I have never seen one episode of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore. Not that I’m a TV snob…well, okay, I’m a little bit of a TV snob. I rarely watch a reality show with the exceptions of Dancing With the Stars and The Biggest Loser, which are my favorites.
And yet, because I live in the world and follow the beats of popular culture, I have heard of the Jersey Shore crowd. I recognize the names J-Woww, Ronnie, The Situation (the one of the infamous abs), and Snooki without ever having seen the show.
The Jersey Shore characters won’t be fading from the pop culture radar anytime soon, as they have all signed book deals.
Publishing is a business. The main goal of publishing companies is to make a profit, just like any other business. In our current publishing industry, celebrities get book deals-that’s not shocking news. If you’re famous, you get to write a book and not the other way around, because famous names sell books. But how far is the publishing world willing to go? Apparently pretty far, when reality show stars like Nicole Richie and the cast of Jersey Shore are offered book deals.
But many downsides result from these celebrity book deals.
The greatest downside isn’t just the flood of lackluster literary choices offered to consumers. Nor is it the uncredited and underpaid work inevitably to be done by the ghostwriters for these celebrity books. It isn’t even the storm of extra media attention these celebrity authors receive on their book releases.
The greatest downside is the silent, largely unnoticed, wave of frustration that moves through the thousands of aspiring authors working hard every day- studying, attending workshops, querying agents, revising-who gladly meet these challenges in the interest of becoming better writers…only to see celebrities without a background in writing, perhaps without even a desire to write, receive book deals.
To aspiring authors, I give a gentle reminder to carry on and keep writing.
A celebrity book will soon find its way to the clearance rack, but the satisfaction you feel from mastering the craft of writing will endure.
Oh, and Snooki’s “fun, sexy” novel “about a single girl looking for love on the Jersey Shore?” If I can borrow a free copy from my library, I will probably read it. Because I’m a writer, which means I read constantly to better educate myself on examples, both good and bad, of writing and literature.
I wonder how many books Snooki reads each week?
Staskiewicz, Keith. “Snooki from ‘Jersey Shore’ to Write a Novel” EntertainmentWeekly.com http://shelf-life.ew.com/2010/09/29/snooki-from-jersey-shore-to-write-a-novel/