The Gaga Book Deal

Industry scuttlebutt has it Lady Gaga’s shopping around a book proposal. After two security checks and signing an NDA made of mac n cheese, I was able to get a look at the pitch. Let me tel you, readers, Ms. Gaga does not disappoint. She’s figured out a range of scenarios for translating her inimitable style to the printed page.

Here are just a few of the ideas on offer:

The Spit Book: Gaga will projectile spit onto blank pages; these pages will then (somehow) be mass produced. Three lucky “little monsters” will contribute the epilogue; Orbit gum is sponsoring the contest. (Somewhere, Matthew Barney is slapping his forehead.)

Made This Way: A 3lb. slab of birch tagged with an ISBN and sold exclusively at Archie McPhee. “This book isn’t pretending to be anything it’s not, just like me,” explained a somnambulant Gaga. The New Yorker has already bought first serial rights.

LookBookVookNook!ook: This one sounds like a nightmare for the production department.

Essentially a picture book cast in a series of emulsions printed upon celluloid plates, and then processed in a color correction lab onto 35mm film. This “reel” of film is spliced together with short a foreword and afterward crediting the project’s creative team, and converted to a digital file–presumably for the ebook? Not necessarily! Gaga’s art director explained this digital file would not contain reflowable text or even adhere to the EPUB standard. (Jeez, wait til the IDPF hears about this.) Rather the digital file, rendered in something called “.mov,” will be distributed through a complex deal with YouTube.

Books! Is there anything they can’t do?

Catcher in the Rye: Gaga said she really liked reading it in high school, and wondered if she could “cover” it. The terms of this one were a bit vague.

On Fire: This seemed promising. Gaga’s written a compelling 60-70 pages detailing a fictionalized account of her rise to fame. Many industry notables and celebrities make cameo appearances, including one sure-to-be-scandalous tidbit about Ryan Seacrest. The book would be cloth-bound and presented completely aflame. Readers’ immolation and injury would “really connect them to me, literally and figuratively.”

21 Bullets on Black: Jane “Crackerjack” Pinelli is a grizzled, twice-divorced ex-P.I. killing time in her hometown of Atlantic City. One of her ex-husbands, chief of police Bert Gillicuddy, asks her to take a look at one more case, for old time’s sake. She wants to go on living her peaceful new existence, attending Gambler’s Anonymous and relaxing at the gun range. But things aren’t so simple: the homicide victim is non other than her first ex-husband, Dirk McDonald, whose body was found splayed over the roulette wheel in Caesar’s high rollers room. And to make matters worse, Pinelli’s the prime suspect. She’s going to have to take the biggest gamble of her life–if she wants to keep it, that is!

<i>Gaga</i>: Taking a cue from Ezra Pound’s translation work, Gaga will translate contemporary Chinese poetry into HTML, despite ignorance of both the linguistic and programming languages. This one’s a bit more conceptual. It will probably play well with the MFA crowd.

Umlauts: “A book of umlauts?’ “Yeah, just umlauts. But, like, for $35.”


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