So- John Prescott has a book on his life coming out. Yes, another politician cashing in on his public office to help fund a comfortable retirement. It is tough selling books – have you ever wondered when you have been in a WH Smith, Tesco’s or Waterstones, how the hell do they shift all the books on the shelves. The people that pay vast sums for the rights to someone’s life come up with a predictable set of tricks to get them in the public eye. Make no mistake from Jordan to JK Rowling if they get it right they make sheds loads of cash. However, it is not easy – the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization keep a check on the number and sort of books published per country per year. It believes that it is indication on the standard of living and education, and of a country’s self-awareness. Figures suggest that Great Britain is leading the world with new titles per year. Over 206,000 books are published annually that is more than America, which comes second with 172,000 titles per year. So how is John Prescott the famous trade union activist, former Deputy Prime Minister going to cash in on his colourful life? The big man has always been a larger than life character in the public eye. Numerous incidents have caused public concern and widespread media interest. Therefore, you would expect the book to be of interest after all his life has been nearly as interesting as an episode of Home and Away. Remember when a farmer threw an egg at him during the 2001 general election, Prescott responded with a punch. Well forget all that surprisingly we are going to learn that he has more in common with Lindsay Lohan, Mary-Kate Olsen, Chantelle Houghton, Billie Piper, Victoria Beckham, Princess Diana, Sharon Osbourne and Geri Halliwell.
Believe or not the big man has decided on a crude way to get book promotion off the ground – he has joined all the other showbiz names and outed an eating disorder. I am cringing at the thought – what a crazy way to sell your book. It is the lazy tool that everybody uses and Prescott eating disorder will become the sound bite of the year that might overshadow the more serious content. I have a book coming out in the summer that highlights all the tricks publicity folk have used down the years to create fame. John might have picked up some tips if he had read it first. Come on Mr Prescott you’re hardly Billie Piper eating tissues in an 11-year battle with anorexia and bulimia.
Book PR people engineer stories for maximum attention it is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to obtain popularity. Hence, it becomes main objective to catch the media attention to help to propel a book to the top. I cannot believe that the old trick of outing an eating disorder will work for John Prescott. Edwina Curry was the best political figure to out a story as a stunt to sell a book remember her book “Currie’s Diaries” caused a sensation, when she revealed a four-year affair with John Major.
One day he will look back on this weekend, regret that this will overpower the more serious subject matter. It might not have been a good idea to not stoop to the level of some authors, who use predictable topics, to get the book to the top of the bestseller list. I suppose there will be another stunt for the publication of the paperback version- expect an weight loss diet to accompany its re launch – now that is scary