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Discussion: (Books) As Seen On TV

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How many of you get excited when you see a display full of "As Seen on TV" products at the store? We have a tradition in my family of getting at least one "As Seen on TV" gift as a gag each Christmas. Some of them work as advertised (like the Turbo Snake), some sit on a shelf unused for years (like the Snuggie), and some don't work or break and are promptly tossed.

What does this have to do with books? Hardly any are advertised on TV and those few usually involve James Patterson. But stay with me. It'll all make sense.

Publishing teams put a lot of time and money into marketing their titles. Some books get more than others, but regardless, for every debut author, each of these books starts out as an "As Seen on TV" item. We know little about it beyond the sales spiel and carefully chosen positive endorsements. All we get are pretty pictures, a price and the hope that it will read as promised.

And, like "As Seen on TV" items, we comb the Internet in search of reviews from the brave few who have tested out the new book. And, let's face it, just as with the the TV products' too good to be true prices and promises, often enough, the book hype lies. :(

Questions! First, have you ever bought anything "As Seen on TV"? Second, can you think of a debut book that either lived up to the hype or crashed and burned?

Thanks for stopping in! Check back Tuesday for this week's Top 10! In which I name my favorite movies and/or TV shows. Wait, only 10?

12 comments :

  1. I haven't ever bought an As Seen on TV item myself, but my mom bought this one neck pillow for trips and I HAVE tried it. PERFECT. I want one myself for trips now. If it wasn't so late and I didn't just get off work, I probably could think of lots crash and burn debut books. (poor little debut authors)

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    1. Ooh! I think I've seen that one. But it's true; for every debut success story, there are many more that flop or fade into obscurity. :(

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  2. Yup. My mom bought me the Snuggie. Such a good idea...but so little use. :/ Most books that are hyped that I do get around too, are usually just okay. I think a lot of people flail over the 'book boy' and I just...don't...

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    1. Had remembered we had it during athe semester with the 6-9 film class in the FREEZING theater room, I would have used ours like crazy. It's true- the hype often exaggerates...but I guess that's why it's called hype. ;)

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  3. Yes we've bought those products. I got a snuggie once for xmas years ago - never used it. My hubs mom likes to buy those sometimes each year she usually wants to try one or another out. The one she got that helps move furniture actually really does work well for her. I haven't used it though.

    Books yes they can totally do that. Like Crewel (the hype was wrong I thought it sucked)...I also didn't enjoy Unremembered much...or hmmm what else....It's hard to think of them now but usually this happens with YA books. They get tons of pre hype and usually fall a bit flat for me - more so lately.

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    1. I have a basement bedroom and it's freezing during the winter, so you'd think I'd have used our Snuggie by now...but no. I begin to question my sanity.

      There have been a lot of falling flat debuts lately, haven't there? But, glass half full, there are always at least one or two gems. Like Midnight Thief! Which I still need to read. Maybe it's a fortunate turn of events meant to give us less to buy and save our poor wallets. ;)

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  4. I got one of those self closing screen doors, as ours broke. It SUCKED... much like most of the debut books I have come across lately, but those are mostly YA. I also sadly don't always know when I am reading a debut book as I try to read partially blind.

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    1. Self closing door? I don't think I've seen that one. Commercials, you have failed me. Few or no expectations can be a good thing. For some of the older books I'm grabbing off my shelves, I'm not even reading the synopses to remind me what they're about.

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  5. Such a great discussion! My husband bought a Magic Bullet recently, and it makes the best smoothies. I think that's the only tv thing we've ever purchased. I agree that it's interesting that some books get crazy hype, and others get nothing. I've read some that I haven't loved and some that I have loved as much as they've been praised. I loved The Winner's Curse - but I also read it before the hype started. I wonder if I'd been affected if I'd read it later?

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    1. I've always wanted to try the Magic Bullet! I still haven't read The Winner's Curse, but that's an excellent question. Does the hype affect your opinion of a book or whether you read it at all.

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  6. I've never bought any "as seen on TV" items. Those commercials are SO obnoxious - "But WAIT! Act now and get 100 XYZ items for $2.00 plus $30 shipping and handling!" It all seems so scammy.

    As for books, someone above mentioned The Winner's Curse, and for me, it absolutely lived up to the hype. One that fell just a tad short was The 5th Wave. It was very, very good, but not as magnificent as I thought it would be.

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    1. Haha, it's true! Those commercials are very in-your-face.

      I still haven't read The Winner's Curse, but I can't think of a single bad review for, so the hype seems well deserved. :)

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