United States; I can't speak for Amazon.co.uk or other non-U.S. versions. This post is about what happens to books about U.S. politics, by U.S. politicians, on the U.S. version of Amazon.
Five popular books by Democrats:
|-At the time of posting, 3.7 stars, 82 reviews, 55 favorable reviews.|
|4.5 stars from 287 reviews, 247 favorable reviews.|
|At the time of posting, 3.7 stars averaged from 853 reviews, 514 favorable reviews.|
|4.2 stars from 1434 reviews, 1088 favorable reviews.|
|4.3 stars from 234 reviews, 193 favorable reviews.|
|4.6 stars from 2989 reviews, 2388 favorable reviews.|
|4.7 stars from 669 reviews, 599 favorable reviews.|
|4.8 stars from 1142 reviews, 1071 favorable reviews.|
|4.7 stars from 2272 reviews, 2148 favorable reviews.|
|4.6 stars from 118 reviews, 108 favorable reviews.|
So how was it possible that, before Hillary Rodham Clinton's new book became available to the public, several people had written credible supportive reviews, while unsympathetic reviews seemed to come from people who'd read only the author's name and decided to hate the book?
Here's how that has traditionally worked: A publisher, as distinct from the printers who print and bind copies of "self-published" books, handles the publicity for a new book. Publishers hire editors to identify books they ought logically be able to sell; they hire artists and designers to make books look appealing; they hire marketers to promote the book to stores; they arrange book tours in which authors read from their books, autograph copies, and do anything else authors can be persuaded to do to sell more copies of their books faster.
Publishers do not, traditionally, hire "advance readers" and reviewers, although publishers traditionally used to hire their own proofreaders. Traditional reviewers were hired, or at least paid by the job, by traditional newspapers and magazines. Publishers did, however, send as many copies of a book to as many reviewers on as many big newspapers' and magazines' staffs as possible, before the book was on sale in stores, so that when the stores set up their displays and (if possible) book parties, customers would already have read good things about the book in the magazines and newspapers.
Proofreading was traditionally done first, usually by both the writers (and as many people as they could hire, beg, or bully into helping with the chore) and the publishers' staff. Before printing the officially published version of a book, publishers traditionally tacked together "galley proofs," or mock-ups of the text, for proofreaders to check for errors. Although proofreading is a chore, writers' friends and fans were at least supposed to recognize that being asked to help with it is an honor.
Here's the most successful book the writer known as Priscilla King has proofread, so far:
|I was Z Heckscher's assistant for about two years, during which this book grew from a pile of papers and cassette tapes in a closet to a respected reference book that went into reprints.|
Part of the publishing process, I was amused to learn, started before the book was even finished. (Publishers often agree to publish a book before it's finished, in exchange for the writer finishing it their way.) E-mails from the publishing team to the co-authors included questions like, "Which well-known writers do you know who might write favorable comments based on the chapters you have finished?"
Well, Noam Chomsky, probably America's best known linguist of all time, was an old friend of the Heckscher family. His favorable comment appears on the back cover, and yes, it was submitted to the publisher for use in the design before the book went into "galley proofs." The book was written on computers, so Chomsky probably did have the chance to watch the manuscript coming together.
But that's traditional; how else would publishers find favorable comments to put on the covers of brand-new books, hot off the press? So is the traditional next question: "Once Mr. or Ms. Bigname has agreed to be associated with this book, which emerging writers do you know who might want to review the book and second, third, and on through ninetieth if possible, Bigname's favorable opinion?"
To the publishers' great relief, the three co-authors knew several. Actually, getting favorable reviews for this particular book did not depend on finding writers who could be trusted to say nice things about whatever the co-authors had wrought. It was an excellent, comprehensive book. The co-authors had done international volunteer work, had organized nonprofit organizations, had written other books--Joe Collins had written Alternatives to the Peace Corps, a short book, had given Zahara Heckscher the idea of a comprehensive version. They had corresponded with literally hundreds of volunteers, former volunteers, and volunteer hosts. But I'm sure we've all read some books that made us suspect that the favorable reviews came from people who owed the authors a lot of money.
And these business questions were being asked and answered even before those "galley proofs" came back, to be read with a critical eye by at least half a dozen friends of each co-author...I remember that Luke Wendt took the blame for slipping in some content, at this stage, that the rest of us knew wouldn't please some of the charities and countries it discussed.
All this time, during the (actually more like five!) years writing a reference book on that scale had taken, each of the hundreds of people involved with the book had been generating publicity for it. Back then real-world bookstores, and the book tour circuit, did much more for a book than Amazon did. The important thing was for friends of the authors, contributors, and writing assistants to have lots of advance notice that a friend of theirs was writing a book, etc., etc., and (if possible) pack vans with book buyers at each of the book parties.
Nowadays, it's certainly easier on the writers, and on their young children if any, to focus a similar publicity effort on the Internet, and specifically on Amazon. Writers can contact bloggers and social media users about the progress of their forthcoming books; publishers can post official advance reviews on a book's Amazon page before the book actually goes on sale. Manuscripts are often transferred and edited online. The success of a book is often based--unfairly--on potentially misleading sales of "the e-book edition," which can kill a book with high appeal to those who aren't yet caught up in the Internet. Publishers set up Amazon pages before books are available to the public, and during this time electronic copies can be shared with proofreaders and reviewers.
For a book site this web site hasn't been able to do as much for as many new books as it's wanted to. (Yes, picture this web site waving its little hand across a desk: "Ow ow ow I want to...")
This web site did, however, do its little bit to promote this book:
|In which an early-baby-boomer reflects on life, time, aging, and technological change. For comparison, Codrescu being a midlist celebrity--a popular NPR personality: 3.6 stars, 3 reviews, 2 favorable reviews.|
|Buy them at https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/510540739/vintage-horses-blanc-de-chine-set-of|
|Buy them at https://www.etsy.com/listing/500477056/set-of-3-vintage-chinese-bluepurple?|