Saturday, January 8, 2011

Guest Author: Elizabeth Black

Have We Been Snookered?
By Elizabeth Black

Snooki published a novel.

For hermits like me who have been living under rocks and have no idea what a Snooki is, Snooki is a reality TV "star" of a show called "Jersey Shore". I've never seen it. I have no desire to see it. Until recently I'd never even heard of Snooki, whatever it is. Nor did I care.

Until now.

See, Snooki published a novel. And it's getting lots of publicity. Granted, it's not good publicity, but as any ornery child knows, bad attention is better than no attention at all. According to Snooki, she has read only two books – "Twilight" and "Dear John". Her novel, "A Shore Thing", is "a story about a little guidette named Gia who takes her big hair to the Jersey Shore for a summer of drunken love." Sounds like her life story, from what I've learned.

So why am I bothered by this? Because I'm a struggling writer trying to put entertaining books out there. I would love to have the audience celebretrash like Snooki has. She'll probably have great sales if only for the train wreck factor.

As a writer with small presses, my sales aren't ever going to reach J. K. Rowling proportions, but at least Rowling can write. I promote with the best of them but I know I won't reach New York Times bestseller status. I'm realistic. My sales are solid but I would like to see them improve in 2011, especially now that sales of ebook readers have taken off. I have lots of fans and I get fan mail in droves. I'm very happy that people are buying my books and enjoying them.

Yes, I'm jealous. And miffed.

It really chaps my hide that someone like Snooki publishes a novel and is successful at it. It's being published by Simon and Schuster's Gallery Press imprint, so this isn't a fly-by-night publisher or vanity press. Granted, we have to see sales figures but the amount of publicity she's getting is staggering. I counted 39,400 pages for the Google search terms "Snooki novel excerpts". No indie writer can even dream of that kind of publicity. And all for what? Who calls this writing?
"He had an okay body. Not fat at all. And naturally toned abs. She could pour a shot of tequila down his belly and slurp it out of his navel without getting splashed in the face."

"Any juicehead will get some nut shrinkage. And bacne. They fly into a 'roid rage, it is a 'road' 'roid rage."

"Yum. Johnny Hulk tasted like fresh gorilla."

"I love food. I love drinking, boys, dancing until my feet swell. I love my family, my friends, my job, my boss. And I love my body, especially the badonk." (Lizzie's note: "badonk" refers to her shapely ass.)

"Gia had never before been in jail. It wasn't nearly as gritty and disgusting as she'd seen on TV prison shows. The Seaside Heights drunk tank -- on a weekday afternoon -- was as clean and quiet as a church."

"Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show. She shook it hard. Too hard. In the middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out. A loud one. And stinky."
I found another article that includes part of an entire brain-numbing scene. I can't post the whole thing or your brain will bleed out your eyes.
A hot guido was staring at her - in a nice way - from across the room.
Gia smiled at him. His back against the wall, he stood just off the dance floor, thumb in a belt loop. His chest muscles strained the fabric of his black tank top. It fit across a tummy that was hard and flat enough to cut salami on. No tattoos, which meant plenty of empty space on his arms to ink PROPERTY OF GIA. He started as if he could see through her dress, right down to the zebra-print bra and thong set underneath.
“I found him,” Gia said to Bella, draining her Slippery Nipple in one long suck…
I wonder who will read the audio book? Brad Dourif? Patrick Stewart? I'd love to hear Patrick Stewart say "badonk" and "bacne". Or "Slippery Nipple". I'm getting wet just thinking about it.

I'm not exactly Hemingway. I write naughty books. Erotic romances. Erotica. Trashy novels. Bodice rippers. Smut. But I write good smut. I know lots of erotic romance writers who write smut so well their books singe every time you turn the page. I develop realistic and loveable characters, create engaging plots, and wield the written word like a sword. So do plenty of other writers including those outside the erotic romance genre. Yet we won't get the attention Snooki and her "novel" are getting.

Are we doing something wrong? Have writers trying to do their best to turn a word been snookered?

Maybe I should quit my day job writing for sex toys companies, and become a dominatrix full time. I hear the money's great. Try the super kinky-bordering-on-sick stuff. And then blog about it until I go viral. And instead of writing the novels and short stories I write now, which are character, plot, and relationship-based, aim for stuff so nauseating I get prayer vigils. And include descriptive words like "badonk" and "bacne". And make fart jokes. Gotta have the fart jokes. Then I'll be hated and ridiculed on nearly 40,000 web sites. But I'll have a bestseller and I'll laugh all the way to the bank.

Nah. I'd rather stick with what I write now. My audience is smaller, but my readers are loyal and they don't ridicule me. I'm very happy with what I have and I don't want to turn into Snooki. Please God, don't let me turn into Snooki!!

My new book "Indiscretions Vol. 2: The Mile High Club and Room Service" comes out January 14, 2011. Romance Divine is the featured publisher at Rainbow EBooks
from January 14 - 16, 2011. This book of mine will be featured. "Indiscretions Vol. 2" is much hotter and kinkier than my other books. It's got it all: m/m, m/m/f, bondage, anal, airplane sex, hotel sex. I promise the words "bacne" and "Slippery Nipple" don't appear
anywhere in the pages. LOL! I will continue the series with the same characters as well as others in "Indiscretions Vol. 2 – The Convention" (tentative title). Look for it in a few months.

Here's the link to Rainbow Ebooks:

Head on over there during Romance Divine's featured days that weekend and get 20% off my new release Indiscretions Vol. 2 - The Mile High Club and Room Service. And get 20% off my other Romance Divine titles as well.

Here's a blurb for your enjoyment:

Elizabeth Black continues her ribald Indiscretions series with "Indiscretions: Vol. 2". These two short stories follow the amorous adventures of Caryn as she wings her way across country to a writer’s convention. In "The Mile High Club", Caryn has a high altitude fling with the sexy Jeremy. Their encounter isn’t without comic complications, but a very good time is had by all. The action continues in "Room Service", when Caryn and Jeremy meet a mutual friend and the sexual action is three-times hotter!


Janice Seagraves said...


You are a much better writer than Snooki will ever be. She's just cashing in on her popularity. Just like Madonna and Fergie.


Natalie Dae said...

I have nooooo clue who this woman is! I've always said that those in the public eye will get a book deal whether they're good or not because they're a cash cow.

Try not to let it bother you, love. So long as you're happy doing what you're doing, it doesn't matter about anyone else.


Elizabeth Black said...

Oh, it doesn't bother me that much. It's just amazing what gets published these days. Yup, cash cows make the grade alright. I have heard from some writers who bang their heads on their keyboards when they read news like this.

I wonder what the sequel will be? And will the movie be in 3-DD? :)

Unknown said...

I've heard the name. Never saw the show and never will. How much you want to bet 'Snooki' didn't write the book?

But you're right, she'll be pulling it in, hand over fist and laughing all the way to the bank.

The only thing we can take comfort in is she will probably be a forgotten has been in another year or two.

Tess MacKall said...

Oh I saw that show. Once. lol Once was enough. I wonder about reality TV and the fact it's so popular. What does that say about the type of voyeurs our country breeds. What happened to the ever lovable old-fashioned Peeping Tom? At least we could identify with him.

Now onto the book. I feel your pain, hon. Really do. I feel the same way about Sarah Palin. I received an email the other day talking about this very thing--well, not Snookie girl, but the same subject matter.

Why is it there are authors on the NYTBSL that can't write for spit--maybe have a good storyline but the execution sucks canal water--and yet they are there when there are all kinds of writers who are damn fine writers with so much more to offer?

It does make you want to call in the local hitman when you read such crap. Really does. I stopped banging my head against the wall, though. I KNOW I'm better than most of this crappy stuff being put out there. And I finally decided it was a matter of timing and who ya smooze with too. Then there is this:

Stupid people get famous based on that stupidity. It shines. And there are those who will capitalize on it every time if they see a buck to be made.

Snookie will end up in Betty Ford. I predict.

Elizabeth Black said...

I hear you on Snooki likely being forgotten in a year or two, P. A. Brown. Either that or the ridicule will get even worse. I wouldn't want to be known in my life for being an idiot.

I do wonder at the state of the country when someone like that gets a major book contract when talented authors can't even get a postcard from an agent. Makes me very sad. I just know that I am plugging away very hard, and I know I'll reap the rewards soon enough. I've been writing for only about three years professionally so I'm just getting started.

Elizabeth Black said...

Tess, I wonder if anyone actually will read Sarah Palin's book because conservative groups buy books like hers in bulk to give away as gifts for paid memberships. That's one big reason those books end up on the NY Times bestseller lists - the lists have been gamed. I take some solace in that.

I did get good news this week. My short f/f/paranormal story "Things That Go Hump In The Night" was accepted for inclusion in Ravenous Romance's "I Kissed A Girl Again" anthology. Also got a great review for "Feral Heat" from Long and Short Reviews. And I sent out my first agent letter a few days ago. THAT made me nervous!

I don't care if Snooki's book is a pop-up affair with Smell-O-Vision that makes millions. I know I'll be fine in the long run with my integrity intact.

Bianca Sommerland said...

I'm with Natalie. I have no idea who Snooki is, but it doesn't surprise me to hear about another celeb getting put on the shelves by a big pub. They love their cows ;)

The way I see it, this is yet another reason that--while I'd only do it myself if I couldn’t get a contract for one of my books any other way--self-publishing is a viable option for some. Some amazing authors fight for years to get a decent agent, which they need to get published by the big publishing houses. It’s depressing to think of how many will never make it.

On a positive note, I’m grateful for all the small presses that provide books by awesome authors that I’d never get my hands on otherwise.

Fiona McGier said...

This bimbo is just another in a long line of empty-headed would-be celebrities with big boobs, like Anna Nichol Smith...and who hears from her these days? Oh, right, she died of a drug overdose. Fed to her by the enablers around her who were living off of her like human parasites. In this day and age when the average adult in the US claims not to have read an entire book in years, something like this probably sells because it has pictures. Or it looks nice on a coffeetable...makes a good coaster, etc. But I'm with you about the pounding my head on the keyboard part. I write erotic novels with well-developed characters (pun intended), and hot naughty bits, as well as actually interesting ideas. I just have to hope that the readers who do read actual books will find me...somehow...sometime.

Samantha Gentry said...

The first time I heard of Snooki was about 6 months ago. I don't watch reality tv, could not care less about all these idiots clammoring for their 15 minutes of fame and doing anything to get it (gee...does the Balloon Boy thing come to mind?). Unfortunately, society in general seems to have stooped to the lowest common denominator in embracing this crap with open arms which is truly a sad tale that does not have a happy ever after ending.

Fedora said...

I've never seen Snooki nor do I have plans to; also no plans to read or even touch her book. I don't subscribe to any fame whores (apologies for the crude language) and won't read their books or watch their shows. Ugh.

On the other hand, I'm a big fan of you real writers! Please write on--as if my TBR needed feeding ;)

Brindle Chase said...

*lol* Snooki... ahh, well, I find only one use for this woman and I'm too much of a gentleman to speak of it out loud.

Anyway, as always, you crack me up Lizzie!!!

Rhino said...

WOW! I am sooooooo going to review Snookie's book. And I'm going to rip her a new ass hole. I hate it when people intentionally write crap knowing that people will buy it because a celebrity's face is on it. And Elizabeth, your work is top notch, PERFECT. Your characters are great, your plots are great...the sex is also great lol. And I should know. I review your stuff lol.