So just how well are those gossip-biz inspired memoirs and novels selling? For the most part, things look bleak — save for MSNBC quasi-gossip Jeanette Walls. The lesson learned: if you're willing to sell out your parents as dumpster divers, you're golden.
Pity the ink-stained wretch. While "The Devil Wears Prada," with its glossy magazine milieu, became a runaway bestseller and then a hit movie, recent novels by veterans of New York tabloid papers seemed to carry the stigma of old media. A trio of titles set around the newsroom — "Tabloid Love," "4% Famous" and "Welcome to Yesterday" — all failed to entice readers.
Perhaps the authors should have stuck to nonfiction: "The Glass Castle," a memoir by celebrity reporter Jeanette Walls, sold more than 200,000 copies. New York Post gossip scribe Paula Froehlich's self-help title "Secrets of the Rich and Famous," also did reasonably well, but Post colleague Ian Speigelman's novel, "Yesterday," couldn't gain traction.
For fans interested in the nonfiction aspects of the business, Monday marks the launch of TV's "Tabloid Wars," set behind the scenes of the New York Daily News. Bravo executives likely hope the show's realistic elements will take it further than the last series to use the setting, 2000's Dick Wolf/NBC drama "Deadline." Pedigree aside, "Deadline" failed to deliver. —7/23/06