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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Discussing Published Hooks & Books » Kardashians to Pen SF Novel

   
Author Topic: Kardashians to Pen SF Novel
Robert Nowall
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http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/06/29/kim-kardashian-younger-sisters-penning-sci-fi-novel-report-says/

Another frustrating "pushing of my buttons"---that these famous-for-being-famous weirdos will be able to get something published, while I languish in the slush pile...

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EVOC
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I just died a little inside.
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MartinV
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Poor nameless ghost writing bastard that will be forced into this. Or maybe we'll get lucky and no one will want to take the job.

I feel a migraine forming...

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Foste
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My reaction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS7cMrIxghg

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MattLeo
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Well of course they'll have a good shot at getting published. Publishing is about selling books, and the publishers are almost guaranteed enough sales on curiosity alone to break even. A new and worthy writer can't guarantee that because when it comes to capturing the public imagination, the only *sure* thing is celebrity.

As for how horrible the book will be, they've hired Maya Sloane, a creative writing MFA who's published one apparently adequate contemporary YA novel and ghost written some memoirs. Judging from her website she appears to be a trekkie and all-around bon-vivant -- hardly a literary ogre. So most likely the book won't be horrible, something that puts it ahead of the bulk of unpublished manuscripts in any editor's slushpile. It's not likely to be innovative like *The Hunger Games*, but innovation equals risk, and taking risks is not the business celebrity authors are in.

What is on offer to the publisher is a book that, while not impressive to genre fans, has a high probability of turning a profit. Since it is professionally ghostwritten, it's is unlikely to be so horrible as to be an embarrassment -- provided that's even a concern. Altogether it's perfectly fair from an economic point of view that this thing cut to the front of the line. As for the artistic unfairness, if that bothers you perhaps you're aspiring to the wrong profession. A book like this is hardly a drop in the ocean of affronts to artistic idealism.

The only sensible reason for most people to write is self expression -- you do it because you have to. If you get paid for it, that's a windfall. Your chance of obtaining that windfall is so slim it's irrational to get worked up over something like this. Walk through your favorite bookstore. Most likely less than 20% of the books there are ones you'd ever bother to read. The remaining 80% don't represent money taken out of your pocket, because you'd never consider writing a book like those. What they represent to the bookstore is the ability to stay in business and stock the kind of books you *do* write.

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Robert Nowall
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I can't see them as the producers of the next Twilight or Harry Potter.
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LDWriter2
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quote:
Poor nameless ghost writing bastard that will be forced into this. Or maybe we'll get lucky and no one will want to take the job.

I feel a migraine forming...

I may have misread something but I thought they had one already.


Ghost writer not migraine.

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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by MattLeo:
Well of course they'll have a good shot at getting published. Publishing is about selling books, and the publishers are almost guaranteed enough sales on curiosity alone to break even. A new and worthy writer can't guarantee that because when it comes to capturing the public imagination, the only *sure* thing is celebrity.


Maybe. Then again, I think it's an open question whether any fans of the Kardashians actually read, at least anything as long as a book.

Doesn't matter either way. These things happen. We just have to keep on writing the best stories we can. It's a mistake to let this be a distraction.

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Robert Nowall
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quote:
Then again, I think it's an open question whether any fans of the Kardashians actually read, at least anything as long as a book.
I used to wonder about that sort of thing back in the 1980s, when Doubleday used to put out books by the individual players from the New York Mets (which Doubleday then owned). In order to write a book, don't you have to be able to read one?

As for the Kardashians, or the Jenners, or whatever they call themselves...are they devoted to the craft? Do they ever hang out, say, here?

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Foste
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Come on people, the same thing happened with Tyra Banks's book.

News-article-outrage-publication-derision.

We all act as if this is some kind of new phenomena. Honestly, I don't particularly CARE if the Kardashians write a book or if they are devoted to the craft.

They'll sell because they are the Kardashians. I'll sell one day because I honed my writing and story telling skills.

End of story.

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MartinV
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Sorry, don't follow such news, so this one is news to me. Still don't really know who these Kardashians are. The geek in me constantly thinks about Cardassians of Star Trek.
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Robert Nowall
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The only Kardashian I knew [of], before these ones reared up, was their father, O. J.'s lawyer, who's deceased, I believe.

I'd care, in that they're taking up space that might be devoted to something better---and that they're getting a shot at something they don't deserve on merit. To revive a bitter memory...think of their work as the latest Eragon...

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MAP
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@ Martin: I think the Kardashians are some rich kids on a reality tv show (I think they were rich before they got the show, kind of like Paris Hilton).

I'm sure there are plenty of people who will buy the book, not that they will necessarily read it, but they will buy it.

I won't waste my money on any celebrity book ever. I just automatically assume it is going to be bad because I don't think any of them have any idea what they are doing. I bet most readers don't take them seriously, so they're going after a different market than the reast of us mere mortals. [Smile]

[ July 03, 2012, 11:55 PM: Message edited by: MAP ]

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LDWriter2
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I suspect they will sell a lot but that some of their fans can read. It seems like they are about on the level the sisters want to aim for. And the story type is a popular genre right now.


As to it not being fair. Yeah, it ain't but it does happen all the time. Madonna wrote a child's book. Yeah right.

And even though feeling momentarily frustrated-as someone or two said-we should ignore it and keep on keeping on with our own writing.

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Robert Nowall
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Of some hope to us about celebrities and books...press reports say that Rielle Hunter's just-released book just bombed. And if you don't know who Rielle Hunter is, consider yourselves lucky.
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Foste
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
The only Kardashian I knew [of], before these ones reared up, was their father, O. J.'s lawyer, who's deceased, I believe.

I'd care, in that they're taking up space that might be devoted to something better---and that they're getting a shot at something they don't deserve on merit. To revive a bitter memory...think of their work as the latest Eragon...

No merit there. They got the shortcut of being the newest lowest common denominator fad. Frustrating or not it's how it is, but it's nothing to lose your head over.
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Robert Nowall
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I thought they were the latest version of Paris Hilton...but she, I thought, was putting us all on about how ignorant she was, at least.

There's a lot of this sort of thing, people famous for being famous, not just in the modern era. Back in the 1970s, when I was growing up, there was this guy, John Davidson, seemed to be a singer and actor, but never seemed to have done anything that would account for his being famous...I may have been too young to catch whatever it was that started him going, but it sure seemed like he came out of nowhere at all. (Much later, when I was in an over-curious mood, I did track down some beginning point, but, right now, I don't remember what it was.)

(This is not to be confused with another sub-category of celebrity---those who it seems are being "shoved down our throat," who are everywhere and in everything, but don't seem to show any especial talent or ability. Vin Diesel or Jason Bateman come to my mind...for the superannuated like me, you might remember a guy named Hal March. They're all forgotten as soon as the generation passes...)

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LDWriter2
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I thought about saying you think that's bad KISS has a book out. A monster book that goes for thousands of dollars.

But evidently it's not fiction of any kind...unless they made up things about themselves, so it may not count.

Monster Book

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Robert Nowall
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Well, if the paperback comes out before Christmas I can get a copy and give it to my brother, who was kinda into them when we were both younger...still, they've actually done something...
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Foste
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
...still, they've actually done something...

True.
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LDWriter2
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A paperback of a size that would go with that book, probably would still go for a couple of hundred dollars. [Smile]
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Robert Nowall
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Well, George Harrison's song lyric collection started in an extremely expensive rare edition, but came out in a cheap reprint shortly after...I suppose they could shrink it down to coffee-table book size, and not as a book the size of a coffee table...

*****

quote:
...another sub-category of celebrity---those who it seems are being "shoved down our throat"...
Addendum to my thought: there's an actor, one Taylor Kitsch---some name for a movie star, huh? but that's another issue---who's been in two flops so far this year ("John Carter" and one other), and, reportedly, is in another underperformer just this week (Oliver Stone's "Savages.") This might be a prime and current candidate for this very category...
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Robert Nowall
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Another comment of kind-of relevance: I read the other week (but couldn't track down a link online) that one Chris Colfer, cast member of the show "Glee," has written a YA first-in-a-series fantasy novel. Evidently the release date is today, July 17th, according to Amazon-dot-com.

I think you can tell this sort of literary-publication-by-celebrity just drives me up the wall...

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JoBird
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My first, gut-reaction response to this thread was a shrug. After all, things are what they are, and life isn't fair. Sour grapes never seem to get anyone anywhere.

So, I didn't respond. I didn't have anything interesting to offer, and truthfully, I'm still not sure that I do. But I will say that my continued thought on this matter is shifting, slightly.

It's occurred to me that you have a certain skin in this fight. If x number of books are published in one year, and y number of books have to come from celebrities, then that leaves less room for your publishing success. And chances are great that you've spent a lot more time honing your craft in the writing arena than any of the darling Kardashians.

Of course, I'm not convinced that the publishing world is a zero sum game like the above implies. The market is a business, publishers try to put out product that folks are going to be likely to buy. Star power sells books. A Kardashian is always going to have a slot open, no matter what year she writes a book. That doesn't necessarily remove opportunities from others. If the publishing world decides that your novel is going to sell, well then, you are pretty much guaranteed a slot as well.

Understandably, the publishing world is far less likely to decide that your novel is going to sell. You don't have a built in audience, at least not a sizable one. So, the mountain you have to climb is bigger, steeper, colder. And maybe it helps to vent a little bit about it. Especially in a community of folks who share similar goals.

Nevertheless, I almost always find myself coming back to this: life isn't fair. And then I shrug.

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LDWriter2
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quote:
Another comment of kind-of relevance: I read the other week (but couldn't track down a link online) that one Chris Colfer, cast member of the show "Glee," has written a YA first-in-a-series fantasy novel. Evidently the release date is today, July 17th, according to Amazon-dot-com.

I think you can tell this sort of literary-publication-by-celebrity just drives me up the wall...

I was going to come on by that night and say something about this but someone beat me to it. [Smile]


Anyway, I finally got back here to this thread. I saw an article about Colfer in my local paper. Which isn't surprising since he is a native. But from what I skimmed from the article he seems to have written it already and I don't think he is a big enough star to be able to hire a ghost writer so more than likely he wrote it himself. He might have hired someone of course but it seemed like he did write it. And I don't know if he is big enough for a publisher to take it automatically. Not sure if one hit show, even Glee, would do that. The Kardashians, even the younger ones, are on a whole 'nother level.

If I see it I will look it over for it does sound interesting. We do have a variety of published writers hereabouts, some famous and some midlevel so I think of him as just another writer with a little bit more punch than the rest of us but not a whole lot more.

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LDWriter2
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Speaking about celebrities writing.

Parents be careful.

http://tinyurl.com/8wwu7pb

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