Snookered – you’ve been had

Caution: I’m feeling all ranty again.

So Jersey’s “Snookie” landed herself a book deal, and the world stands by with baited breath as she sets quill to paper.

Oh. Wait. That’s not quite right. Our intrepid authoress shouldn’t be expected to actually WRITE her novel about a Jersey girl who finds love on the boardwalk. No no no no no…Gawker is holding a contest where some lucky slob can write her first page.

Hey, isn’t the way all great novels are written?

So now we know. Talent is no longer a litmus for getting a nice book deal. All we need is a silicone enhanced, talentless nymph whose IQ equals my shoe size. Beagle, my Pepto, if you please.

Here’s a newsflash: THE READING WORLD HAS JUST BEEN RIPPED OFF. AGAIN. And authors? So have you. How much do you think her advance was? I’m too depressed to find out.

I know, I know, I sound hideously cranky – and I am. Book deals like Snookie and Justin Bieber are an insult to REAL writers – folks who work long hours to perfect their craft and write truly brilliant stories – and who wait sometimes years to capture a publishing contract.

Call me an idiot, but I think these deals make a mockery of literature. It’s no longer about talent and writing something important or soul-sustaining or thought-provoking. Now it’s about being a voyeur into some brain dead no talent Hollywood wannabe’s life. Meh. Beagle, forget the Pepto, fetch me my smelling salts.

“But we’re only giving readers what they want!” is the battle cry. And, sadly, “they” are right. If no one bought this drivel, publishers would no longer make these ridiculous deals.

Since I’m part of this world, I feel within my rights to metaphorically eat my young because I see how hard my own authors work for their craft. I realize there’s tons of money in these empty vessels, but geez, it’s not always about money. What about demanding more of our brains? What about quality?

Have we sunk so low on the evolutionary ladder that the best we can do is offer contests to write the first page of some talentless hack who will be washed up and washed out in three years? Holy dangling participles, Batman. Count me out.

So, to the reading public, I say this: You’ve been had.

I’ll let the big guys make their dimwitted deals with stars and starlets whose biggest worry is whether the limo will be on time and who will walk little Fifi for her morning loaf pinchage. Meanwhile, I’m sticking to my guns. Our books will always be thought-provoking works of art that challenge our readers to think while being entertained. After all, someone has to run the world, right?

7 Responses to Snookered – you’ve been had

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    Beagle? Another margarita, stat. Make it two…I need one too.

  2. Years ago, a romance novel cover boy who could barely speak English was given a three-book historical romance deal with an appalling advance. The editor who made the deal thought it would be “fun.”

    Many struggling romance writers at the time wondered how “fun” she’d think it was if her boss decided to give her job to someone because they were a celebrity.

    Sadly, many romance readers actually thought this guy wrote his novels instead of having them ghosted.

    No wonder so many people believe anyone can write a competent novel if they sit down and start typing, and writers are treated with such contempt so often.

    This also is an example of how the platform is more important than the project.

  3. Marilynn, this sort of thing makes me go a bit batty because of the sheer lunacy. And meanwhile, REAL writers suffer. Pah.

    I’ve had plenty submissions come to me whose authors had very huge platforms, but they could barely put a single sentence together. Hello, Ms. Rejection Letter. I don’t care who you are, if you can’t write, go do something else and quit pretending.

    And you lamebrain editors, quit buying their crap!

    I love my job.

  4. AstonWest says:

    It’s the same philosophy as Hollywood remaking every successful movie they can think of. They’d rather do what they think will be a “sure thing” in terms of revenue than take chances…could be simply a result of the world we live in (where they’re expected to make instant and constant profits, or immediately lose their jobs).

  5. Y’know, Todd, I always felt “Who Needs a Hero” would have made a fun movie.

  6. NinjaFingers says:

    I don’t have a huge objection to remakes if they’re done well…loved the A-Team movie. But there are also some horribly BAD remakes and some ‘why are they remaking THAT’ movies.

    Its particularly bad in the speculative fiction genres…

  7. Marjorie says:

    I love Snooki. I think her book will be a hoot. Maybe she will have hairstyling tips. I want to know how she gets such great hair height.

    OK, I will admit Snooki is my role model. And, I admire her for running with the whole pop culture package deal and “writing” a book.

    She is milking her 15 minutes. I love that philosophy and I think we should all take a page from her “book” and enjoy life, perhaps not to the same extreme. But, be happy and go for all the opportunities. Teresa Guidice sure did… and she has a best seller. Yum!

    It’s the same in many fields. Great singers never catch a break while talentless ones get record deals. Talented actors never get more than bit parts or roles as extras while actors who are singularly dimensional get starring roles.

    If there was any fairness in the game, the “marjorie-cartoons” would be at MOMA! 😀

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