>It’s (Not) All About Talent

>As my research into books and agents and publishers rages on, I’ve broadened it a bit to now include not just comedians who have written books. Sure, I’m a comedian who writes books and it makes sense that I would therefore seek to work on my book proposal by comparing myself to other comedians who write books. Along the way, however, I was struck by something that threw a bit of a curve ball my way.

On amazon.com, where more books are sold than anywhere else on the planet, there is a neato little feature called “Customers Also Bought”. It tracks the kind of things people buy and their buying trends. For instance, if you check out Twilight, it will show that customers who bought that book also bought Eclipse. It also shows that they are middle-aged women who want to re-live prom night forever. Nah, just kidding. It actually says nothing about Eclipse.

You get the point.

For instance, if you look up my previous book, The Ultimate Bachelor’s Guide, you will see that readers bought other books about bachelors. It also shows a trend toward buying books on art and life as a southern woman in her 60s, proving once and for all that most copies of my book were bought by my mom.

Well, if you look up certain authors, Amazon will recommend other authors and books to you it thinks you might just like based on what others before you have already purchased. If you look up, say, JK Rowling, it will recommend Stephenie Meyer. If you look up Jon Stewart, it will recommend Stephen Colbert. And if you look up Sean Hannity, it will recommend Everybody Poops.

The following is a list of untalented authors who managed to get book deals, as recommended to me by Amazon.com while I was browsing popular humor books and memoirs. Yes, these are people with little to no discernible talent whatsoever that managed to not only get a book deal, but have the thing released too bookstores and then actually bought and recommended by other people. My apologies in advance to anyone who bought any of the following books, as well as my sincere request you walk off into the desert, never to be heard from again.

  • Hooking up with Tila Tequila: A Guide To Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being The Life of The Party by Tila Tequila and Sarah Tomlinson. Tila Tequila became famous in the first place because she managed to get a million friends on something called Myspace.com, back when there were more than a thousand people still using Myspace.com. She’s a nude model who claimed to be bisexual (read: attention whore) who somehow got a reality show. Someone was willing to cash-in and give her a book deal and, believe it or not, it sold stupidly well…and I’d call it “stupidly well” if it sold, say, more than 12 copies. But it sold better than that, proving my time-tested theory that people love Asian girls with big, fake tits. Tila is so full of talent (read: looks great naked) that she needed a co-author to help put together what was mostly a 176 book of pictures. The “advice” dispensed on how to achieve fame and success could have been summed up with: Take off clothes, spam the shit out of everyone, make out with other chicks. That’s how Tila did it. And people bought a book about it. So the publishing industry deserves a middle finger for putting the book out and Tila’s readers deserve to have it shoved up their collective ass.
  • Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind The Pose by Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton has been in movies, on TV, had an album, and managed to milk her fame for years. Every time someone scoffs that she is milking her “15 minutes of fame”, I laugh myself silly, because Hilton has been around for over ten years. Think about that. Ten years. With all of the other credits she has, it’s no surprise that she got a book deal. What’s surprising is that it was a bestseller, which is surprising because the media is always reporting how much people can’t stand her. Apparently, I’m going about this whole book deal thing the wrong way, and need to be punching small children in the face on live TV. Hilton also had a co-author for her book, which essentially sums up that, in order to be a millionaire, you should have someone give you millions of dollars when you’re just a fetus.
  • The Truth About Diamonds: A Novel by Nicole Richie. If you bought Hilton’s book, you probably bought this one. So says Amazon. In this book, Richie talks about her own life and friends, changes the names, and then calls it a “novel”. She gets points for being clever about being vapid.
  • How To Be Famous by Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt. Because apparently the title There is No God and This is Proof was already taken. Here’s another example of people telling you that, in order to be famous, all you need to do is be rich and famous. It’s like Megan Fox writing a book called How to Get Laid. “Chapter One: Be Megan Fox. The End”.
  • I Just Want You To Know: Letters To My Kids On Love, Faith, And Family by Kate Gosselin. “Dear Kids, Mommy is famous for essentially making many bad decisions. She literally went from being talentless and pregnant and evil to talentless with eight kids and a TV show and still pretty evil. Now she has to keep pimping herself out to every single outlet she possibly can so that she can afford to support herself and her eight offspring she had with that jackass that she divorced and kind of always hated. You know, that guy you call ‘Daddy’. There’s a lesson to be learned, kids: Take fertility drugs, have lots of kids, and you can become famous despite being mean and despised by anyone with a soul. At the very least, you can get a book deal offering advice that you obviously never took yourself…just like I did. Love, Mommy.”

There you have it. And this was just a small list that I had to cut short simply because my eyes were starting to bleed from all of the angry crying I’ve been doing. There are many, many more books out there being written (and published) by people who have no business holding a crayon, let alone putting pen to paper and getting paid to do it. Want a book deal? It helps to have a sex tape first.

In conclusion, the world is empty and my soul feels like mashed potatoes.

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