I’m not sure what’s worse than working in a bookstore full of books by celebrities who didn’t achieve their initial notoriety through wordsmithery. Perhaps it’s working in a bookstore full of books by people with YouTube channels, or selling books full of what seems to be Eighth Grade Level poetry right out of the lining of someone’s Trapper Keeper. We actually sell the fuck out of all of these, which is great, on one hand, because I get to keep paying my mortgage. On the other hand, people actually attend universities to do this shit and I’m not sure why anymore when all you need to do is either a) be Gwyneth Paltrow or b) a quirky teenager on YouTube. So start doing those and you’re set. Go get ’em, Gwyn.
I’m not gearing up to launch into a defense of why publishers used to be gatekeepers of content because look: the Internet is fantastic, and I’m totally a fan of this new Socialism Media Network we have going here where the masses have taken control of the means of production…
Oh wait, they haven’t. Everything is still owned by the same fat dudes with monocles and top hats. The thing that has changed is the submission form to fame, which used to include lots of writing on actual paper and mailing of large manuscripts to the correct people at the proper times, and now consists of farting something out into the digital ether and hoping that it tickles someone’s fancy.
Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of traditional pathways to getting noticed, but there are also a growing number of ways to produce little Brain Doritos and ship them all over the earth. Fifty Shades of Grey has been translated into 52 languages. Some guy or gal working on their doctorate in English is slicing their wrists open right now and one of our best sellers is Twilight fan fiction with the names changed.
So, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I’m going to start a series loosely based on Doctor Who about a time travelling dude in a box that shows up in women’s rooms at night and stares at them until they inexplicably have sex which won’t be a crime because he will be an extremely attractive
vampire billionaire time-travelling space wizard.
I’ll remember you all when I’m hanging out with Jennifer Lawrence. “I wonder what the poor people with college degrees are doing right now?” I’ll wonder out loud, and she’ll do that giggle-snort she does and reply, “Making my fucking coffee.”