Maybe "gimmicky" is a harsh sounding word, perhaps "trendy" would be better, but it doesn't have the rawr of cattiness. Anyway, on Tumblr yesterday I was accosted by Tumblr Staff’s announcement the The Great Tumblr Book Search was over and they have a winner: Shit Rough Drafts – which “imagines early drafts of famous literary works and screenplays” and, as grand prize winner, received a book deal.
Interested in seeing what made the top of the list, I clicked on the link and spent some time reading Shit Rough Drafts and unfortunately was let down. A “laugh out loud” idea that would be pitched to Chronicle Books via Tumblr to get their attention, then the editors would select a winner for publication. I don’t know, I guess since they stressed they were “looking for humor” I was hoping that it would be lol inducing, but Shit Rough Drafts is just…eh. Maybe I shouldn’t expect that much considering the other Tumblrs Chronicle Books cites as examples, but I feel like it should at least be funny – “not amused smile but bored after two minutes.” Incidentally, I’d much rather see Seinfelt be made into a book, of course the recent posts have been a bit long winded and not as hilarious as entries such as The Booger Wall (and yes, I am very immature, (as if you didn’t know that already)).
I also suppose it’s entirely possible that the book deal offer doesn’t have to involve the Tumblr entry and could be something else…but I have strayed from my original intended topic: gimmick books. In recent years, popular fiction went from vampires to zombies to werewolves and now erotic fanfic is all the rage. Lately it seems like the publishing industry has turned to popular websites – and not just typical blogs, but Tumblr accounts and Twitter, as a mine for books, tv shows, and movies. I guess what interests me the most is that previously at least blogs had some sort of written and thought out content, but now the sites that are getting attention are ones with an idea that catches on and then all the content is generated by its readers, instead an actual traditional “author” (case in point any of the “Award __ Photos”). I also realize that this is part of the cyclical nature of trends -- not just in the publishing world, but it's definitely not a new phenomena.
I suppose I should offer Shit Rough Drafts kudos for not just reposting submitted stuff from others, but at the same time I’m trying to think of a gimmick of my own that I can somehow spin off into a book deal, that doesn’t involve zombies, or cats, or singing and dancing. Hmm…