'Shore' Marketability: Will a 'Jersey' Book Sell?
By Jo Piazza Posted Mar 30th 2010 05:15PM
Some industry insiders are skeptical and think publishers would have been better off catching the show's bigger star, Snooki!
"I don't know what the advance was on the 'Jersey Shore' book, but I know one thing; They would have done a lot better snaring Snooki. As a paperback it will be a grab at counter gag-gift, but how many sales will that translate into? Those two aren't the stars of the show, and no one knows how a relocated Jersey Shore will hold up," worries one newspaper books editor.
'Never Fall In Love' crosses genres, straddling the celebrity market and the self-help market. According to Publishers Weekly, the book will describe "how to balance work, love, and partying, while properly taking care of hair, nails, and skin – as well as everything else that goes into living an authentic Jersey Shore lifestyle." And couldn't all of us use a little advice in that department? I have personally been neglecting my nails and tan for far too long.
Here's the secret of their success, like the 'Jersey Shore' itself, this book doesn't have to be good. It just has to have some cheap shots and easy laughs.
Let's rewind for a second to 2004, when socialite celebutante Paris Hilton was paid a reported $100,000 advance for her autobiographical tome, 'Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose,' co-written by Merle Ginsberg. It was universally panned by critics, but it became a New York Times bestseller.
Like Hilton, the 'Shore' is its own publicity machine and the book is expected to hit shelves just as MTV starts airing the second season this summer. More than 4.8 million viewers tuned in for the first season.
So if the publishing house invests about $200K to produce this book, at a hardcover price of around $26, they will have to sell only around 7,700 books to break even. Even if they opt to publish the book in paperback only and sell it for half the price, they will need to sell a little over 15,000 copies to break even. That's only 3% of the Shore's audience for their first season, something eminently doable even if the majority of viewers aren't necessarily book worms.
But the last thing these reality stars turned authors want to do is take their star power for granted. It is still going to take a lot of fist pumping to make this puppy a success.
"With the wide variety of reality shows we have a whole new crop of celebrity, add to that the already saturated market of celebrity books and the shelf space at Barnes and Nobles becomes coveted real estate. Never take for granted that by putting a name on a book it will be a best seller," explains Maura Teitelbaum, a literary agent with Abrams Artists Agency. "The Jersey Shore has many fans and was a hit on TV, I could see it doing well if the cast members really rallied around it, made it a priority, took it to appearances, discussed it over Facebook, etc. But if they take for granted that they are popular and thus, so will be the book, it may not reach expectations."
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