When I was asked last year to send a copy of my latest book for review to CRUISING OUTPOST, I was both thrilled and terrified all at the same time. Getting the attention of the #2 sailing and cruising magazine in the U.S. was awesome and recognition of the hard work both Janet and I had done in getting our latest story published. But as every author knows, a book review is a double edge sword that can cut both ways. It’s like sending a picture of your child to a “cute baby” contest while in the back of your mind your wondering what you would do if they sent the picture back with the comment…”what an ugly child!” It would be devastating and a possible mental deterrent from ever attempting to breed again.
When I walked into the Chapters Book Store today and picked up the fall issue of CRUISING OUTPOST and turned to the nautical book review section, I was elated to see my name in bold print with a photo of my TAHITI SYNDROME HAWAIIAN STYLE at the top of the page. It was a grand moment but as I commenced to read I was stunned to see that the reviewer began by highlighting a typo that he had found in the first few pages. I felt sick as the image flashed into my head of me getting my child’s picture back with the word, WOOF scribbled across it. While my head was still reeling, I quickly glanced over the following pages and what I saw freighted me even more. Normally this magazine will feature three or more authors and books, but here I was all alone and instead of a couple of paragraphs describing each title it was all me for almost two whole pages. Ugh!
I suddenly feared the worst and that all our hard work was about to be eviscerated and disemboweled in print. As a nautical author I suddenly saw myself shuffling down the dock while trailing my literary entrails behind me. If anyone in Chapters notice my paleness or stunned expression no one gave any indication of it. I suddenly remembered hearing “ That there is no such thing as BAD publicity”. After repeating this affirmation to myself several times, I then took a deep breath and returned to the review and continued to read but as I got into it, my fears and doubts slowly vanished. By the end I was smiling.