I subscribe to The Book Marketing Network (http://bookmarketing.ning.com) to be inspired for my marketing creativity. Of course, the site is US-based so doesn’t always apply to the Australian market but it can inspire ideas that may work Downunder.
John Kremer’s latest post asked his subscribers to tell him why they’d like to become reality TV show stars or creators. This got me thinking about the huge publicity these reality stars receive, often for doing nothing at all.
Or are they doing something?
Just by getting on these show means they want people to watch them, so they are being proactive as far as their own publicity goes.
I’m surprised that, other than Damien Leith (remember the Idol contestant he now has a novel ‘Remember June’) none seem to be aspiring authors before their brush with fame on reality TV.
Wouldn’t this seem to be the best place to plug your book? Why wasn’t someone on Big Brother writing the whole trash of what was going on in the house whilst they were inside? Reading tidbits on air would have created hype for when the book was finally released to a ready-made audience (of 2.2 million!) – Big Brother fanatics. There was of course the host, Gretel Killeen, who was a writer before the show. I don’t think she plugged any of her books but maybe that was in her contract not to. Although it did get out that she was an author and quite possibly just the publicity of being the host would have sent potential buyers out looking for her books.
Others have written books since reality TV but few have become part of reality TV just because they write. The personal trainers in The Biggest Loser have books out but would they have sold a single one if they were just ordinary personal trainers and not ones on TV?
At the moment it seems reality cooking shows are all the go. MasterChef has not only created chefs but authors as well.
It all seems a bit unfair to me when writers (who love writing and live for writing) slog away at their keyboards or go through thousands of ballpoint pens to get their manuscripts finished only to do the rounds of publisher slush piles. Getting publicity for the ordinary author is difficult and I wouldn’t recommend partaking in reality TV unless you really want to become a celebrity (not just an author).
I guess the main thing with reality TV is that it celebrates the everyday humanity in us all. It is hard to gauge how much is unscripted and what the puppeteers are doing with the strings but they are real people in unreal situations. So why not put some real writers in the mix?
And there are the Jessica Watson’s who go about their dream and record it in book form knowing that before it even hits the shelf that it will sell.
Can she write? Who knows but she did blog often (blogging is writing). Can she tell a story? She is the story.