LIKE NEW BOOK!!! BARELY READ!!! GREAT CONDITION!! NO RESERVE!! $20!!! Friends, after months of laboring over hot text editors crafting only the finest updates for you, our dear readers, I have received the greatest honor a writer with absolutely no goals or ambition in life can get.
Yes the rumors are true. Harper Collins the publishing company has sent me a free copy of a book (a review copy as we say in the "biz") to review. What the book is or who wrote it is inconsequential. The only thing that matters is that the good people at Harper Collins think so highly of my opinion that they have thrust a book into my grubby little fingers and said, "Rate us Hassan! Rate us like the dogs we are!"
From here on out I cannot be bothered to get up off my ass to buy anything for review. If you want my opinion you must deliver your product directly to me so that I may pick it apart and either grant it generous sales or destroy it with a single assignment of a rating. Millions look for my opinion to find out what to spend their parents' money on.
The book I have been entrusted to review is called "Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death" written by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. Yes, pretty grim stuff I know, a book written by a woman. I didn't believe it at first either but these are the times we live in I guess. She even pulled one of those "I will take on your last name but I will not give up my own last name so we'll make a compromise and keep my maiden name as my middle name" moves on her husband. Talk about whipped.
She is pretty cute based on her picture on the inside cover though. This woman has no business putting words on paper. She should be in a classy lingerie catalogue. I'm talking Sears catalogue for sure, maybe Nordstom.
I am disappointed that they did not include a picture of her lady feet though. You never know with these chicks. The face might look fine but the feet are like a Sanrio surprise bag. You never know what you're going to get! Still, I'd smell them at least once. I'm thinking of calling up Chuck Woolery and making a love connection.
Pfft! Relatively attractive women can't write books. When I finally got my review copy I ripped into the package like a rabid dog and rushed over to my local bookstore in an attempt scalp the book. "Anyone need a copy of Cullen's new book Remember Me?! 50 bucks hot off the presses! Get it before anyone else!", I yelled to each passerby. Sadly there were no takers.
I had no luck with eBay either. Within minutes of listing the book I received twenty emails asking me if I would take a money order and ship to Africa. No deal! Begrudgingly I decided to actually review the book.
The key to writing a good review isn't in the criticism, it's getting a quote on the back of the book. Don't be satisfied with getting your quote on the inside sleeve or in the introductory pages. You want it on the back cover right up top or else it means nothing. This is why you must strive to get review copies as early as possible and review them as quickly as you can. Skip a few chapters if you must. The most important thing is getting the review done.
For this book, Mary Roach, the author of some other book, picked up the definitive back-cover quote. She calls "Remember Me" a "must read for anyone who plans on dying" because the book is about death and dying. Holy shit, this is a professional! Mary Roach has been on a roll this season, scoring 12 out of 15 back-cover quote attempts. An American League record!
I tried to pick up the definitive quote for Prey if you'll recall. I called Prey "video gaming's Summer blockbuster" but the bastards at 3DRealms didn't bite. That's the only reason I wrote that entire review! I wanted a quote on the box damnitt!
In order to get your quote plastered on a book, DVD case, or breakfast cereal, you need to write positive things about it. A negative quote might be used if the publisher is feeling "hip" or "edgy". "This book is so bad you gotta buy it!" and so on. Don't do this unless you want to get on the back-cover of a Rob Schneider movie or something.
Here are a few examples of back-cover quotes to get you started:
RIGHT: Cullen's seminal work is both a pleasure and a delight to read and will inspire readers for decades to come.
Now that I'm recieving review copies I need to prepare for more free Harper Collins books. A publisher will probably put this on the back of their book. Even years after the book is released the quote will still be relevant. Your quote doesn't even have to have anything to do with the book. It just has to sound fancy. In fact I expect Harper Collins to plaster this all over the next edition of whatever book I'm supposed to be reviewing here.
WRONG: Stacy is a sloppy cunt ass ho who will sleep with every guy but me. What a bitch. I want my shirts back Stacy.
When writing reviews it is important to leave the drama with your mama! That's what The Daily Dirt is for. While Stacy may be a slut who will sleep with everyone but you it has no place on the back of a major book. Maybe a Random House book, but we're talking the big leagues here.
RIGHT: "Remember Me" invokes sweet memories of my grandmother's farm in the deep south. I was taken back to those innocent days by a masterful story teller who will inspire readers for decades to come.
As long as you can keep it positive, make it personal. Any woman who grew up on a farm looking at the back of this book will buy it based on that quote. By the time she opens it up and reads it, an unlikely prospect, and realizes it's about people dying and their batshit insane funerals, you'll be long gone with a fist full of cash and a ticket to the Bahamas. Don't worry about repetition. If you've got a good line use it constantly and without shame and you'll inspire readers for decades to come.
WRONG: This book was so bad it made me kill a family of four and then eat their brains. Then I stored my pogs in their empty craniums.
In addition to avoiding negative criticism, refrain from confessing to any crimes in your review. They don't send review copies to prisoners. I learned that the hard way.
Once you're in the review copy business it's nothing but easy street from there. And I'm not talking about the fucked up easy street from Paperboy. You'll be invited to the hippest parties and clubs, have sex with the most beautiful models (male models, but at least you can say you're fucking a model), and receive a free membership to the AARP.
Nobody talks like this when they have to pay for the book! Let's be honest here. There's only one reason companies send out review copies to idiots on the Internet. Free publicity! They don't send out free books and games and adult diapers in the hopes that someone will give an honest assessment of their product. Hell naw! They want their shit seen, not bashed. If you write honest reviews about how everything sucks, because let's face it everything pretty much sucks, you'll find that you stop receiving review copies. That means less free shit to sell off for coke.
I know a guy, and many of you probably know of him as well, that writes reviews for video games just to get the free review copy so he can sell it to his stupid friends. He doesn't even play the games. He'll rewrite some promotional jargon, add some minor criticisms that no one cares about so he appears legit, and then post it up on his crappy web site just so he can get free games and a pass to E3. Christ, 90% of video game web sites are just fronts to get into E3 or for the mob.
When I received an email from a Harper Collins representative I didn't know what to make of it. Here's the email.
I love Something Awful and I think a book I'm working on (replete with lobster caskets, mummification and other curious American burial rites) might be fitting for your audience. Let me know if you'd be interested in receiving a copy of Lisa Takeuchi Cullen's Remember Me, for review.
I was apprehensive, a little scared even. And when I replied to that email my life changed forever. I entered into a world of lies and deceit. I checked my morals at the door and never looked back. This cutthroat lifestyle will consume my soul and leave me a bitter shell of a man. Blood money, they'll all say. Review copies will be the end of me.
And that's why I think that Lisa Takeuchi Cullen's seminal masterwork "Remember Me" is a book that will delight and inspire readers for decades to come. A must-read for anyone who plans on living in a coffin after their heart stops beating. Take that Mary Roach!
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).
Okay, send the next free book please.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.