Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How do we get THAT job?

They're called "packagers." They write the books then get some young thing like the Opal Mehta girl to "front" the project. A hot novel by a pretty 17-year-old on her way to Harvard is a much sexier sell than a first novel by a couple of unknown 40-year-olds. For more proof of how to create a "front," look up the exposes of one J.T. Leroy.

To learn more about being a "packager," read this.

The Harvard Crimson is kicking everyone's keister on this story, including the NYT.

Every week, it seems, we learn a new dirty little secret about the publishing industry. Years ago a journo-friend of mine forced Tom Clancy to admit during an interview that the author uses a team of writers to produce some of his paperback series -- a veritable assembly line for quicky adventure fiction. But there on cover is "Tom Clancy."

And you can't tell me Nicole Richie knows enough words to produce her first "novel," The Truth About Diamonds. Whattaya bet she can't even type, much less know where punctuation goes?

Forget being a real writer. Being a "packager" is where the money is right now. Can someone tell me how to get that job?

7 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

You mean that Christy Canyon, Traci Lords and Jenna Jameson might not have written their own books!!

I am SHOCKED!

8:10 AM  
Blogger theprofessor said...

I doubt if they've even READ them.

11:24 AM  
Blogger mattbg said...

There's also Milli Vanilli... :)

11:48 AM  
Anonymous lucille said...

OK but seriously: this has being going on since the 1870s. Teams of writers churned out Horatio-Alger style adventure and rags-to-riches stories of trademarked characters like "Deadwood Dick." Then there were the Nancy Drew books, team-written under the pseudonym "Carolyn Keene." And everyone plagiarized from everyone. So it's not like publishing has changed... sorry to be so pedantic, but you know, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

This really is sad. It seems like th gap between mature and young people is growing so huge. Even at age 21 I feel like I'm too far behind most people. So I leave you with this to ease (at least it did for me) your mind.
These "packagers" can make money, young. They are being handicapped and will never know struggle and discrimination that older writers have. So, Professor, how do you think these kids will deal with losing their youth and newness? Pretty badly. The older writers will struggle (which can either hender them OR help them create an amazing novel). I say that it's a shame for young writers who want to get better and a shame for old writers who want money.

Though, money is ALWAYS nice.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous elisabeth said...

maybe i'm just horribly old-fashioned, but i do tend to expect authors to actually write their own books. i must be out of touch with my generation (i'm sixteen).

7:51 PM  
Blogger metromon said...

Да я парочку нашла, а там в он-лайне, и нет букв "а"!!! Прикинь? Просто пропущены(( Фигня полная, вобщем...

5:08 AM  

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