Things I have discovered this week
1) That the world is round.
3) America, but I thought it was the Indies. Only, not being an idiot, I almost instantly realized that chocolate stuff those natives were drinking was worth way more than all the tea in China and the spices in India. And I knew right away that the original recipe needed to lose those chili peppers and add just a little touch of sugar, but not too much.
4) That top Amazon reviewers get PAID by authors to review their books. (Harriet Klausner! Say it isn’t so!* I have this precious image of you as a passionate bibliophile, sincere and insatiable, doing it all for the love of books. Okay, and I wondered if Amazon might give top reviewers some kind of percentage of sales, like it does me if people buy my book from my site–I’m up to $2.20. But paid by the authors? Why did this never occur to me?) [*Harriet Klausner has not, to my knowledge, ever said that it was so, and I have no idea if it is in her case. The Forbes article was with another reviewer, who typically has his $600 fee donated to charity. He said friends said he should charge $2000, but I guess I still have no idea how much what sells how many books. To break even for an author, a $2000 review of your average book would have to sell (depending on royalties) at least 1000 hardbacks, 2000 trade paperbacks, and 3000-4000 mass market paperbacks. That seems like a lot for one review, especially given that online retailers only account for 15-18% of book sales, but then I’m still vastly ignorant about sales, so maybe that’s a clueless comment on my part.]
5) Dear Author.Com. See? I am clueless. This is a really great blog for readers of books, and I didn’t know anything about it until Jayne (as opposed to Jane) did a review of Blame It on Paris. This is my absolute favorite “official” review, that is a review by someone I don’t know. I’m not sure how to define why. Maybe it’s because it’s like reviews by people I know, that is the emails friends and family send me while they’re reading the book, about this and that scene, did this really happen, etc. It’s like there’s an actual connection with the reviewer, and I could start swapping stories with her and have a fun conversation, and show her Paris and get her out there at one of those two day parties. It’s also very funny. In fact, Sébastien laughed so hard at the idea that a GPS system might be sufficient to get people to his uncles’ farmhouse that he nearly choked.
5) That I am not a good blogger.* I can’t even get my Archives to work right. The only way to find older posts is to click on the title of the oldest post (bottom of this screen) and then work backward, post by post, from there. Fortunately, there aren’t that many to flip backward through; see my starting sentence. But there IS my favorite interview of all time, the one with my sister “Mary Kay.” [*OK, this isn’t really a discovery on my part. I had a presentiment before I ever started blogging that I would not be that good at it.]
6) That there are Candy Blogs! And chocolate blogs. And they have paid advertising! And, seriously, why did I not think to corner this market before the blogging world got saturated? I could have had a blog on chocolatiers in Paris, and maybe even gotten free samples. Which, given that Pierre Hermé’s chocolate costs roughly $60/lb, is no mean feat. I could have gone around every day to a new chocolatier or a restaurant, provided it served great chocolate mousse (there’s a whole world of chocolate mousse evaluations to do on Paris restaurants). And once in a while I could have thrown in an ice-cream place. I don’t actually like chocolate ice cream, oddly enough, but I have friends who do, so I could have gotten them to compare the chocolate ice cream while I sidetracked onto the other flavors. Or I could take a trip up to Brugge or down to Biarritz (there is a great chocolatier in Biarritz) and do chocolatier-blog excursions outside of Paris from time to time. Honestly, this is the CAREER for me. Plus, an occasional book from time to time. WHY didn’t I think of it in time, when blogging was new and I didn’t know it existed? Now I’ll just seem like a coattail rider.
7) That dark chocolate doesn’t work nearly as well on ghastly cold/sinus things as it does on migraines, but it’s better than not eating at all. Also, chocolate covered candied orange peel probably has a LOT of vitamin C in it, right?