Monday, May 24, 2004

When Metablogging goes insane 

The New Yorker (!!!!) profiles Kate Lee, a twentysomething agent with ICM who has developed quite the niche market: bloggers with book deals:
Two years from now—give or take—Elizabeth Spiers, the founding editor of the gossip Web sites Gawker and The Kicker, will publish her first novel. Around the same time, Glenn Reynolds, who writes the political Web log Instapundit, will also have a book in stores. So, too, may writers from the blogs Hit & Run, The Black Table, Dong Resin, Zulkey, Low Culture, Lindsayism, Megnut, Maud Newton, MemeFirst, Old Hag, PressThink, I Keep a Diary, Buzz Machine, Engadget, and Eurotrash. Suddenly, books by bloggers will be a trend, a cultural phenomenon. You will probably read about it in the Sunday Times. And when that happens the person to thank—or blame—will be Kate Lee, who is currently a twenty-seven-year-old assistant at International Creative Management.

Well, considering how freaking talented a whole host of these namechecked individuals are (including a certain pseudonymous blogger, no matter how much he wants to deflect attention away from him) no wonder they are taking over.

And once they do, pub parties will never quite be the same again...

UPDATE: Choire's got some harsh truths for those bloggers who see stars in the publishing world:
It only takes most publishers 18 to 24 months to publish a book! They also have these innovative ideas of promotion -- for instance, as a Published Author, you might be allowed to fly yourself to Chicago and/or Miami to read to an audience of 12 or 13 people at a Barnes and Noble! And when your Kirkus and/or Publisher's Weekly reviews come out, and their wild praise contains one critical note, suddenly the PR people at your publisher are occupied with other projects -- and your $20,000 advance doesn't earn out and everyone scratches their heads in puzzlement.

It's the most retarded shell game on earth -- and the most technophobic, ass-backwards, financially-dumb-headed industry in the world. Our prediction: first blogger book: $140K advance. Second blogger book: $700K advance. Third blogger book: $15K advance. None earn out, the shark gets jumped, and then it's contract publishing gigs for all, and some God-awful ghost-writing gigs, which results in yet more bitter alcoholic blather on weblogs. Enjoy the hype, little bloggers. Take your advances and buy stock in Halliburton while you can.

Quick: anyone know how much this man got for an advance? We already know how much she got (somewhere in the vicinity of a "nice deal") and this man's book will be out in September, so it seems like the Gawker theory of advances might be a little bit flawed at this point in time.

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