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MokoBunny
06-09-2011, 08:14 PM
It's seems every week an actor or reality TV personality is shelling out a book.

I was curious about people's thoughts on that.

Personally I'm very jealous amazed at how they can do it. Their schedules are jam packed with shooting films and promotions yet they can find time to write a book and get it published. Though I'm sure some use ghost writers or co-writers.

So how does it make you feel?

AmsterdamAssassin
06-09-2011, 08:19 PM
A) Some books haven't been, oh horror, written by the celebrities who authored them.

B) Some celebrities have more spare time in their 'full lives' than you or I have in our regular working weeks.

C) Some people put more in their 24 hours than others.

I think they deserve everything they get.

Soccer Mom
06-09-2011, 08:24 PM
Most of them use ghost writers but I'm cool with that. Ghost writers need the work too and while these celebs may have something to say, they aren't professional writers.

AlwaysJuly
06-09-2011, 08:55 PM
I wouldn't mind if the books were any good.

Still traumatized by Hilary Duff's attempt at YA.

Wayne K
06-09-2011, 09:08 PM
I've had two books rejected, and both agents told me that the reason is because it's hard to sell a memoir unless you're a celebrity, so I do have a problem with it, but not with the celebrity. My problem is with the publishers.

Why does my book have to sell as well as George Bush or Sarah Palin? That's ridiculous. No other genre is held to a "best seller or else" standard.

Sour grapes? Yes. My book is good and I wrote it, and they said so, not me. Editors loved both books. One said he was kicking himself for not buying it.

And then to be told that my genre is reserved for building money to give new writers in other genres a shot is insult to injury.

Say what you want about e-books, but at least people are reading my books, and so far they really like it. I've loved the experience, but it bothers me that the standard is so unfair. What if they started picturing your books on the shelf with their best selling novelists, and said they loved your book, but good luck in your future endeavors?

Phaeal
06-09-2011, 10:05 PM
I don't mind if a celebrity has a memoir or autobiography written by a ghost -- it's his life he's selling, in that case, and who has a better right to do it?

However, I'm offended when a celeb's name is tacked onto ghost-written fiction for the sake of sales. If she wants to write a novel, let her pay her writing dues and learn how to do it herself.

Yeah, yeah, commercial considerations. Yup, yup, gives the publisher money to spend on the little guy.

I still don't like it, that's all, and I won't read it. Buy what you will with those two cents.

Phaeal
06-09-2011, 10:08 PM
I've had two books rejected, and both agents told me that the reason is because it's hard to sell a memoir unless you're a celebrity, so I do have a problem with it, but not with the celebrity. My problem is with the publishers.

Why does my book have to sell as well as George Bush or Sarah Palin? That's ridiculous. No other genre is held to a "best seller or else" standard.

Sour grapes? Yes. My book is good and I wrote it, and they said so, not me. Editors loved both books. One said he was kicking himself for not buying it.

And then to be told that my genre is reserved for building money to give new writers in other genres a shot is insult to injury.

Say what you want about e-books, but at least people are reading my books, and so far they really like it. I've loved the experience, but it bothers me that the standard is so unfair. What if they started picturing your books on the shelf with their best selling novelists, and said they loved your book, but good luck in your future endeavors?

We live in a sad world, Wayne. Come the meritocracy, we'll get those books on the shelves!

:Soapbox:

MokoBunny
06-09-2011, 10:34 PM
I don't mind memoirs I suppose. I mean the public is usually fascinated by a Celeb's personal life anyway.

But what about when they write fiction and children's books. What are your thoughts on that?

Honestly it bugs me a lot little. They already have their successful careers. I feel like most of them only write books because they simply can and know it'll get published and sell loads of copies because of who they are.

Please, continue this interesting discussion ^_^

AmsterdamAssassin
06-09-2011, 11:22 PM
But what about when they write fiction and children's books. What are your thoughts on that?


Madonna wrote children's books, with illustrations by Jeffrey Fulvimari. She didn't ghost-write them. Are they more successful because they're written by Madonna, sure. Will a publisher publish Madonna's children's books before those of a no-name author, sure. Parents will buy the books because the author is already famous in another field.

Madonna was no overnight star, though. I'm not a fan, but she struggled her way up to where she is now, and if that gives her an advantage if she branches out into another field, I think that's only smart and sensible.

Supermodels turn to acting. Some make it [Charlize Theron], some bomb [Cindy Crawford].
If you're famous, no doubt will people try to get you to dip your magic stick into other enterprises.

If you get famous with your books, and someone gets you on television, and you look good and talk well, and they offer you a spot as a talkshow host, are you going to say, "No thanks, that wouldn't be fair to all those people struggling to become talkshow hosts?"

Fulk
06-09-2011, 11:54 PM
However, I'm offended when a celeb's name is tacked onto ghost-written fiction for the sake of sales. If she wants to write a novel, let her pay her writing dues and learn how to do it herself.


:Wha: Does this happen often?

Jamesaritchie
06-10-2011, 02:42 AM
I'm all for it. The more money publishers make, the more slots they have for new writers. And many of them do write their own books, and some of them are incredibly well-written.

James D. Macdonald
06-10-2011, 02:46 AM
I've had two books rejected, and both agents told me that the reason is because it's hard to sell a memoir unless you're a celebrity, so I do have a problem with it, but not with the celebrity. My problem is with the publishers.

Your problem isn't with the publishers, it's with the readers. If readers suddenly wanted memoirs by people they'd never heard of, there'd be a shelf of 'em in the front of every Barnes & Noble in the country by this time next month.

Jamesaritchie
06-10-2011, 02:48 AM
I've had two books rejected, and both agents told me that the reason is because it's hard to sell a memoir unless you're a celebrity, so I do have a problem with it, but not with the celebrity. My problem is with the publishers.

Why does my book have to sell as well as George Bush or Sarah Palin? That's ridiculous. No other genre is held to a "best seller or else" standard.

Sour grapes? Yes. My book is good and I wrote it, and they said so, not me. Editors loved both books. One said he was kicking himself for not buying it.

And then to be told that my genre is reserved for building money to give new writers in other genres a shot is insult to injury.

Say what you want about e-books, but at least people are reading my books, and so far they really like it. I've loved the experience, but it bothers me that the standard is so unfair. What if they started picturing your books on the shelf with their best selling novelists, and said they loved your book, but good luck in your future endeavors?

A book doesn't have to be a bestseller, but it must have a reasonable chance of earning a decent profit, no matter who writes it.

It's hard to sell a memoir if you aren't a celebrity because most of them lose money. This isn't a double standard. Every book in every genre is expected to turn a decent profit. Long experience has shown that very, very few non-celebrity memoirs sell enough copies to do this.

Publishing is a business, and unless a book can turn a profit, "good" is meaningless.

So the trick is to prove to publishers that a decent market exists. If such a market does exist, you should be able to sell enough copies on your own to make a big publisher grab it. If you can't do this, well, publishing, as I said, is about money.

scarletpeaches
06-10-2011, 02:50 AM
:Wha: Does this happen often?Fuck yes. Hardly any celebrity writes their own books.

lachel
06-10-2011, 02:58 AM
:Wha: Does this happen often?

Yes. The recent influx of celebrity novels is part of a trend to saturate every market available with a celebrity brand, including fiction. Most celebrities use ghostwriters. Steve Martin is an exception: I don't know who else off the top of my head. Anything written by a reality star, tween sensation, or pop star almost certainly is: there's just no way they have the time to gain the experience to write something readable.

Cyia
06-10-2011, 02:59 AM
Chris Colfer (Kurt on Glee) now has a 2 book deal with Little Brown, with the first book (Storyland, a fairy tale story) coming out next summer and the 2nd undetermined.

Unlike most celebs, however, Chris says he wrote his book, beginning when he was 10, and it's been an ambition since he was a child to be a published author.

lachel
06-10-2011, 03:04 AM
Chris Colfer (Kurt on Glee) now has a 2 book deal with Little Brown, with the first book (Storyland, a fairy tale story) coming out next summer and the 2nd undetermined.

Unlike most celebs, however, Chris says he wrote his book, beginning when he was 10, and it's been an ambition since he was a child to be a published author.

That is a very cool story. Good for him for sticking with it, despite his success in other fields.

Fulk
06-10-2011, 07:19 AM
Fuck yes. Hardly any celebrity writes their own books.

Well, I knew that was true when it came to memoirs and non-fic. But celebrities who seriously have someone ghost-write a fiction novel and plant their own name on it? Man, that's nuts.

scope
06-10-2011, 08:41 AM
As already said, most of these book are ghost written. I once did a series of books for a well know celeb, at the behest of the publisher and with the approvasl of the celeb. It was a 2 year project for which I was given a large budget, office space, full authority (other than the celeb having to approve what I wrote), and I had to hire about 10 people in various capacties. I also received a separate contract from the publisher for my services. I was responsible for creating the books, every asect of editing, obtaining art and original, new illustrations, working with the creative director (my decision was final) on the creation of then camera ready boards, and working with the production department and the printer to make sure we devered on time. A huge project but one that paid well and just as important, from which I learned more than I ever thought I would about the ENTIRE trade publishing process. Only problem is that I should have been given 3-4 years to do the project. It was 24/7 for 2 years.

This series made money for the publisher, but my undestanding is that's not often true about most celeb books. However, that publishers love them because it's a great way of bringing attention to their name. Others may know more about that than I do.

blacbird
06-10-2011, 08:51 AM
Publishing is a business, and unless a book can turn a profit, "good" is meaningless.

I've been excoriated many times for saying something similar to this. How come it doesn't happen to you?

Xelebes
06-10-2011, 09:40 AM
I've been excoriated many times for saying something similar to this. How come it doesn't happen to you?

It is one of his less excoriable posts.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-10-2011, 11:49 AM
I've been excoriated many times for saying something similar to this. How come it doesn't happen to you?

If quality of writing was the determining factor in selling novels, not many novels would be best-sellers. Some writers just tell a good story and that's all readers care about.

seun
06-10-2011, 12:14 PM
Well, I knew that was true when it came to memoirs and non-fic. But celebrities who seriously have someone ghost-write a fiction novel and plant their own name on it? Man, that's nuts.

Jordan's fiction is ghosted by Rebecca Farnworth. Guess who gets their name on the front of the book?

And just to be picky, all novels are fiction.

Wayne K
06-11-2011, 03:08 PM
A book doesn't have to be a bestseller, but it must have a reasonable chance of earning a decent profit, no matter who writes it.

It's hard to sell a memoir if you aren't a celebrity because most of them lose money. This isn't a double standard. Every book in every genre is expected to turn a decent profit. Long experience has shown that very, very few non-celebrity memoirs sell enough copies to do this.

Publishing is a business, and unless a book can turn a profit, "good" is meaningless.

So the trick is to prove to publishers that a decent market exists. If such a market does exist, you should be able to sell enough copies on your own to make a big publisher grab it. If you can't do this, well, publishing, as I said, is about money.

I understand, but imagine how you'd feel if ya wrote two books the editors liked but had to pass on. I get the bottom line thing, but its still pretty frustrating

AmsterdamAssassin
06-11-2011, 03:33 PM
I understand, but imagine how you'd feel if ya wrote two books the editors liked but had to pass on. I get the bottom line thing, but its still pretty frustrating

I think the 'memoir' is not all that fashionable. Perhaps if you wrote it in third person your novel would be commercially more viable. However, I can understand if you don't want to do that, because it wouldn't be your story anymore, but a fiction account of someone whose life looks deceptively like your own.

For me, I have included my own experiences in my novels, mixing fact/experience with fiction, but I don't have a need to have the fact/experiences connected to myself. So, while I share experiences with my fictional characters, only I know which and to what depth are they my experiences.

scope
06-11-2011, 10:42 PM
I understand, but imagine how you'd feel if ya wrote two books the editors liked but had to pass on. I get the bottom line thing, but its still pretty frustrating

I sympathize with you but I have to agree with James on this one. If there isn't a market for a book it's useless to write it, that is, assuming one writes to get published and make some money. The best of ideas--the best of writing--the best of everything booky--means nothing unless there's a needy market and a way for publishers to reachsaid market.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-12-2011, 06:08 PM
Not everyone writes to strike it rich.

scope
06-12-2011, 10:08 PM
Not everyone writes to strike it rich.

Fine. To each his or her own. However, please note that in my post I said:"...assuming one writes to get published and make some money.".

scarletpeaches
06-12-2011, 10:20 PM
Making money =/= striking it rich.

You're damn right I want . I'm damn good at writing, but there would be something wrong if I spent all that time on an activity that wasn't going to justify itself and the number of hours it took up.

Jehhillenberg
06-13-2011, 12:11 AM
It really started to annoy me when I first started noticing, but yes it's like the thing to do now if you're a celebrity -- aside from starting a clothing line and putting out a perfume/cologne. The bitter me said: anybody can write about themselves, but it takes more to create some good fiction. Now I'm like: whatever, I'd so be a celebrity if I could easy put out my book then.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-13-2011, 01:23 AM
You'd really want to be a celebrity? One of things I relish about being a writer is the relative anonymity of authors. I'd go nuts if I'd get followed by fans everywhere.

scope
06-13-2011, 02:20 AM
You'd really want to be a celebrity? One of things I relish about being a writer is the relative anonymity of authors. I'd go nuts if I'd get followed by fans everywhere.

Can we work out something whereby we get all the good things that come with celeb and none of the bad things? Errr...guess not. Darn.

Christine N.
06-13-2011, 02:47 AM
Madonna wrote children's books, with illustrations by Jeffrey Fulvimari. She didn't ghost-write them. Are they more successful because they're written by Madonna, sure. Will a publisher publish Madonna's children's books before those of a no-name author, sure. Parents will buy the books because the author is already famous in another field.

Were they gods-awful? Yes! Did she insult the entire industry by saying she needed to write the books because "There was nothing good out there"? YES! Will I ever touch one of her English Roses books with a ten-foot-pole?

no.

Certain celebs have books I DO like - John Lithgow's are amusing and well done, and I like them. Julie Andrews too, and I think she writes with her daughter.

Like someone else said; if they're writing fiction and not memoir, let 'em have to be held to the same standards as the rest of us peons. Let 'em have to be rejected and not have the book slapped on the shelves because of the name on the cover.

It annoys the crap out of me in certain cases.

Wayne K
06-13-2011, 04:00 AM
Why should there be no standard in memoir?

The same people who want to read celebrity memoir want to read celebrity fiction. The market gives them the advantage.

Christine N.
06-13-2011, 04:50 AM
Because when they write memoir, they're writing their own story. They already know it, and people WANT to know about them by virtue of their status. I've read memoir by non-famous people, and enjoyed them. I don't seek out memoir, I'm not the audience.

A good editor can take that raw, truthful material and make something readable, or get a ghost writer and have it still be honest. Not that writing memoir is easy (I wouldn't want to do it), but fiction takes a certain learned skill, many of us spend decades learning. Slapping a name on it or putting it through to publication JUST because of the author's name is insulting, especially when most of us here can write better material in our sleep.

Some of it IS worthwhile and deserved publication, I think, and I give those people their due; they've done the work and learned what they needed to learn.

But if you think Snooki deserves a book contract...

Wayne K
06-13-2011, 04:59 AM
I sympathize with you but I have to agree with James on this one. If there isn't a market for a book it's useless to write it, that is, assuming one writes to get published and make some money. The best of ideas--the best of writing--the best of everything booky--means nothing unless there's a needy market and a way for publishers to reachsaid market.

I didn't see this earlier.

I understand what you're saying, but there's a market for good writing. I e-published the first memoir in April, and people seem to like it a lot. No, I didn't get the huge market I would have with one of the big houses, but maybe one of these three books will set me up for that.

Besides, I had two agents and two shots at the big houses. That alone was worth the effort.

Wayne K
06-13-2011, 05:02 AM
Because when they write memoir, they're writing their own story. They already know it, and people WANT to know about them by virtue of their status. I've read memoir by non-famous people, and enjoyed them. I don't seek out memoir, I'm not the audience.

A good editor can take that raw, truthful material and make something readable, or get a ghost writer and have it still be honest. Not that writing memoir is easy (I wouldn't want to do it), but fiction takes a certain learned skill, many of us spend decades learning. Slapping a name on it or putting it through to publication JUST because of the author's name is insulting, especially when most of us here can write better material in our sleep.

Some of it IS worthwhile and deserved publication, I think, and I give those people their due; they've done the work and learned what they needed to learn.

But if you think Snooki deserves a book contract...

So does memoir. That's why ghost writers do it for them.

And, yes, I think Snooki deserves a book contract because she can sell books.

Why the hate for memoir writers?

Wayne K
06-13-2011, 05:28 AM
I'll also add that your assumption that you have some skill that I lack because I write memoir is insulting and wrong. Dead wrong

I won't be back to this thread

scope
06-13-2011, 07:26 AM
Slapping a name on it or putting it through to publication JUST because of the author's name is insulting, especially when most of us here can write better material in our sleep.

Some of it IS worthwhile and deserved publication, I think, and I give those people their due; they've done the work and learned what they needed to learn.


But if you think Snooki deserves a book contract...

All of the above may be true, but so what.? At the beginning and at the end publishing is a business, and as most every business it exists to make a profit. If in publishng that means publishing a celeb book, so be it. If all celeb books make money for the publisher (which not all do) it's actually good for us in that they have more money to buy, produce, promote, martet, etc., our books.

gan_naire
06-13-2011, 08:18 AM
I was actually going to mention Snookie. When I saw her cute face on the cover of a book, I thought it was a memoir or something. But it was funny to see it was fiction. It was also funny to see how it was formatted and the sample pages I read while making sure no one saw me, weren't bad, but it damn sure wasn't my kind of book.

For the record, I love that chick, she's funny as hell. To be honest though, I only started watching the show because I'm a huge fan of sociology and I still find it hard to believe that there are really people out there that act like they do. Still, it's funny.

skylark
06-13-2011, 11:30 AM
Making money =/= striking it rich.

You're damn right I want . I'm damn good at writing, but there would be something wrong if I spent all that time on an activity that wasn't going to justify itself and the number of hours it took up.

Why does "justify itself" have to involve money?

None of my hobbies make money - most of them cost money. Does that mean there's something wrong with me?

Terie
06-13-2011, 11:45 AM
Making money =/= striking it rich.

You're damn right I want . I'm damn good at writing, but there would be something wrong if I spent all that time on an activity that wasn't going to justify itself and the number of hours it took up.

Why does "justify itself" have to involve money?

None of my hobbies make money - most of them cost money. Does that mean there's something wrong with me?

Er, SP was talking about herself...notice the 'I'? I don't think she was making a statement about anyone else's relationship with their writing. :)

scarletpeaches
06-13-2011, 01:04 PM
Why does "justify itself" have to involve money?It does for me because I want the thing I'm good at to keep me.

As for hobbies? Writing is most definitely not my hobby.

Christine N.
06-13-2011, 01:57 PM
I'll also add that your assumption that you have some skill that I lack because I write memoir is insulting and wrong. Dead wrong

I won't be back to this thread

This was why I was trying to be careful in how I worded that, and I obviously did not succeed. What I mean is that it takes a different KIND of skill, mostly having to do with working with material that's completely invented and not the pool of raw material that inherently comes in memoir. There was no insult meant. I don't think too many celebs could write a coherent and readable memoir; but it's a different animal than fiction. Getting a ghostwriter for it still seems honest. Ghost writing fiction and slapping a celeb's name on it is not.

I've read some brilliant memoirs; the presentation and talent for such presentation of factual material were what made it more interesting than, say, a biography. But, unfortunately, I'd have to agree that unless there was some compelling reason for an average person to write one, I might not pick it up. BUT I'm not generally a memoir reader anyway.

Publishing IS a business. I know that. But it burns me that someone like Snooki is handed money and a contract when the rest of us slog out here like pixel-stained techno peasants and ALL of us have more talent. Some celebs even have talent, and I'll give them that. I work my ass off at this, and then Snooki gets to jump to the front of the line because she's a woman who has no shame and is famous for being a reality TV bimbo? Uh uh.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-13-2011, 03:15 PM
Publishing IS a business. I know that. But it burns me that someone like Snooki is handed money and a contract when the rest of us slog out here like pixel-stained techno peasants and ALL of us have more talent. Some celebs even have talent, and I'll give them that. I work my ass off at this, and then Snooki gets to jump to the front of the line because she's a woman who has no shame and is famous for being a reality TV bimbo? Uh uh.

You're making two false assumptions:
-celebrity equals talent
-publishers look for quality writing

Celebrity equals mass appeal. No talent necessary.

Publishers look for commercially viable products. Mass appeal again.

Another question to you -- would you swap your writing talent for 'snookie-fame', i.e. by revered for being a reality tv bimbo?

Christine N.
06-13-2011, 07:55 PM
I never said celebrity equals talent. In fact I think I was pretty clear that it didn't. I also said I know publishing is a business and they're out for the bottom line.

In the end, it's not even really the publishers, but the general public who craves these ridiculous things. So publishers are only pandering to the market. I know in the end it works because it sells books and they make money and they can buy more 'actual' books.

As long as society keeps buying, they'll keep publishing. And I don't want Snooki fame, but I'd like to have the doors open for me at the publishing house the way they open for that ...person. I worked hard and I think that should count for something.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-13-2011, 08:23 PM
I'd like to have the doors open for me at the publishing house the way they open for that ...person. I worked hard and I think that should count for something.

Ah well, we all have those dreams of a just world, a meritocratic world. And then we wake up and realize that we're stuck with this one.

shadowwalker
06-13-2011, 08:28 PM
I think we need to temper our thoughts about 'celebrity writers' with the reminder that celebrities are not a 'commodity'. They are individuals, just like us. Some have an actual talent for writing, some are trading in on their celebrity. We should, if we're going to complain, specify who we're complaining about and not just claim that 'celebrities' in toto are only published because they're celebrities. I know some have already made that point, but I think it bears repeating.

scarletpeaches
06-13-2011, 08:30 PM
Jordan, Jordan, fucking Jordan.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-13-2011, 08:43 PM
Jordan, Jordan, fucking Jordan.
What's wrong with Jordan?

Jordan (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/3c/Speakerlink.svg/11px-Speakerlink.svg.png (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/En-us-Jordan.ogg)i (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:En-us-Jordan.ogg) / (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English)ˈ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English#Key)dʒ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English#Key)ɔr (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English#Key)d (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English#Key)ən (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English#Key)/ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_English): Arabic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic): الأردن, Al-'Urdunn), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Arabic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic): المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية), Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) and also known as JK (short for The Jordanian Kingdom), is a kingdom (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kingdom) on the East Bank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transjordan) of the River Jordan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Jordan). The country borders Saudi Arabia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabia) to the east and south-east, Iraq (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq) to the north-east, Syria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria) to the north and the West Bank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Bank) and Israel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel) to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea). Jordan's only port is at its south-western tip, at the Gulf of Aqaba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Aqaba), which is shared with Israel, Egypt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt), and Saudi Arabia. Much of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_Desert). However, the north-western part of Jordan is part of the Fertile Crescent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile_Crescent). The capital city is Amman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amman).

Christine N.
06-13-2011, 10:58 PM
Yeah, I realize that. I know how it is in reality-- doesn't mean I have to like it. :)

scope
06-13-2011, 11:19 PM
Yeah, I realize that. I know how it is in reality-- doesn't mean I have to like it. :)

You don't have to like it, but for your mental health it might be good to accept it as the way of the world, the way it's always been and probably always will be. And it's not just celeb writing. What about advertisements in all types of media, jobs they get because of their fame--not their competence, and the list is endless. Frankly, I could care less. These things don't bother or impact me, and even if they did there's nothing much I could do about it.

Christine N.
06-14-2011, 04:30 AM
I can't do anything about it. But I can be irritated about the fact that the behavior dilutes both the pool of writing on the market AND drops the expectations of the average reader.

Remember, most people ages and ages ago, had Dickens as average reading material. I know Jane Austen was not considered 'high' reading material when it was published, but it has to be better than Snooki's novel.

Sigh.

scope
06-14-2011, 09:30 AM
I can't do anything about it. But I can be irritated about the fact that the behavior dilutes both the pool of writing on the market AND drops the expectations of the average reader.


It's your life, and if being irritated is your choice than so be it. But me, I don't that celeb books dilute both the pool of writing on the market AND drops the expectations of the average reader. They are what they are and readers like them for what they are. Look at the enormous popularity of tv reality show (e.g., Housewifes of....). Do think that the majority of viewers who watch these show think they are "great tv", in the true sense of the words? I don't. I think that readers and TV viewers accept these books and progrms for what they are, and know the differnce. I don't think they dilute, I just think they are a piece of the American pie.

Jehhillenberg
06-14-2011, 10:39 AM
Can we work out something whereby we get all the good things that come with celeb and none of the bad things? Errr...guess not. Darn.

Yeah, exactly.

Jehhillenberg
06-14-2011, 10:43 AM
Ah well, we all have those dreams of a just world, a meritocratic world. And then we wake up and realize that we're stuck with this one.

*sigh* I'm raising my hand in the air for this one too.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-14-2011, 11:49 AM
Remember, most people ages and ages ago, had Dickens as average reading material. I know Jane Austen was not considered 'high' reading material when it was published, but it has to be better than Snooki's novel.

However, these people would be totally overwhelmed just standing on a street corner in our society. The writing of Dickens and Austen matched their time, and their Snooki contemporaries were just not good enough to be remembered a hundred years later.

No use crying over spilled milk.
Someone complained about my diction, how I use too many high-brow words in a suspense novel. I don't. But I will use the verb 'sashay' to describe a waiter in a gay club walking around, because 'sashay' is precise, and 'swaying his hips' would be approximate. If readers give me grief over using precise diction instead of dumbing down my work for mass appeal, well, perhaps my novels are not for them...

waylander
06-14-2011, 02:44 PM
Salman Rushdie is writing a TV SF series!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/8571010/TV-drama-is-the-new-literature-says-Salman-Rushdie.html

Momento Mori
06-14-2011, 03:24 PM
Meh. Didn't Salman Rushdie's publishers withdraw his work from a shortlist for a SF award early in his career because they didn't want him tainted by genre? Plus ca change ...

MM

shaldna
06-14-2011, 04:14 PM
Re: the celebrity thing

I'm not a fan of celeb books, mostly because they are all fake. But somewhere a ghostwriter is making a living, so yay! Also, those celebrity books sell, which brings more money into the industry, more money to publisher, and, therefore ultimately, more money to writers like me.

Christine N.
06-14-2011, 10:59 PM
I mean, there are books for everyone. I don't like celeb books generally, but there are some good ones, mostly written by celebs who are famous for their art to begin with, like actors. Maybe it's a genetic creative gene.

But the infamous celebs, the ones who barely read books before they decide they want to write one? Meh. Don't like 'em, my opinion. Don't buy 'em, don't read 'em. Won't put the money in their pocket and encourage their behavior.

But I don't watch their shows either. Not that I don't watch ANY reality TV: I like Pawn Stars and Cake Boss. Cable shows. It's the sensationalized, scripted 'reality' shows I can't stand. Which all seem to be on network TV....

GothamGal
06-14-2011, 11:15 PM
I love celebrity memoirs (ghostwritten or not)...Jordan? YES! I've read both Dog the Bounty Hunter books, too. I tried to read the thinly veiled 'fiction' Lauren Conrad books and couldn't.

Reading is escapism, and I think some of them have some honesty and some really great things, but then some of them are just ridiculous mind candy.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-14-2011, 11:49 PM
Wasn't there a rapper who decided he was going to dazzle the publishing world with his fiction, but claimed he never read fiction because he never found good books?

whimsical rabbit
06-15-2011, 12:27 AM
Meh. Personally I don't care, not in the slightest. They're writing them because people are buying them, and it's no more complicated than that.

Teachers, doctors, journalists, shop assistants, housewives, pensioners, teenagers, all write books. Why not a singer or an actor, or a glamour model? Sure, their standard fanbase will probably buy the book whether good or not, but that doesn't influence the possible sales of mine.

Now, if we wanna talk about how sometimes the wrong people become famous in general (coming up with a definition of 'wrong' of course), then that's a different conversation altogether, and yes, I have stronger opinions on that one.

elindsen
06-15-2011, 03:05 AM
If a ghostwriter is making a living, I'm all for it. Good for them.

Now I've read snippets of Tori Spelling's memoir. My sister said Tori wrote it and then a ghost cleaned it up, put correct punct and so on. WHat I read...awful. There is a long chapter dedicated to the death of her dog. If her life is so uneventful that she has to write 3k words about her dog kicking it, it's a sad, sad book.

I also read her children's book entitled, PRESENTING TALLUAH. Again, not good. She did this one all her own and an editor fixed problems. I guess it to be maybe 700 words. For someone who likes picture books, I didn't think it was done well. It was obviously a "Poor Tori had it hard growing up" book. She basically tried to do a part memoir for kids. My niece hated it...

IceCreamEmpress
06-15-2011, 03:40 AM
the behavior dilutes both the pool of writing on the market AND drops the expectations of the average reader

Then you need to get a time machine and go back to the 1600s to fix it (at least in the English-language and French-language publishing markets).

Memoirs of celebrities have been A Thing since then, though in those days the celebrities were aristocrats and murderers, mostly.

And yeah, Dickens was a best-seller, but for every copy of a Dickens novel that sold, a hundred or more copies of crudely written, exploitative "penny dreadfuls" sold. Disposable potboiler literature has been part of the English-language and French-language publishing markets pretty much since their inception.

The mythology that people used to read more serious literature than they do now doesn't stand up to scrutiny, except in regard to religious literature. People did use to read Pilgrim's Progress and The Imitation of Christ and other serious devotional works.

gan_naire
06-15-2011, 05:32 AM
So . . . nobody likes Snooki?

There was once a quote that made a lot of sense to me, very simple too. But I can't remember it.

Something about accepting the things you cannot change, but concentrating on those that you can. Give me a minute, I'll look it up.

Okay, "be granted the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and to have the wisdom to know the difference."

AmsterdamAssassin
06-15-2011, 10:45 AM
"be granted the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and to have the wisdom to know the difference."

This is not an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting... we can bitch and gripe about stuff we can't change... not that I care about a celebrity publishing a book...:)

shaldna
06-15-2011, 01:10 PM
Jordan, Jordan, fucking Jordan.

Try saying that infront of a mirror at midnight and see what happens.

scarletpeaches
06-15-2011, 01:17 PM
*shudders*

No chance. I'm not that foolhardy.

Terie
06-15-2011, 01:36 PM
It's hard to sell a memoir if you aren't a celebrity because most of them lose money.

So, um, how to explain the huge miz-lit market that exploded into being a few years ago? The non-celeb memoir I co-ghostwrote has earned royalties of six figures in US dollars (yes, before the decimal point).

Granted that the market has peaked and seems to be shrinking now, but there's still a section at every bookshop here in the UK devoted to non-celeb memoirs.

shaldna
06-15-2011, 03:36 PM
So, um, how to explain the huge miz-lit market that exploded into being a few years ago? The non-celeb memoir I co-ghostwrote has earned royalties of six figures in US dollars (yes, before the decimal point).

Granted that the market has peaked and seems to be shrinking now, but there's still a section at every bookshop here in the UK devoted to non-celeb memoirs.

There are loads of memoirs that make money - most of the 'tagic lives' section at the likes of Waterstones are memoirs, usually about child abuse or domestic abuse etc, and they sell really well. There are always loads of them in the supermarket as well. I was in ASDA yesterday and about half of the book section was taken up by them.

So yes, it seems that memoirs do sell. Admittedly, many of them seem to share a common theme.

scarletpeaches
06-15-2011, 03:39 PM
White covers, child half-turned from the camera, all with titles like Mummy Stop Hitting Me or Don't Make Me Touch It, Daddy.

Terie
06-15-2011, 03:47 PM
There are loads of memoirs that make money - most of the 'tagic lives' section at the likes of Waterstones are memoirs, usually about child abuse or domestic abuse etc, and they sell really well. There are always loads of them in the supermarket as well. I was in ASDA yesterday and about half of the book section was taken up by them.

So yes, it seems that memoirs do sell. Admittedly, many of them seem to share a common theme.

Hence the sub-genre name 'miz-lit': 'misery literature'. :D

And heck, if there's an actual sub-genre with an actual name, it's a bit hard to make the argument that they don't make any money.


White covers, child half-turned from the camera, all with titles like Mummy Stop Hitting Me or Don't Make Me Touch It, Daddy.

Kinda like this (the one I co-ghostwrote):

http://www.teriegarrison.com/sam/bookstack_59.jpg

scarletpeaches
06-15-2011, 04:04 PM
Tsk. You had to spoil it by giving it a sensible title, didn't you? :D

Terie
06-15-2011, 04:15 PM
Tsk. You had to spoil it by giving it a sensible title, didn't you? :D

Well, yanno..... :D

Still has the same themes of an abusive family. But it's a great story! (I don't say that because I helped write it; I helped write it because it's a great story that I wanted to help get out into the world.)

Phaeal
06-15-2011, 04:51 PM
But I don't watch their shows either. Not that I don't watch ANY reality TV: I like Pawn Stars and Cake Boss.

And Cupcake Wars. And Chopped, from which I learned how to make ten-minute watermelon pickles! Yum.

I also like Ghost Adventures, because Aaron is a hoot when they lock him in the attic or basement of the Haunted-House-Of-The-Week.

And now there's The Glee Project. Good thing I have a DVR....

Soccer Mom
06-15-2011, 09:47 PM
Wasn't there a rapper who decided he was going to dazzle the publishing world with his fiction, but claimed he never read fiction because he never found good books?

You must mean Kanye. Yeah, the guy who penned such quality lyrics as "So what's next? Alien Sex! First Ima disrobe you; then Ima probe you." And he can't find books that interest him. Poor guy.

I don't mind celebrity books when they have something to say. I like a good autobiography.

scarletpeaches
06-15-2011, 09:50 PM
I believe he just pipped Laurell K. Hamilton to the Pulitzer, didn't he, Moccer Som?

shaldna
06-16-2011, 02:07 PM
I believe he just pipped Laurell K. Hamilton to the Pulitzer, didn't he, Moccer Som?

*is anxious awaiting the LKH rant on how the Pulitzer judges shouldn't read her stuff if they don't like it*