It used to be that “fiction” writers like Kitty Kelley had dibs on the tell-all books about famous celebrities, but since the world of publishing has opened its arms and wallets to this type of trash, other wannabe-famous writers have jumped on the tattle tale bandwagon. Personal assistants, nannies and extramarital partners have penned voyeuristic books describing life inside the world of celebrities hoping that the dirty laundry stories will win them a publishing contract and possibly a coveted place on the Best Sellers List. Well, to be honest, most of these new authors probably have trouble spelling “Best Sellers List”, but they are smart enough to read the zeros on their first advance check. Where it once took a certain amount of literary talent to get to the pinnacle of the writing community, now it just takes scandal and some juicy inside information.
Let’s take a look at former New York Yankees batboy Luis Castillo. Castillo has the distinction of being the last batboy NOT to sign a confidentiality agreement with the Yankees. This little legal loophole has allowed him to open up the doors to the locker room and let the public get a peek at what Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Joe Torre were all about when he picked up their sweaty towels and discarded water bottles. Of course, he got a publisher. That stint as batboy will now be his ticket to his 15 minutes of fame which will include some money and the honor of his name being an answer at his local tavern‘s trivia night a few months down the road.
The other literary giants today are the reality TV stars. We all jumped to read the mommy wisdom that Kate Gosselin wanted to impart. If I had known that I could have made so much money with my uterus, I would have sextuplets too. I will admit I watched the Jon & Kate show once in a while. At first, I watched it because the kids were cute; after a while, I watched it to see all the free stuff the family got from businesses and companies that wanted their products on TV. That family paid for nothing – well, I think she had to pay for her tummy tuck and boob job unless of course, she worked it into the show somehow. I don’t know; I stopped watching after the couple announced their divorce on national TV. This is why soap operas are getting cancelled. Even All My Children’s Erica Kane, who was once hailed as the Queen of Drama, seems boring next to reality TV stars.
Having lots of kids does seem to be a quick route to a publishing contract. Look at the Duggar Family – you know the 19 Kids and Counting people. With a kid popping out every year for the past 20 years, the Duggars share their parenting and birth control secrets with the world at large in their own books and DVDs that are available on their website. Yes, nothing says “We have our kids for love” like a website. And in case you are worrying that the Duggars are in it just for the money, think again. There is plenty, and I mean plenty of Christian literature on the site that reminds us all that they are in it not for the money or fame, but for God.
I don’t mean to sound cynical-well, actually I do– but just because someone gives birth to a thousand kids does not mean she should be awarded the “Mother of the Year” award or a publishing contract. Case in point: the Octomom.
Honestly, in this woman, I can see marketing value. No one even knows her real name; her media nickname resembles that of a superhero and it catapulted her to fame. “Octomom” – “Aquaman” – see how similar they sound, although Aquaman didn’t get fertility treatments and live off welfare until his publicist could get him a paying gig. I’m not sure what paying gigs Octomom has received because no one really calls this chick a great mother. They sort of call her “the crazy lady with the baby complex”, but that mental defect might sell books too and apparently, Octomom is shopping for a publisher since she already had a reality show deal in Great Britain.
No rant about publishers and horrible writers would be complete without (drum roll please) Snooki from Jersey Shore. Again, I don’t fault the publisher for handing over moolah. This woman’s drunken and half-naked escapades have launched her to real celebrity status and this is amazing because she has no discernible talent except for the public drunkenness. And since she gained celebrity status, one must conclude that she can write too, and– surprise – she is an author.
When it comes down to it, there is no sense complaining about these faux celebrities getting publishing contracts. It’s not a publisher’s fault that reading tastes have changed. Now, instead of a good, intelligent plot, book buyers prefer trash. It used to be the National Enquirer was enough for us, but now we need full-size books to quench our tell-all thirst. Well, I guess literature might be dying, but the upside is people still know how to read. Yeah… I’m grasping at straws.
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