> apples and oranges
And sour grapes.
But hey, if Griffin's book sells gazillions, it may make some
publisher enough dough to take a risk on a crime novelist or two who
hasn't quite delivered on his promise yet.
Publishing has always been -- and probably always will be -- a high
risk way of making money. I don't think them making some bucks on a
relatively sure thing occasionally is quite the moral and ethical
catastrophe some writers think it is, since any decent publisher takes
plenty of gambles along the way. We may not particularly care for
these prefab celebrity books, but they do cut publishers a certain
amount of financial slack when they hit (and I'm not even sure La
Griffins book is a sure thing, though Lord knows, the lady is popular.).
I mean, how many of us here haven't gone for what seems like a slam
dunk? How many years would a business that only takes risks last?
There's no law saying all writers, regardless of talent or their own
high opinion of themselves (or low opinion of the reading public) must
be published by Random House or Ballantine or whomever. Of course,
those who don't like the big bad publishers playing it safe can always
try (or return to) self-publishing.
PublishAmerica is waiting. Now there's a real long shot for all you he-
men gamblers ...
But, like I said, a book by a working stand-up comedian (ie: someone
who works with words all day long and presumably understands how they
work) might at least be a better read than one by some whiny, steroid-
jacked mush-mouthed jock or some barely literate celebrity plumber or
some vapid actress or politician who can barely read a gum wrapper.
And Griffin's jaundiced and disdainful insider/outsider view of the
excesses of celebrity and stardom and the shallowness of Hollywood
(which, to her credit, she'll quickly concede to being part of, my sister-in-law tells me) isn't that far a stretch from that of Chandler or any of a slew of other self-loathing Hollywood-based crime writers, proof once again of how the cynical/skeptical hard-boiled world view has eventually become a mainstream cultural perspective. We love celebrities/we hate them. Which might be why she's popular, and why publishers thought they could sell a few of her books.
And you never know. Some celebrities can actually write.
Kevin Burton Smith
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