Celebrity Book Deals

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Photo Credit: Expats Post

We all know that it is nearly impossible to get your foot in the door of the publishing industry, right? Yet I’m sure you see all these celebrities getting book deals left and right. Let me tell you what I think about this.

First off, I can definitely understand why a publisher would offer a book deal to a well-known celebrity…money. At least that’s what I’d hope is motivating them. They think that a book “written” by a well-known celebrity is a sure fire bestseller and money maker. As I’m writing this I’m not going to check to see if this actually rings true because it may just make me angry.

But let me name off a few celebrities who have recently gotten book deals or have actually released a book. Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Shaq. Alex Morgan. Derek Jeter. Did you know Simon and Schuster gave Jeter his own imprint? Yes. These are just the ones off the top of my head. Before I continue, let me just say that I’m not here saying that any of these celebrities are incapable of helping during the creative process, I’m just pointing out that major publishers are giving book deals to people who aren’t actually writing the books.

How does that saying about the publishing industry go? Something like the super writers make it possible for publishers to take chances on lesser known authors. Something like that? But it appears that the super writers are making it possible for publishers to take chances on celebrity authors. And let’s face it, some of the time the publishers will be right and they’ll have an instant bestseller on their hands, but not always.

So while you’re working away on that final draft of your book or trying to perfect your query letter, just know that the publishers you wish to be published by have allowed some celebrity to skip the entire process just because of their name.

NOTE: I’m about 99% sure that Alex Morgan actually writes her books, props to her!

But how do you feel about celebrities getting major book deals without ever writing a single word on a page?

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Saturday Selects: Tattoos becoming “mainstream?”

Photo Credit: Inked Magazine

For all of my newcomers here on my little piece of cyberspace, my Saturday Selects posts occur on the first Saturday of every month and it is the one post that does not discuss books or publishing or anything of the like. These posts allow me to discuss something else for a change. In case you missed it, my first was titled Saturday Selects: Farewell to an all-time great. I talk about what Derek Jeter has done for the game of baseball over the course of his 20 year career.

Today, you all get to read about tattoos.

Before you can even think of the question to ask, yes, I have some of my own. I currently have two. I have every intention of getting several more in 2014, probably five. So if that makes you sick to your stomach or you no longer want to read the blog of someone who has and likes tattoos, then please feel free to leave the post now. And even unfollow if you feel that it’s necessary. But I’ll tell you, this post isn’t about me.

But I would like to share two quick stories with you all before I continue. I got my first tattoo at the age of 18 in August of 2010. I was in my first semester of college at the time and I did my best to hide it from my parents for about a month. When I finally told my dad he thought I was joking and didn’t believe it until he saw with his own eyes. My mom left the room and cried, still don’t understand why that happened. I got my second in May of 2013, only three days after walking across the stage during my university’s graduation. This time, I told my dad where I was going and what I was doing and he didn’t have a second thought about it.

Legal policy?

Anyway, back to the point of the post. One of the things I hear most often from people when I tell them about the tattoos I want to get in the future is, “What about when you look for a job?” This is because at least three of the tattoos I intend to get this year will be on my forearms. It is almost always suggested that having tattoos that are visible somehow makes you less professional looking. And I know for a fact that the Houston Police Department has a policy in which it states that any tattoos or body art that cannot be covered up by the regular duty uniform will eliminate any candidate from consideration for employment. Huh? The department already has VERY low standards for its applicants and it still has this absurd policy in place? How is this not considered discrimination?¬† Age and physical requirements are one thing, but this?! This is just one example of many.

Tattoos becoming mainstream?

Another thing that we hear in the media and many people believe is that tattoos are becoming more “mainstream.” What the heck does that even mean? Seriously. I know that there are a number of TV shows all about tattoos popping up everywhere. Ink Master. Best Ink. Tattoo Nightmares. Tattoos After Dark. Bad Ink. Just to name a few. But has the stigma fully left us as a society? I don’t know if it has. I get compliments on my one visible tattoo just about every week, but I’ve probably had double the number of people give me that look of disgust upon seeing it. AND IT’S AN OPEN BOOK AND QUILL!

If I were ever asked in a condescending manner why I like and have tattoos this would be my response, “Do you like football?” They would most likely answer yes. I’d continue, “Every team in the NFL has players with tattoos. Every one.” They would tell me that that’s different. I’d continue once more. “How so?” That’s when the person asking the question would accept defeat and move on.

I think tattoos are becoming more accepted as time goes on, but let’s not lie to ourselves and say that they are universally accepted. They aren’t and I don’t understand why not.

Saturday Selects: Farewell to an All-Time Great

As evidenced by my most recent posts, I’ve decided to branch out and discuss a wider range of topics related to books, publishing, reading, and writing. Well, I’m going to continue that trend and start a series of posts on one Saturday a month to discuss a topic that is unrelated to any of the above topics. After all, there’s more to me than books. (But not much) This will be the first and it will have a baseball theme to it.

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Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter announced this week that the upcoming baseball season will be his last. You might be wondering why this is significant. Well, Derek Jeter will be a first ballot hall of famer when he becomes eligible. There’s no doubt about it. For those of you non-sports watchers, a first ballot hall of famer is when the player is elected in his first year on the ballot. This year there were three such players elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but it doesn’t happen often.

I’m only 22 and Derek Jeter has played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball. I have literally grown up watching him play. It doesn’t matter that I’m not a Yankees fan, I’m a baseball fan above all else and Derek Jeter has been the face of the game for nearly two decades. He’s played in a whopping seven World Series! Seven! Five of those times the Yankees came out on top, losing in 2001 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in one of the great sports moments of the last 15 years, and in 2003 to the Florida Marlins.

To put it into perspective what he’s meant to the game I’ll give you what I think is a perfect comparison. The NFL is king in America. The Super Bowl seemingly breaks its own viewership records each year. Well, Tom Brady has been the face of the league over the last decade or so. He’s played in five Super Bowls and won three. He’s constantly in the discussion of being one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. While Jeter isn’t necessarily in that particular conversation when it comes to baseball, it’s hard to argue against him when he’s compared to players of his era. And he is in that conversation when it comes to the Yankees organization, which is far and away the most prolific we’ve ever had in baseball history.

I’m not going to get into his stats because I can tell you that they are representative of his GREAT career. I will, however, suggest that you take a look at this article published by CBS Sports that ranks him based on his numbers among the greatest shortstops ever. I’d also recommend you read this article published on Forbes that discusses Jeter as the player of his generation.

It’s been great watching you play, Mr. Jeter. Absolutely great.