Friday, October 1, 2010

When celebrities want to become authors

I am about to be a very, very rude girl. But I just have to get this out of my system.

I was rather gobsmacked (gobsmacked being an understatement), when I recently read an article confirming that Nicole Polizzi (also known as Snooki) recently scored a book deal with Gallery Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster).

Now, to be fair I'm going to straight up admit that I don't watch Jersey Shore. I've seen enough teasers of the show to not want to watch it.

Instant brain cell killer if you ask me.

However, from what I have seen of her (and there's no way getting away from her) she's always been in the news. And certainly not for all the right reasons.

From being arrested for drunken behaviour and for bothering patrons on the beach to goodness knows what else, never in all of the entire time that she's lovingly paraded herself in front of the camera, has she ever given the impression that she loves reading, or that she can even write for that matter.

I am not aiming to bash any celebrity who wants to become a writer, but when I think of all the fantastic and aspiring authors who have to battle (or who have battled in the past) to get a book deal, then this seems so incredibly unfair.

And what's more, because they're celebrities, getting access to agents and representatives, somehow seem a lot easier for them, while people out there with fantastic talent and who have been writing for years, don't seem to get anywhere.
Here you have people who have always been good for entertainment value, and because they've done it all, who now want to venture into the world of writing and literature.

This is not necessarily my problem, because if the celebrity actually has the writing talent (like Steve Martin and Michael J. Fox for example), then I'm all for it.

And if they actually have a story to tell, then even more so.

But somehow, Snooki just seems to be another matter entirely.

I get that people like her, who make the headlines for all the wrong reasons, will probably sell.
After all fame sells and equals money, so I can admit to seeing why she'd get the book deal.

But, for someone who doesn't have any writing experience that she's spoken of, just how much of that book will truly be her work?

And that is where my issue lies. Just who will be the writer of her book? Her or the ghostwriter?(Let's face it a lot of celebrities don't necessarily write all of their own books, even though they won't admit to it)

And why don't we know about her love of reading and writing? Last time I checked, most aspiring authors want to share the depth of their love for all things books, reading and writing related.

Or am I wrong?

I am probably going to ruffle a lot of feathers here, but I'm honestly not out to get Snooki. I just think that if she can get given a book deal, then so can those talented unknowns out there who have slaved for years on their writing projects.

After all, the differences between them and her is that they want to make a living out of writing books. They are the ones genuinely want to tell their stories and share the world of the characters that already exist within their own head space.

And they are the ones that don't want to do it just once, nor do they want to do it because it's something that they haven't added to their celebrity cv's yet. These are the people that I know I am rooting for.
 
(I have to add,  that I'm not writing this post on my own behalf, as I have no written manuscript or novel waiting for representation. I don't know if I have what it takes to be a novelist anyway).

But, why don't you tell me what you think? Am I being a complete and utter cow? Or do my ramblings at least make some sense?

15 comments:

Clover said...

I don't even know who Snooki is! Heard of her, though. And I'm with you. If it's someone else ghostwriting for her than I just roll my eyes and don't bother with it.

Jenny said...

I don't think you're being a cow at all. I agree that if the celebrity has a viable story and can execute it in a compelling way, then I'm all for their foray into the literary world. However, I somehow doubt our perpetually orange friend here has such captivating literary expression in mind. I personally, will be spending my money on other books:)

-k said...

I posted about this yesterday when I found out about it. I seriously don't get it.
And from the sounds of the summary about her book that's circulating, it's asically a Lauren Conrad rip-off in the sense that it's a book about the fictionalized life of the author... who's already leading a completely fake life.

Jamie said...

Amen and amen! I'm cool if they can legit write and do it themselves. However, if someone is going to write it FOR them and relay all their life stories..why not call it a BIOGRAPHY?! lol

Great post!

Jennifer said...

I completely agree with you. I wonder how big the market is. I won't be buying it...

Vicky said...

I agree with you. I've read some pretty awesome fiction books buy actors turned authors, but that's because they were intelligent people who had amazing talent, but I really lose respect for publishers who sell out. I know the industry is in a bad place, but is it worth compromising your morals for?

brandileigh2003 said...

I do wish that some of the awesome authors have the same access.
I wont be reading either.

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

TheBookishSnob said...

Oh I think you're exactly right. I always wonder what the thought process is when a celebrity decides to write a book especially when it seems such a HUGE stretch to imagine it. Is it something they draw out of a hat? I totally agree that it's frustrating because serious writers, authors who lover writing/reading etc don't get that kind of access or exposure and have to fight for what they have whereas it looks like Jersey Girl is getting it delivered on the platter. Just doesn't seem right.

Anyway I came by to pass on the Versatile Blogger award to you :) If you're ok with it, click on my name below and it'll take you to the post with all the info on it. Congrats and great post :)

The Bookish Snob

Jan von Harz said...

While I think you are right about her book selling it won't be because of her writing ability, but the fact that people love gossip and finding out just how delinquent some of actresses or actors lives are.

I also agree that a true writer, someone who desires to make a living writing has a hard time gaining recognition and an agent, so fame should not be a deciding factor. Sadly, money is and an agent and publisher tying their shirt-tails to someone like this are clearly hoping that the sensational aspect of this woman's life will sell book. Great post!

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

I agree with what your saying. Honesly, Snooki is not even on my radar, nor do I want her to be, but when I heard the news aobut this book I just thought it was ridiculous!

Sometimes I'm all for a little light-heartedness in my reading. For example, Nicole Richie has a new book out which I would just see as a fun holiday read, but for the most part I don't take a certain kind of celebrity-turned-author seriously. You just know that their publiscist told them the book would be a good marketing move. Hilary Duff, I see she now has a co-writer listed on her book. Yeah....

GABY said...

I agree! I can't believe Snooki is going to "write" a book...really?

Maybe a lot of people is going to buy it, but not me. I'm one of those who doesn't believe in books written by actors/singer/etc.

Aisle B said...

It's the 15 secs of fame going overboard.
Would I read her book, I think no... let her ride this fad pop ride and hope she's smart enough to put the money aside for when her 15 secs are up. The scarier thing to imagine.. is WHO wants to buy her book.... ooooph chilly thought... SCARY THought...

Nicole MacDonald said...

I totally understand the fury - but unfortunalty its one of those things where 'technically everyone can write a book' - whether or not it's even readable.. well that's another story ;p

http://damselinadirtydress.blogspot.com

MeganMarie said...

I felt the same way when I found out she got a book deal. I'm like I can name like five people off the top of my head who have great talent and STILL haven't gotten a deal and these degenerate fame whores (pardon my French) keep getting deals for no other reason than they are either controversial or sensational in some way. Now maybe her book will end up being good but in my experience that just isn't the case. Thanks for shouting out about this :) BTW...I keep meaning to read some Michael J. Fox. Nice to know that he's a good writer :)

http://xenophobic-bibliophile.blogspot.com/

pinksss said...

Does anyone know of any famous people who have the talent to be writers but never got down to be writers and are doing something else?