Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What DWTS Teaches Us About the Publishing World


So I watched Dancing With the Stars last night. I've never really gotten into the show before, because I like my shows to have a guy who holds a rotating power drill up to someone's thigh, all the while shouting, "Where are the Nuclear Rods?!?!" (Farewell 24).

Anywho, I watched Dancing with the Stars, or DWTS as people in the know call it, and of course, I was struck by the similarities between the dancing competition and the Publishing industry. I don't know why no one's talked about this before. (Well, probably lots of people have).

Here's what DWTS teaches us about Publishing:

1. Nobody likes an Astronaut.

Okay, so that's not exactly true, but bear with me. Last night, Space Hero Buzz Aldrin was voted off the dance floor. Despite the producers making us feel like not voting for him would be like not voting for Apple Pie, he made an early exit.

Publishing: As much as a publisher gets behind a book, and tries to ensure a best seller, it's the quality of the dancing that will sell it. Wait. I'm mixing metaphors. But you get the drift. Nobody can force a bestseller, no matter whose feet touched moon dirt, thus beating those Ruskies. Who knows why some books flounder while others catch on like fire. Nobody can predict it. But if the love isn't there, you can't force it.

2. America hates the Space Program.

Well done, America, voting our hero off. You've just killed the Space Program. Now the Ruskies have the power. 

Just kidding. This is what I wanted Buzz to shout during elimination. I thought it would be cool, followed by security forcing him off the stage while he laments, "Why do y'all hate Spaaaaaaaace?"

3. Running after Eight kids Doesn't Make you Light on Your Feet. 
I don't know if you knew this, but Kate G. has eight kids. and the paparazzi follows them like moths to the flame. Heartless weenies. Kate never wanted to be in the spotlight. She did dancing with the Stars to take a stand against fame, and tell the world, just because you have a reality show, it doesn't mean you can act.

Show me anger, Kate:

Keep flapping, Kate. You're not going to fly away.

Publishing: When it comes right down to it, it's the writing (dancing) that matters. And there is such a thing as talking about your kids (books) too much. You kids (books) are never as cute to everyone else as they are to you.

4. The people who love... um... these:

Aren't the ones who know how to use this:

Now, if people voted by going to a bar and chugging each time she licked her teeth, she'd be the front runner. 

For publishing: Know your target audience. Know exactly where it will fit on the book shelves. Know how large your audience would be, and why they would buy your book. If you can't figure this out, Publishers won't be able to either.

5. Doesn't matter how cute your dance is. If you don't follow the rules, you don't stand a chance.

These two (okay, I'm not good with everyone's names) did an awesome dance, but apparently they broke some cardinal rules of the shuffle. I had a tough time understanding just what the rules were, but here's what I gleaned:
     a. They dipped when they should've squatted
     b. They strutted when they should've shimmied.
     c. Their costumes weren't historically accurate. Everyone knows sailors show a little more skin.

Publishing: You can write a great book, but if you don't follow the rules of querying and submission guidelines, no one will ever read it, and the dance scores won't count. So don't let something like a shimmy keep you out.

Okay, y'all. Keep shimmying. Anyone else watching dancing with the stars? Who's your most annoying contestant?


  1. Why would I need to watch when I can enjoy your recap? Seriously, this show kind of scares me.

  2. Great post! I enjoy watching DWTS. Kate definitely needs to go! I cringe every time she steps onto the dancefloor.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again: I never thought I would say 'Pussycat Doll' and 'classy' in the same sentence, but gosh darn it, I like Nicole Sherzinger. (could it be, because I have a certain fondenss for her name? Perhaps...)

    Pamela Anderson is wrong on so many levels. I hope she gets the boot soon as well.

  3. Can't stand Pamela! Does she really think she's "all that?" She disgusts me.

  4. Melissa- It is a little creepy isn't it?

    Nicole- I agree, Nicole S. is a pleasure to watch. As for Kate, I don't want her to go. She's so entertaining because she's so clueless. If I took to the dance floor, I'd look like her. Except chubbier.

    Kimberly- Pamela makes me laugh. And after I watch her, I feel a little dirty.

  5. I agree with Melissa. Why would I watch the show when your recap is going to be much more entertaining? I hate reality TV shows. This includes DWTS, Idol, Amazing Race, etc. (I did watch one season of Amazing Race and it was awesome, but none of the new contestants have been as good as the hippies on the season I watched.)

  6. I do not watch Dancing with Stars...I'm not a big reality TV show person unless it involves tools and construction. I will say that reading your recap is far more enjoyment that if I actually watched the show.

    Ha! I must share my word verification was "rumispi". It make me think of Yoda playing I spy!

  7. FWIW, I think our dance moves could totally win out on that show. I have moves that those people have never seen before.

  8. Jenni- I used to love the Amazing Race. And I thought not watching American Idol was against the law in some states.

    Una- I love tool and construction reality shows! Especially the one where the guy takes the drill, and puts it to the bad guy's leg... oh wait.

    Sam- you have moves that are so hot, you could fry an egg on your head.

  9. Is Kate Gosselin a fluffy bunny? Can I declare "Death to Kate Gosselin?"

    Anyway, very good analogy...

    Now I am depressed again.

    Down with the Fluffy White Bunnies.

  10. I watched it back in the day, but lost interest.

    Though, I thoroughly enjoy your recaps. Please do it again. It made my day. That & the sun coming out and melting the snow. Snow in April is an atrocity.

    I didn't know Buzz was on DWTS. How is he off and Kate+8 is still on? Ugh. America.

  11. I literally burst into tears when Buzz got kicked off. I'm not sure why... but I just love when Old people are cute and old. and well just lovable.


    oh and then i got all angry at the end cause I was all sad and thinking sad happy thoughts about Buzz and then it cut to Kate and her partner saluting him... GAG!!!

  12. Cam- Don't be down! If Kate Gosselin can survive on DWTS while simultaneously literally juggling 8 kids, you can be published. Kill the fluffy white bunnies.

    Olivia- America is a fickle beeyatch.

    Shell- Did you see Kate pretending to faint? Gag me with a piece of rebar.

    (Sam and I just had a lengthy discussion on whether it's "rebar" or "rebarb". I voted "rebar". Neither one is recognized as the correct spelling by... um... they guy who lives inside my computer. Why am I going on about this? I don't know. I can't stop myself."

    the end

  13. I haven't gotten a chance to watch the show this year but I've heard bits and pieces of its happenings. As always, I love your version of it much better.

    I did see two clips and noticed that Pam can move. I'm not a fan of Kate in general but haven't seen anything she's done on the show.

  14. Brodi - as an architect I can assure you that "rebar" is correct. It is an industry accepted slang term for "reinforcing bar" and used in concrete construction.

    This is my intelligent moment for the three month old only gives me enough sleep for it.

    P.S. My word verification was lingr...almost a book title!

  15. Great advice, Brodi. I particularly liked the bit about flapping. ;)

  16. Debbie- Pam can definitely move. Must be all the practice with poles.

    Una- I knew it! Thanks for backing me up. Like a good rebar.

    I'm sorry you had to waste your intelligent moment of the day on that though. If I were you, I'd head to bed and call it a day.

    L.T.- I don't know my dancing terms, but that flapping was beautiful.