Sunday, January 07, 2007

Buy This Book You Bastards

Though my excellent, enthralling, profound, beautifully written and extremely well spelt new book How to Live Forever or Die Trying is not supposed to be published until January 22nd, I notice Amazon now have copies in stock. I have never been impressed by subtle marketing devices. They tend to draw attention away from the product. An honest directness is the right approach to intelligent buyers. My favourite advertising campaign was Australian, the slogan was 'Eat More Beef You Bastards.' What more needs to be said? So, now, make my day, just do it.


  1. Yes, sir. Right away, sir.

    Now where's the signing going to be? I can't make evening functions, unfortunately. :(

  2. Can you swear to it that this book extremely well spelt. This for me is always the first consideration.

  3. Not sure where I am signing except for book festivals at the moment. The spelling, Andrew, is of the very finest quality. Better spelling could not be had even for ready money.

  4. Thank you, Bryan, for having the good manners as to not mention that to my eternal shame, I failed to insert the key word "is", between "extremely" and "well." This of course robbed the sentence of the meaning it desired to convey. So if anyone is wondering, just mentally insert the word "is", as suggested above in the appropriate place. And also replace the full stop in the culminating sentence with a question mark. Then everything should be, as they say, "fine".

  5. Your post has set me to thinking about what makes a good book, and my thoughts should be of particular to the writers amongst us.
    Of prime importance must come spelling, and by extension grammar in general. This must be of the required standard. Well, what is this standard? If one can imagine a kind of literary equivalent of the heights the great Ukrainian pole-vaulter, Sergei Bubka, used to reach, then one is on the right track. For those of us not au fait with Bubka, the following from Wikipedia:
    Bubka won 6 consecutive IAAF World Championships, an Olympics gold and broke the world record for men's pole vaulting 35 times (17 outdoor and 18 indoor records). He is the first to clear 6.0 metres and the first and only (as of January 2007) to clear 6.10 metres (20 feet).

    He owns the current outdoor world record of 6.14 metres on 31 July 1994 in Sestriere, Italy and the current indoor world record of 6.15 meters on 21 February 1993 in Donetsk, Ukraine.

    After grammar, the correct numbering of pages is crucial. I shouldn't have to expand on the reasons why, so I won't.
    Subject matter is certainly of some relevance so be careful to pick a subject that will both entertain and enlighten. Think about who you are writing for, and how useful they will find this book. It's no good creating what you believe to be a masterpiece if it doesn't stimulate your audience.
    Write well but not too well.
    And don't be afraid to use a dictionary.

  6. Cornelius MadmanJanuary 07, 2007 5:32 pm

    Your choice of the spelling "spelt", rather than "spelled", opens up a vast arena for debate. I refer you to Fowler's Modern English Usage, 2nd edition, p. 614. A careful writer, avoiding even a momentary interruption in the flow of reading (at least among the educated), would have avoided this controversy altogether. He might have recast his sentence, adopting the word "orthography", perhaps.

    I am therefore disinclined to purchase your volume as I fear similar infelicities.

  7. I agonised over that one, Cornelius, believe me. I am much drawn to Ronald Firbank's self-description of his writing - 'odd spelling, brilliant and vicious.'

  8. Cornelius MadmanJanuary 07, 2007 8:18 pm

    Ah, Firbank the estimable. I like this bit from his Wikipedia entry:

    "Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli (1926) begins with the Cardinal christening a dog in his cathedral ('And thus being cleansed and purified, I do call thee "Crack"!') and ends with His Eminence dying of a heart attack while nakedly chasing a choirboy around the aisles."

    Paederasty aside, a man after my own heart. I wonder if the naked cardinal featured on the first of those calendars.

  9. Will it be published in the US? I ask because of shipping, not spelling.

  10. Thank you for your interesting post!
    I thought perhaps you may find this related story mentioning your book interesting to you:
    Longevity Science: SENS