Friday, February 17, 2012

Television and Books

Bill O'Reilly is bringing out a sequel to Killing Lincoln aptly named Killing Kennedy. Henry Holt the publisher says that due to vigorous sales the second book should be well received. Billy uses a co writer and I would bet he is the writer seeing the big mans schedule. Popular history requires some research and this takes time and the writing takes time and thought and Billy (pardon to all O'reilly disciples) does not seem like the kind of guy who sits around and writes historical books. What Holt really loves of course is having his name on the book, they could care less if he pens one word.

Television has become the instrument of book selling. Every cable pundit has multiple books. Chris Matthews even hawks his own book on his show in a third person commercial "And it would make an excellent Christmas gift" You  could just see the publishers asking him for that plug. So it doesn't matter really who writes these books as long as the television personality can say it is theirs and plug it on their show. With publishing undergoing the equivalent of the Titanic going down (unsinkable) you cannot blame them for grabbing onto any piece of flotsam in the e-market sea.

Glenn Beck is a novelist and he sells well. Many Beck followers will plunk down the price of a hardcover and so we can expect a long line of Beck fiction. What does this say? Just that advertising is expensive and doesn't work and if you can use a television personality who is on the air night after night then there is a lot more bang for the book. To the victor belongs the spoils and certainly for the modern author one sure road to bestsellerdom is to have your own show.

Or at least stick your name on someones book who has a show. You will probably be doing the writing, but there are worse ways  to get on a bestseller list. I just don't know what they are.

Books by William Hazelgrove