An Open Letter to every book publisher on the planet:
Please, for the love of everything we hold sacred, take a breath. I guarantee you – absolutely guarantee you – that if none of you choose to publish Kim Kardashian’s soon to be shopped around tell-all about her 72 days of wedding hell, you won’t receive nor read even one letter, email, tweet, fax, facebook post, text or voice mail from the book-buying public, demanding that you give poor Kim the platform she needs to tell her story.
To publishers who have all the money and confidence in the world that book will rack up record-breaking sales, please put the money to better use. Take the advance you were going to pay Ms. Kardashian to bear her wounded soul to the world and donate it to women’s shelters, reforestation efforts or your favorite rehab center. It may do some actual good and reach people or causes that need financial support.
To the editors who have held meetings since Wednesday about how to approach Kim’s very busy agent and put together the best deal for everyone: please stop right now. Promise yourself that if anyone in your entire building is still talking about Kim and the seemingly inconsequential Kris in two weeks, you’ll make that phone call and begin negotiations. Wait – make that one week.
To marketing teams who apparently have pictures of endcaps, table displays and book signings that are all but scheduled dancing in their heads, stop being so lazy. Commit to marketing good but unknown writers who have an actual voice and talent. Use all your efforts and good old-fashioned sell-in skills (remember those?) to help them find the readers they deserve.
I don’t expect this will make one bit of difference to anyone who makes these decisions. Times are hard and easy money is easy money. But what I will never understand is how the same publishing industry that participates in the erudite National Book Awards annually and nominates mostly obscure, literary writers for lofty awards and virtually dismisses “popular” fiction as too base and tawdry for consideration, could also be the same publishers who compete for a book from the likes of Kim or any number of “famous for being famous” people like her. It makes no sense. Who are you?
Once again, the genius of Ricky Gervais / Andy Millman on “Extras” rings true. To update his final episode, brilliant observation slightly, I have to agree: “The Victorian freak show never went away. But now it’s called Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan or Snooki or Chaz.”
God help us, we’re still lining up for tickets. The question is: do we blame the ticket seller or ourselves?