Monday, April 16, 2007

Leaves me flabbergasted

I can't think of a better title for this post, really. Just a few minutes ago, I was reading the Publisher's Lunch weekly deal report e-mail, and came across this listing under Pop Culture.

Recent winner of the YouTube Video Award for Best Series based on viewer voting AskANinja.com creators Douglas Sarine and Kent Nichols's THE NINJA HANDBOOK: A Guide for Non-Ninjas To Become More Ninja-like, claiming to be the first "video podcast to book" deal, to Julian Pavia at Crown, for six figures, at auction, by Joe Veltre of Artists Literary Group (NA). Ask a Ninja is represented by UTA and manager John Elliott at Mosiac Media.

Six figures? For a silly and not-quite-entertaining YouTube video concept? Good lord.

12 comments:

grrluknow said...

I just wanted to tell you that if you haven't already, you absolutely have to read "The Intimate Life of L.M. Montgomery" by Irene Gammel.

It has some interesting analysis of Maud's journals, her work, and her life by the editors of her journals, and some photos I hadn't seen before, but what is really neat about it is the diary she and Nora Lefurgey kept together around the turn of the century, when they were young women. It's a wonderful and fascinating bit of history like her journals, and it's also fun (they tease each other mercilessly and detail their exploits chasing boys) and humorous and witty--and makes you wish you could step back through time and hang around with Maud and Nora. I bought my copy at Amazon and it was a bit expensive but really worth it if you've enjoyed the journals.

Jodi Meadows said...

Whoa.

I'm going to get started on something right away that involves the cat and the ferrets and...high kicks. Then write the book: HOW TO GET YOUR MAMMALS KICKIN'.

I'll call you when I'm done. We're going to make SO MUCH money off this!

DanStrohschein said...

Well, the AskANinja thing gathered a huge following on the net, so maybe the publisher is thinking "Instant success" because of the established audience.

But there's a huge difference between watching 2 minute videos and reading a 300+ page book. Maybe the publisher is hoping there'll be enough transition to make a Jeff Foxworthy-ish Redneck Dictionary-type payout. I'm with you though, it does seem that they're investing a lot behind a rather risky idea. It'll be interesting to see if the investment pays off or not.

Patrick McNamara said...

It's about the pre-made audience. It's the same reason celebrities get paid millions to write their books. The publisher is expecting sales based upon popularity. This guy has done 39 episodes of the show so far and has his own website with about 47280 (2364 pages X 20 members/page) members listed. This person has shown they can market the book and it's marketing that makes the book sales.

Jenny Rappaport said...

Not necessarily, Patrick McNamara. There have been plenty of "blog/internet" books which have crashed and burned. Although I do agree with you that the marketing angle is most likely the reason it went to auction in the first place.

Tom van Aardt said...

Wow, you obviously have bigger balls than I do. Do you know what 'Ask a Ninja' is all about? How do you sleep at night, knowing the Ninja might be lurking in the dark?

I have no idea if 'six figures' is a literary term, but I would be mighty proud if Kent and Douglas could even manage to sell for a six digit figure.

Of course, they might leave us with only six digits for typing these messages about the Ninjas...

Ryan Field said...

Flabbergasted is the word for me, too.

Ben Parris said...

This is the kind of bubble excess that we see in all new areas when no one knows what anything is worth.

Generally, when the new dot coms were losing money, their share prices skyrocketed. The minute one made a dollar, the share prices plummeted. Potential is worth a fortune, and reality never looks as sweet.

Anonymous said...

grrluknow is a spammer. Talk about an off-topic post.

Tom van Aardt is nitpicky. We all understand what "six figures" means. Relax, my friend. About both the ninjas and the slang.

Chuck said...

the mind set of the audience for this keeps Adam Sandler a box office star.

Chuck said...

the audience for this are the same ones who keep Adam Sandler a box office star

Kelly Swails said...

And that audience reads books?

And non-writers wonder why writers become discouraged ...