On Tuesday, Newsweek devoted over 1200 words to My Beautiful Mommy, a children's book about plastic surgery. Since then, news of the tummytuck-touting tome has shot through the blogosphere, inspiring the sort of irate commentary ordinarily reserved for It's Just a Plant or Frog and Toad Do Dallas. (*)
All of which might be understandable if the book had any … readers. As Teresa Nielsen Hayden notes,
This story is equal parts hokum and hot air. You'd think that somewhere in those three [Web] pages of titillating handwringing, [Newsweek writer Karen] Springen would have gotten round to mentioning that My Beautiful Mommy is a self-published vanity-press book available only from its "publisher"–or, presumably, from [author-surgeon] Dr. Michael Salzhauer.
Big Tent Books (not to be confused with Big Tent Entertainment) is a vanity press and marketing and fulfillment operation…. [It] has the usual problem of vanity presses: zero to lousy sales and distribution. They're a lot better at making books than they are at promoting them. Only a few of their titles are even listed at Amazon, and those are listed badly–half the normal publisher-furnished information is missing. Sales are minimal.
My Beautiful Mommy is not one of the books Big Tent lists on Amazon. It has no ISBN that I can detect–and this close to its publication date, I should be able to detect one. Clearly, this book is not destined to make its way to the shelves of your local bookstore.
But maybe it is now, thanks to Newsweek's publicity blitz.
Footnote: There is not, in fact, a book called Frog and Toad Do Dallas. But if you draw it yourself, staple it together, and send a copy to Newsweek, you just might have a hit on your hands!