Celebs…is their time over, or do we really care?

I read the article in GalleyCat about Justin Bieber Bombs in Print yesterday. I have to admit I had mixed reactions. On one hand, this kid is only a wee bairn, who struck a book deal last year about his “memoirs.” I remember blogging about my dismay that he’d lived long enough to actually have memoirs. I also had some choice opinions about the publishing industry that holds this kind of book near and dear to their heart.

While I realize the large presses are beholden to their conglomerate overlords to bring home the blockbusters, I bemoan their thirst for the celebrity books to the exclusion of…ummm…how to say this…”good books.” There. I said it. The celebrity “tell all” books are literary Peeping Toms, in my small-minded opinion, and I can’t help but wonder at the number of worthy books that won’t see the light of day because the big money is being spent on “Who’s Bopping Whom.”

It’s like the time I received a query that promised to “tell all the dirt” on numerous movie stars, written by a groupie. I wondered why I should care about this. Do I really want to know who was hurking up their Steak Diane in the Brown Derby’s potted plants? Do I care that Big Chested Movie Star had a mad, wild affair with some politician, all told by Big Chested Movie Star’s ex-secretary? Blurg. I can’t imagine a bigger waste of ink and paper – not to mention the editing time. How many brain cells die to publish this stuff?

I can’t help but feel saddened that many “worthy” books won’t be published because they won’t make the megabucks that folks like Baby Bieber will.

Has the tide turned and the public has grown weary of peeking under the lacy dainties of the rich and famous, as GalleyCat article suggests? I’m not convinced the public has suddenly grown a more discerning literary palate that excludes lascivious stories of debauchery and access. I think it’s more a matter of Baby Bieber’s fans aren’t interested in the printed word.

But one can hope, right?

8 Responses to Celebs…is their time over, or do we really care?

  1. Lauren says:

    Aside from the fact that I have NO interest in “celebrities” or celebrity news, I think what has changed is the Internet. Want celebrity gossip? There are thousands of sites devoted to it? Want the biggest, baddest dirt on celebrities? It’s very easy to find–and sites like TMZ thrive on being first with it. In other words, why would people buy a book that has had editing (to take out thej uciest stuff) when all they have to do to get the lowest of the low-down stuff is to go online. And that’s updated constantly.

    Youhave the other factors too: that those interested primarily in gossip can go on the celebrity’s Facebok page or Twitter account and get it all NOW! There is no book that can beat those. If publishers want to continue to lose money, then they should continue to publish books that have less than the online gossip sites always will.

    By the way, bleech! I had no idea who this guy was but a picture online shows him to be a kid. He had “memoirs” published? Memoirs of what? His rattles and baby bottles?

  2. Moondoggie says:

    Here’s hoping, but why am I getting the feeling the presses are already rolling for Casey Anthony’s “memoir?”

    Question: Who actually writes these books for the celebs? Surely the Biebster didn’t sit in his room for months on end toiling away in agony for just the right twist of phrase? Do the celebs dictate their “story” to a ghost who puts it on the page? Just curious…

  3. With all the news and reality shows that deal with celebrities on the air now as well as all the tell-all Twitters, what’s left to tell?

    I read recently that TV soaps are dying because of shows like THE HOUSEWIVES OF shows.

    Now, if people would stop buying celebrity “written” novels, I’d be a very happy camper.

  4. Was it Naomi Campbell who said ‘no I didn’t actually write my book, but I had the idea and that’s the hardest part’?

    Still, she only confirmed what we all knew anyway. I for one won’t be sorry if the celebrity bubble has burst.

  5. AstonWest says:

    My guess is that all of his fans’ parents didn’t want to plunk down money for the book… 😉

  6. Well said, Lynn. How many great new fiction voices will be overlooked in the rush to get Casey Anthony’s “story” out there? I shudder to think of it.

  7. Moondoggie asked:
    Question: Who actually writes these books for the celebs? Do the celebs dictate their “story” to a ghost who puts it on the page?
    Hi Moonie. I’ve had celeb stories pitched to me that were written by people on the “inside,” meaning they were an ex-something – secretary, nanny, cook, roadie. But not all are insiders. Others are simply fans and have done a lot of research. Those are the unauthorized biographies you see on the bookshelves.

    Others I’ve had pitched to me were ghost-written off of interviews or tape recordings.

  8. tbrosz says:

    Insider gossip books about celebrities are no longer big sellers? Maybe that explains why your beagle is sadly tossing a bunch of scribbled notebooks in the trash.

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