In the lead-up to the release of his hit autobiography earlier this year, Prince Harry sat down with 60 Minutes – CBS Mornings, ABC News Live and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. And others. Paris Hilton performed on “The View” and spoke with the BBC. Kerry Washington has appeared on NPR’s “Fresh Air” and “Good Morning America.” Arnold Schwarzenegger chose Kelly Clarkson and Howard Stern.
But for Britney Spears, the much-anticipated and speculated pop star who released her memoir, “The Woman in Me,” this week, it was mostly on Instagram.
To build excitement for one of the most anticipated celebrity memoirs of the year, there it was Pre-publication excerpt in People magazine, but no face-to-face interviews, something Spears has avoided since 2018, when she was still in the conservatorship that strictly controlled her life and career. (In the book, Spears wrote about mentioning the arrangement in a 2016 interview, only for it to be deleted.)
Now she’s legally allowed to do and say whatever she pleases, however, Spears has backed down, essentially throwing away the celebrity gossip playbook. Instead, the singer and her team let the book do the talking, with its gossipy nuggets and denunciations of the 13-year conservatorship fueling a constant wave of press coverage and social media chatter.
Her reluctance to give an interview, which stems in part from mistrust cultivated by decades of insensitive coverage, does not appear to have affected early sales: the book reached No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list; Complete sales data will not be available until next week. But the lack of any promotional or public appearance by Spears (41 years old) was clear to professionals in the world of publishing and public relations.
“This is completely out of the ordinary,” said Eleanor McManus, a former booking producer for CNN’s “Larry King Live” who now works as a crisis manager. McManus said she was watching TV on Monday morning to see which shows would spark a conversation with Spears. “I was thinking, ‘Who did the first interview?’” she said, before realizing the answer was “nobody.”
She added: “The only time you would advise against interviews is if you cannot control what the person in question will say, or if what they say will harm their brand.”
But some experts suggest that Spears’ strong social media following may be all she needs to launch a successful book. While celebrity memoirs are booming, people may not need to engage with traditional media as much as they did before if they have a large audience of their own, said Madeleine Morrell, an independent literary agent who represents ghostwriters.
“It’s all about the size of your platform,” Morrell said. “Can you draw an audience into a book?”
Spears is already known for communicating these days almost exclusively through her free and often cryptic social media posts. Her most telling commentary on “The Woman in Me” came not in Vogue, with Oprah or even in a bold appearance on “Saturday Night Live” but on social media, where she shared messages about the book that were by turns grateful, distorted and hurtful. She has more than 100 million followers across the platforms.
It’s not as if the mainstream media wasn’t interested. In a since-deleted audio message she posted on Instagram last year, Spears said that after her conservatorship ended in late 2021, she was contacted by all kinds of outlets.
“I have offers to interview Oprah and a lot of people, and lots and lots of money, but this is crazy,” she said. “I don’t want any of it.”
A representative for Spears declined to comment, and the memoir’s publisher, Gallery Books, of Simon & Schuster, did not respond to requests for comment about their unconventional strategy for securing the promotion.
So far, Spears’ traditional media involvement has been limited to excerpts published by People magazine, including the bombshell Spears said: He had a miscarriage during her relationship with Justin Timberlake – accompanied by email quotes attributed to the singer and a cover photo, showing Spears smiling on a beach in Tahiti, sourced from “Britney Brands” and not a photographer for the magazine.
In Spears’ recent comments about the book, she said so He scolded the media To focus on her past, though, the memoir is essentially a retelling of her life story.
She wrote: “I don’t like the titles I read…and that’s exactly why I left work 4 years ago!!!” On Instagram. “My motivation for this book was not to harp on my past experiences which is what journalism does and is stupid and ridiculous!!! I have since moved on!!!
She briefly deactivated her account, only to return shortly after with a message Cake picture Who said “see you in hell”. On the day of the book’s release, she shared one teaser mail Reading: My story. On my terms. Finally.” (She later deleted the post from Instagram.)
Most celebrities with books to sell still combine old-fashioned media appearances, like the “Today” show and the late-night episode, with a dedicated social media strategy and newer, friendlier outlets like podcasts Armchair Expert and On Purpose With Jay Shetty. Life coach and influencer.
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who released her memoir this month, did all of the above, plus more. Even the flood of her media appearances became Joke topic On “SNL”
“Sorry if I look a bit tired,” said comedian Ego Nwodim, who played Pinkett Smith. “I’ve been on the ‘Today’ show 14 times in three days.”
Celebrities may risk making themselves bigger than writers through overexposure, said writer Neil Strauss, who has worked on books with Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson and Jenna Jameson. “Sometimes, by talking about it, you can’t help but hurt her,” he added, adding that Spears “seems to have a lot of trauma around the media.”
In her memoir, Spears describes the press as unfairly focusing on her body as a rising pop star and on her fitness as a mother during a series of public struggles in 2007 and 2008 that ultimately led to the death of her father, James B. Spears. Giving her control over her personal life and money.
She wrote that she felt exploited in 2003, when her father and her management organized an interview with Diane Sawyer after her split from Timberlake. “It was absolutely humiliating,” Spears wrote. “I wasn’t told what the questions were beforehand, and they turned out to be 100 percent awkward.”
“It has been analyzed and scrutinized beyond the level any human being should be,” said Strauss, the famous collaborator. However, he admitted, echoing others in the industry, that it was “very unusual” for someone of Spears’ stature to not give any interviews. Even Bob Dylan, who was a notorious media adversary for most of his career, promotion His diary In 2004.
Paul Bogards, veteran Book blurb The power of celebrities speaking out about their book tends to be greater than the media excavating it in a news story, said he, who led campaigns for Bill Clinton and Andre Agassi’s best-selling memoirs.
“Once they get out into the world about their book, it’s 24/7 coverage,” Bogards said, adding that most publishers require contractual agreements around promotion. “You want it to be visible in an important way,” he added. “It is difficult to defend a multi-million dollar advance in the absence of this type of agreement.” (Published figures place the price of Spears’ memoir, which was announced last year, between $2,000 and $2,000.) $12.5 million And 15 million dollars.)
Another major selling point of a celebrity memoir is the person’s own voice in the audiobook version, but in this case, Spears has largely opted out as well. In a short introduction to the audiobook version of “The Woman In Me,” Spears said she chose to read only a short excerpt from her 275-page book because the process of reliving its contents was “heart-wrenching.” Apart from a minute and a half, actress Michelle Williams reads the rest of the book, which is over five hours long.
Spears’ most loyal fans see no problem letting the work speak for itself. For many years, the slogan of many supporters has been “Leave Britney alone,” especially after the singer Annoying fans Earlier this year police were called over concerns about her safety when she temporarily deactivated her Instagram account. she She expressed her objections Again last month when another emergency call was made in response to a video of her dancing with what appeared to be kitchen knives. (Spears said it was props.)
“A lot of the emotions in the book are those instances where she was forced to do things against her will,” said Jordan Miller, founder of Spears fan site BreatheHeavy.com, which helped launch the “Free Britney” campaign that brought to mind. More public interest in conservation.
“It’s great that it’s going in the opposite direction to the status quo in terms of traditional promotion,” he added. “It’s like, ‘These are my words, you can read them.’ And here are the pictures I want you to see. I’m going to get approval for all of this.'” In the context of everything that’s happened, this is very refreshing.
But experts say celebrity memoirs with a staggering purchase price may need to reach more than just superfans to be seen as a phenomenon worth investing in.
“It’s going to be a big release, but I think they can do more to make it a real, long-lasting moment,” said Anthony Buzza, an author who has written books with Slash, Tracy Morgan and Artie Lange.
“If not, it will be just a small blip in the cycle,” he added.
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