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Want a Book Deal? Do Something Bad or Mildly Interesting

James Thurber, quoting Benvenuto Cellini, said that a man should be at least 40 years old and have accomplished something of excellence before he undertakes setting down the story of his life. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Regan Media has acquired all media rights to the life story of “the runaway bride,” Jennifer Wilbanks.

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James Thurber, quoting Benvenuto Cellini, said that a man should be at least 40 years old and have accomplished something of excellence before he undertakes setting down the story of his life. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Regan Media has acquired all media rights to the life story of “the runaway bride,” Jennifer Wilbanks.

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Let’s all take a moment for a collective sigh and eye roll. Anyone who has a TV knows that no one pays attention to Thurber’s standards anymore. There have been a glut of books (many ghost written) and TV movies by and about individuals whose stories were overblown. All those who read Jayson Blair’s novel for anything other than professional reasons please raise your hand.

The publishing industry is quick to offer these dubious celebrities six-figure deals to recount their life stories, which really just boils down to one event plus relentless media coverage. Whatever happened to stories born of the imagination? Is this where the publishing industry should be looking for authors? Do any of you plan to buy Jennifer Wilbanks’ book? What’s your favorite tabloid tome?