Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Clueless publisher to release book based on "Text from Dog" Tumblr posts

Publishers are desperate to find the next "pre-sold" property...and here it is: The Bookseller reports that British publisher Headline has paid an undisclosed amount to animator Joe Butcher for a compilation of his Tumblr posts called "Text from Dog." The characters in the Tumblr, October Jones and his dog Cooper, have more than 100,000 Tumblr fans and 40,000 Twitter followers. Hence, a pre-sold audience. Here's a quote from Headline deputy publishing director Sarah Emsley (and I'm not making this up):

"October and Cooper have been brightening up our days for months and we could not be more thrilled to be working (with) them. Buy your copy this autumn to see if it will be BATDOG or CATCAT who reigns supreme this Christmas."

John Biggs at TechCrunch read the Bookseller story, and demolished it. Here's a quote:
So look, here’s what’s up: you guys are killing yourselves. Like this. You’re paying what? Probably six figures for a book based on Text From Dog, an arguably funny Tumblr that, in book form, will sell a maximum of 5,000 copies and then disappear from the cultural Zeitgeist. I mean you wouldn’t pay some no-talent asshole to pretend to write a work of fiction and then capitalize on her name to sell some garbage, would you? Oh wait, you would. But still. Why? Why are you doing this? Stop.
And another one:
I can see the wheels turning. “This is funny! It’s on the web! We can monetize it! People love dogs! People are stupid! This could make our quarter!” Stop.
You’re about to be flattened. Book piracy is about to smash your top shelf revenue while books like Text From Dog are going to kill any respect we once had for the big six. You guys clearly have no idea what you’re doing and you’re depending on your recent Yale-grad philosophy major Assistant Editor to bring you some hot, hot web trendz to capitalize on. Real fiction and non-fiction? Blah, that’s for old people and nerds. What the kids want to do these days is go into a book store and buy a book based on a Tumblr blog. Because kids are stupid. Also vampires. And sex.

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