Friday, March 30, 2007

Literary Death - coming soon to a tv near you.

In your wildest, sweatiest, most-horror-filled nightmares, could you have come up with anything worse than this?

Reality tv is bad enough.
Compulsive it may be, but why?
Because you are drawn into the hopes and fears of people desperate to realise their dreams - whether it is to be a Masterchef, work for Alan Sugar, fund their invention, sing or dance their way to fame and fortune ...

Surely though, there could never be anything like that for writers ...

I mean, no matter how awful the current state of publishing ...

The image “http://www.trivisions.com/grue/images/darkart/digital2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

So it was with a mixture of trepidation and horror that I bring you this:
Publish Your Book! (note the exclamation mark) - a reality tv show where the winner gets ... a book deal.

And to up its credentials for the whole ghastly format, it's being presented by Tony Cowell.
Recognise the surname?
He's the elder brother of Simon Cowell - revered and reviled in equal measure as tv's Mr Nasty.

The program called “Publish My Book!” is scheduled to air in the summer in Britain. “Publish My Book!” will see aspiring writers pitch their ideas to a panel of publishing experts in a bid to win a publishing deal. Cowell will present the program and plans to sell the idea to US networks.

This is what TC says about it:

The format for the program is based on exposing how the publishing industry works, how hard it is for aspiring writers to break through - interviews with top authors, and culminating in competition to find a new author in 'Apprentice' style treatment.

Gonna be sick ...

(Thanks to Matt for flagging this up. And notice the fish have taken over his blog too. They're coming. They're coming ...)

18 comments:

Matthew said...

Twas actually Caroline of In Search of Adam.blogspot.com who got in there first, though her commentary had a far more nefarious bent to it :)

Debi said...

Our Caroline has a very weird thing going for Simon Cowell ... bless (her not him)

Anonymous said...

Hi there - can you please note that the TV show will be called 'Bestsellers' (Im not sure where 'Publish My Book' comes from. Anyway glad to hear you are all embracing the idea!
Regards
Tony Cowell

Matthew said...

Hah!

Miss Despina said...

A friend sent me a game designed by his friend. For anyone who "loves" reality TV shows - enjoy!

http://www.ifthingsweredifferent.com/childoftv/realityTV.html

Despina :)

John said...

Some people blame the unravelling of Rome on lead-lined eating utensils. I wonder what they'll say about us.

Minx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Minx said...

We know what will happen six months down the line and it doesn't take a crystal ball to predict the outcome for the poor victim(s).
I am all for exposing the dire state of the publishing industry but what will it do to the individuals? Maybe I am stupid in thinking that writers will have a little more discretion.

Debi said...

Bestsellers? Best sellers - which is what it will come down to. Who can prsent themselves and their product in the 'best' way.

Book + author = commodity.

I'm off to join the fish.

Debi said...

Sorry - forgot to say hi and welcome to Miss Despina! Horror got the better of me manners.

crimeficreader said...

I thought the name was familiar and the association with books! The London Book Fair previously had a "Lit Idol" event, involving Cowell:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/4031975.stm
It seems to have dropped off the radar, so perhaps this is the development of it?

Now on TV, one thing's a cert - those seeking a deal will have to have an interesting personality; the ability to perform well for camera; the ability to "pitch" like a management consultant on the tender trail; a vibrant and distinctive connection with their potential audience through the visual and audio...

Such a big difference to an author quietly beavering away, producing a remarkable MS, selling it on its own merits and getting a publishing deal because it's good.
A novel or any other type of book for that matter is read in seclusion most of the time. A reader doesn't have the author just behind their shoulder to consult from time to time or to receive lashings of "added value" when reading.

If this is following the format of Pop Idol and the X Factor, then it's clearly "contestant beware" time. The track record on winners for both of those shows leaves a lot to be desired.

As a show creates a "personality", even a "celebrity" before the book comes out, it smacks of another take on the "celebrity publishing syndrome" many are now so tired of and others hated from the start of its boom.

Best to remember the "boom and bust" cycle. It happens to all in the end. Unless you're the world's most sought after toilet paper manufacturer.

The Wandering Author said...

I've got a book idea already. It's a "legal thriller". A writer, reading of the newest development in horrible reality shows, chokes to death with a look of horror frozen on his face in front of his monitor. His widow sues the show's creators, producers, and 'stars' for provoking his death, and bankrupts them all, defeating the swarms of sharks deployed by the "entertainment industry". The entire reality show / celebrity mill mess tumbles to financial ruin in the aftermath.

Somehow, I don't think they'll buy it, even with the happy ending.

Oh, where did I get the idea? Well, the first part was nearly a reality.

Meloney Lemon said...

No no no no...Tell me it's all a bad dream and I'll wake up soon.

Saaleha said...

I don't know what to think. Wait and see???

clare said...

Bestsellers, huh? Well I guess that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy...Thank you, Debi. Something else to avoid.

I find it depressing that this is how Mr Cowell thinks the publishing industry works. I do actually think there are some editors and publishers who are interested in good writing rather than good pitching.

Our TV seems to have become nothing but a game and DVD monitor these days in any case.

Minx said...

Tony Cowell's book - Is it just me, or is everyone famous?' - has a large picture of his brother Simon on the front. Are we to believe that his presence on this new reality(!) debacle comes purely from his lifelong need to promote new writers? Bless him.

Verilion said...

Uuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggghhhhhhhh aaahhhhhhh blurrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhh

Robert said...

This show hasn't even been commissioned by the UK television network.