Soon Selling Review Copies to Supplement My Income Will Be a Thing of the Past

Over the past couple of days, I have been corresponding with Mr. Kelch John of the Apex Bank in the Republic of Benin. It seems he is supposed to give me a very special ATM card that will allow me to withdraw up to $20k per day on an account his bank needs to disburse, for reasons I do not entirely understand.

There is some paperwork involved, and I am supposed to send him $103 via Western Union.

I have promised to do so just as soon as I have the ATM card in hand. He hasn't gone for that idea, and insists that the fees must be paid before he can FedEx it my way. He points out that I need to trust him. The only alternative, he says, for me to come to the Republic of Benin and handle the paperwork at his office.

At this point, I am taking him up on the offer and promising that he will be paid in cash after we go to the nearest ATM machine. Here's hoping that his schedule permits. I think my frequent-flyer miles should cover the trip.

As a gesture of appreciation, I have also offered him lunch at a restaurant of his choice, on the assumption that he will know what the good places to eat are, there in Benin.

January 31, 2008 9:56 AM | | Comments (7)



$20k per day on an account his bank needs to disburse, for reasons I do not entirely understand.

I believe some cash had gotten stuck in their antique system of pneumatic tubes.

The "man-who-writes-for-journals" is a figure of much respect there, I believe.

Glad to hear it! I figured there had to be someplace where that was true.

Kudos on the sweet gig! ;-)

Apropos your title: Did you know that it's apparently a violation of my state's ethics law to sell either review copies or desk copies?

Apparently the $1 I might get at a used bookstore for that Penguin paperback, or the $5 I might get for a hardcover from a university press, would corrupt the public's trust.

No, that's news to me, JBJ. That's insane.

Evidently at one point the Internal Revenue Service was going to try to force critics to declare the value of review copies as income, whether they sold them or not. Happily this did not happen.

Income? Sheesh... well, that would be the death of the book review. Though there are other means of killing them off. I've heard ugly rumors of sending password-locked .pdfs instead of a ARCs, which would stamp out reviews pretty quickly.

how 'bout we go half-sies--i'll cover the lunch, we split the miles, and it's 10k per whatever for each of us? schedule's all clear on my end, btw...

I am sorry to say that Mr. Kelch John never did answer my repeated question about the availability of spicy food in Benin, and got pretty frustrated that I did not send him $103. So our meal plans are off.

For what it's worth, my hunch is that he was actually in Russia and not west Africa at all. I would have felt quite the fool, standing there at the Benin International Airport in my big red cowboy hat.

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