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Sh*t some publishers put out

There is a new apparently unstoppable literary trend poised to join the ranks of carbon-copy publishing: “Sh*t My [Blank Does]” books. This one kicked off with Justin Halpern’s Sh*t My Dad Says, a memoir loosely structured around the gut-level wisdom of the author’s father, who amuses the Twitterverse with daily bon mots such as, “I lost 20 pounds…. How? I drank bear piss and took up fencing. How the fuck you think, son? I exercised.” Sh*t My Dad Says has even been developed into a television series starring William Shatner – and featuring a title that can’t be uttered on prime-time television.

Following Halpern’s lead, Julie Haas Brophy has landed a deal for a book based on her Tumblr blog, Sh*t My Kids Ruined, which invites people to submit photos of their children engaging in the titular activity. The site advertises itself as “The strongest visual birth control on the market today.” According to Publishers Weekly, the new book “will feature photos and stories of children destroying everything from windows to VCRs to their parents’ physique. The book, like the blog, will aim to offer a cathartic way for parents to laugh through, and off, the frustrations of child-rearing.” As a sop to the delicate sensibilities of the book-buying public, one thing it won’t offer is an uncensored title.

  • Pete

    As an aspiring fiction writer, I can’t even begin to describe how disheartening it is to see book deals going to people who don’t even write. And I don’t even mean ghostwritten books, but blog-to-book schlock like SMKR and that ridiculous Etsy book. Enough. Publishing industry, want to know why you’re dying? Go take a long look in the mirror.

  • Mack

    I would hardly say that Sh*t My Dad Says is a blight on the publishing industry, as it’s a best selller – if the publishing industry is ‘dying’ (and I don’t think it is), it’s not because of best sellers. And Halpern isn’t someone who ‘doesn’t even write’ – he was a comedy writer before he started his Twitter feed.

  • Nic Boshart

    Ha! Good one, Beattie. Look for my new title “Sh*t my Zombie Eats” on sale near you. And also “Sh*t the Double Rainbow Guy on Youtube Thinks is Awesome” shortly thereafter.

  • Publisher

    Dear aspiring fiction writer. That books you don’t like are often published simply won’t spell the end of the industry. It sure hasn’t so far. Same must be said for film and TV and just about every other form of media today and throughout history. Books you don’t like, some years, account for the difference between profit and loss. Your mirror metaphor is fun, but it doesn’t reflect reality.

  • Paul C

    It’s a best seller because it taps into the 21st century cultural zietgiest of blogging.
    Books like this are quick and fun to read. Blog books do not show that the publishing industry is “dying,” the industry is just reorienting itself to reflect what people are looking at daily online.

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