Monday, January 24, 2011
NY Times Best Selling Author?
I've said in the past that it doesn't bother me when celebrities get million dollar book deals, because as long as the book earns out the advance, and the publisher makes money, it's good for everyone. But a couple of books lately have made me question my thinking.
The first is from the Jersey Shore, umm, "star", uhh, Snooki. Now I have never watched even 30 seconds of the show, or seen any interviews of Snooki, so I'm kind of going by my basic impressions, but a NY Times Best Selling author??? Really?? That just seems to cheapen the list for me somehow. It feels like a sellout by the publisher.
Now, I'd be happy if the publishers make money on the book, because again, money that flows into publishing is good for all writers, but this one feels like the proverbial fingernails on the chalkboard.
The second was written by someone I met at Thrillerfest this year. The author is not a well known celebrity, but it was clear that their status is what allowed them to get a book deal.
So again, as long as the publisher makes money, everybody's happy, right? Not so fast. In this case because the book was less than perfect, in fact it pretty much sucked, I don't think that anybody is going to make money. Well, other than the author, which again, isn't such a bad thing for us authors, but here's the problem. Because the publisher is going to lose money on this book, there is one less slot open for us budding authors to get our book published. Because the publisher took on this book, they won't take on another book, even if they wanted to because they don't have the money. And that's a shame. It just makes it that much harder for one of us to get our work published.
What do you think about celebrity books? Or books that are published purely because the author is well known?