Reason to do the happy dance…sorta

So Charlie Sheen’s agent is shopping a book deal?

I’m conflicted. Part of me is begging for someone to run over me with a Mack truck because this trainwreck of a twit will get it. And he’ll get it because the conglomerates know full well this will sell tons of books. And this makes me weep for the public’s taste in literature – if one could call it that.

On the other hand, I’m doing the happy dance because for every one of those mega deals that conglomerates desperately need to keep their corporate benefactors happy, countless achingly talented midlist authors go unsigned. And this is where us trade publishers clean up. We are signing those forgotten midlisters.

It’s a win-win for everyone. Where that midlister would have gotten little attention with their conglomerate editor, they are getting the full court press from their trade publisher editor. And they aren’t midlisters with those trade presses – instead they’re invariably the lead titles for the upcoming season. While the money isn’t as grand, the midlister still enjoys great national distribution and the full support of their editor.

So go you, Charlie Sheen. Let Random House or Simon & Schuster open their doors to you and bathe you in millions. In the meantime, we will enjoy the fallout of your derailment with the wonderful authors who come our way.

Addendum: Seems there is some sanity left in the world. Gee, Pricey, cynical much? But I saw the happy news that 3 publishers shot down Charlie’s implosion book. I’m of a mind that these publishers were unwilling to fork over 10 mil, which is a lot of bananas, even for a conglomerate.

Even though they expressed doubt any publisher would touch it, we need look no further than O.J. Simpson’s debacle If I Did It. So who knows? Maybe Beaufort Books will take Charlie on as well. It would make for a lovely companion piece to fellow loser, O.J. Simpson.

13 Responses to Reason to do the happy dance…sorta

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    Again, I need that clone of you rewired to like spec fic ;).

  2. Great reasoning, Lynn. It reminds me of my initial… ok, recurring, discomfort whenever one of these, such as Bristol Palin (You know her, she’s the third rate ballroom dancer and former unmarried teen mom), make a BIG Book Deal.

    My face contorts for just a millisecond in anger before the sure knowledge, that one more publisher will remain profitable. This extends opportunity to the rest of us struggling fiction writers who don’t have either a media-tart for a mother, or a drug-induced, bipolar, public meltdown. We can still dream on.

  3. I don’t put Palin’s book in the same category as Sheen or that little twerp Justin Bieber – “memoirs”? Srsly? At 16? Gag me.

    However, love her or hate her, Bristol is a teen mom with a message: “Don’t screw up like I did.” She realizes she’s lucky, and also realizes that most teens won’t have her kind of support system, so they need to protect themselves. I find that quite worthy. Just my take on it…

  4. Lauren says:

    More than ever I want to weep for the world. That mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction, as long as is by someone in the public eye, is great! and good! and bestsellerdom!, and is something worthy of being put between covers. It’s not new, of course, and yes, I think you are right, some publisher will go for it. But I was at least a little cheered by the absurd advance his agent wants (which eliminates quite a few) and by what will likely be a difficult search for a ghost who will put up with his rot, and by this: Executives at three book publishing houses tell the Associated Press that Sheen tried to shop his life story, but they turned him down.

    That’s a lot of money for a publisher to hand out, especially given that the guy’s fans are unlikely to be readers, that he has a good chance of permanently imploding along the way, and that the people he’s formerly worked with in the past are extremely unlikely to do anything to help him.

    If a publisher is so incredibly overcome by alleged dollar signs that he or she lets common sense fly higher than this guy and actually does succumb to the agent’s proposal, well, that editor/publisher better have lots of tissues around. Oh, and the number to the local food bank. Something tells me it will come in handy.

  5. Thanks for the update, Lauren. I’ve updated my post as well. But you’re entirely right about the tastes of readers, which I despair. Furthermore, I don’t understand the public’s thirst for this kind of Literary Peeping Tom

  6. Bill Webb says:

    Shoot Lynnster, don’t weep. just don’t read the dman thing!

    I mean for every mega I-am-rich-and-a-loser-but-I-don’t-care-cause-I’m-rich story there’s a hundred midlisters out there, and for every midlister, there’s a thousand nil-listers, cause most of us have sold nil.

  7. Pelotard says:

    Just one thing though: I doubt that even one single person will buy CS’s memoirs for their literary merit. It’s more of a voyeur thing…

  8. Yes, Pelo, that’s why I think we need to develop a new genre: Literary Peeping Tom.

    Bill, you have no worries about my eyes being stained with anything coming from CS’s quill – or his ghost writer’s. My point is that the money spent catering to this new genre of Literary Peeping Tom, how many talented authors could the conglomerates signed instead, and thus raising the bar?

    As for the term “midlist,” I assigned that term to writers whose literary talents would have gotten them a deal with one of the big guys. They invariably have never been published – which would make them nil-listers as well.

    And by the way, that is the biggest complaint I’m hearing from my agent buds – that the big guys are passing on their client’s works more and more – unless they have a very big platform. And this is what gives me the chance to do the happy happy joy joy dance.

  9. Kelley says:

    My point is that the money spent catering to this new genre of Literary Peeping Tom, how many talented authors could the conglomerates signed instead, and thus raising the bar?

    I should have this made into a t-shirt. Hah.

  10. I can’t argue with that at all, Kelley. But I hope you won’t mind if I retain a measure of glee with the author windfall.

  11. Kelley says:

    Maybe you could retain the glee but share the margaritas? I could get behind that.

    So glad to see big publishing’s asshattery is benefiting Behler and readers, though.

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