Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Publishers To Develop Books That Confess To Crimes?

There are books written and published on seemingly every conceivable topic, but it seems the one thing that’s missing is the sale of books that tell truths we couldn’t imagine to exist.

What if a book provided a forum for an author to confess to a hideous crime, perhaps of murder, rape, or the abuse of a child? What if a politician admitted to corruption? What if an athlete admitted to taking steroids?

I’m not talking about books that are written after the fact, by people who no longer are in a position to be prosecuted or harmed by their admittance of a crime. No, I would like to see someone in the middle of their career or at the peak of their prime years to write a book detailing what they’ve done against society or another human being.

We get a glimpse into this when people write comeback books, confessing their sins after they’ve fallen, hoping to redeem themselves with a campaign to win over public sympathy. Usually their books are about doing illegal drugs, cheating on a spouse, and living a life of lies and misdeeds. That’s soft stuff.

I would like to see a line of books called, “I confess,” and each week or month we’d be introduced to a new scandal, one bigger than the next, where each book’s publication launches a public outcry and the law seeks to impose punishment.

It’ll never happen.

What we have now is the convenience of what I call, “immunity publishing.” People write books about past wrongs, none of which are prosecutable or as relevant as they were when they happened. These authors, though they seemingly further tarnish their already damaged images, hope to somehow rehabilitate their lives.

We’ll feel empathy for the sex addict, the raging alcoholic, the abusive spouse, the out of control cokehead, and the people who abuse their position of power for personal gain. We love to hate those who screw up. And we love to give them a second chance. Books allow for those who are losers to re-launch their careers.

Books that admit to wrongdoing often come out after scandal has broken and the news media has exhaustively examined every facet of the story. The only thing left for the author to do is fill in the missing details and put a stamp of approval to the swirling rumors.

America likes its reality shows because it deludes itself into believing it is watching a real life car wreck unfold. We know these shows are scripted, self-serving, and completely manipulated scenarios. Still, people like the drama and the emotions that heat up. Imagine how society would react to an explosive book that breaks a story – not follows one. Imagine what it’d be like to read a book and see the handcuffs go on the author.

Publishing is always looking to recycle what used to be the next new thing. But if they can pay someone enough of an advance, maybe they can get a good confessional published. The industry could use an injection of a hot book. There certainly is not a lack of qualified candidates – but are any brave enough (dumb enough?) to come forward?

Why leave all of the good stuff for celebrity rags, scandal blogs, or the evening news? Books should break the news every so often.

Do you have a crime in you? Are you a known entity? Please submit your book proposal to me.

RANDOM BOOK EXCERPT: Our Unitarian heritage by Earl Morse

"It has been central to our tradition to understand truth as an evolving, growing reality, and to understand that no one person, church, science, or generation can grasp the whole of truth, or define it once and for all."


Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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