• Of books and celebrities

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    Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach lent her star power to mentor Jonas Gaffud (left) for the latter’s book launch while rapper Gloc-9 was thrilled to present his poetry book
    PHOTO FROM twitter.com/nbsalert

    TV’s hot properties dabble in publishing; brings glamor and commotion to MIBF

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    Time and time again, celebrities have proven that fame—whether made as actors, singers or as social media breakthroughs — sells just about anything. Proof are the A-Listers’ endless product endorsements as well as admirable involvement in advocacies.

    They haven’t stopped there, however, as these influential beings have now conquered the realm of literature.

    In Hollywood, it has become fashionable for celebrities to write memoirs for some time. Now considered classics are such titles as Katharine Hepburn’s Me: Stories of My Life, Barbara Walters’ Audition: A Memoir and Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up that have sold millions of copies in allowing fans a peek into their often controversial lives.

    Then came an onslaught of published works which supposedly impart the brains and experiences of famous personalities through comic essays such as TV host Ellen Degeneres’ The Funny Thing Is, comedian Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and actress Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, among others.

    Comic relief, expertise
    In the local publishing scene, however, the phenomenon of celebrity authors only began in recent years. Nevertheless, they are growing in number very quickly via autobiographies. Titles that quickly come to mind are host and manager Boy Abunda’s It’s Like This, actress turned corporate bigwig Charo Santos-Concio’s My Journey: The Story of an Unexpected Leader and the late director Wenn Deramas’ Direk 2 Da Poynt.

    Again, a new trend is emerging where comedians are whipping out their pens for a laugh. Vice Ganda published President Vice: Ang Bagong PangGulo ng Pilipinas and Ethel Booba churned out #Charotism.

    Bianca Gonzalez’s Paano Ba ’To? (on adulting and career), Kathryn Bernardo’s Everyday Kath: 365 Ways To Be A Teen Queen (fashion and beauty), Alex Gonzaga’s Dear Alex, Break Na Kami. Paano?! Love, Catherine (dating and relationship) and Judy Ann Santos’ Judy Ann’s Kitchen (cooking) meanwhile are among the slew of “self-help” books with huge celebrity factor.

    Happily or surprisingly—depending on how one finds these celebrity-written tomes—these titles have succeeded in the sales, well, because fame “sells just about anything.”

    But is it really just the celebrity factor that moves these books along stores?

    There are those who say it’s the affordability of such titles, while others go deeper in identifying the relatable language used by the stars. Then again, most go back to this article’s theory but still rejoice in the fact that Filipinos are getting their hands on books and reading.

    Leading man of the moment, comedian Empoy launched his humor book to raving admirers
    PHOTO FROM IG.COM/EMPOY

    MIBF takeover
    The Filipino celebrity’s new reign in the world of publishing became even more evident at the annual run of the largest book fair in the country, the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF).

    Now on its 38th edition, this year’s MIBF is all the more “the biggest” what with exhibit space growing form 9,130 to 11,980 square meters at SMX Convention Center to accommodate more visitors.

    Celebrity book signing and meet-and-greet events were the talk of SMX with the likes of Rachel Alejandro, Paulo Avelino and Celeste Legaspi of Ang La­rawan drawing the crowds.

    Miss Universe 2015 also lent her star power to mentor Jonas Gaffud who released The Crown: Your Essential Guide to Becoming a Beauty Queen at the fair, while rapper Gloc-9 was thrilled to present his poetry book, Akin Lang Naman.

    Chesca Garcia, Doug Kramer and their children, dubbed “Team Kramer,” also had their share of the spotlight at MIBF with the launch of Team Kramer Healthy Habits and Team Kramer Values books.

    And last but definitely not the least, leading man of the moment, comedian Empoy—fresh from blockbuster hit “Kita Kita”—launched Bakit Nakakakiliti ang Bigote? to raving admirers.

    But perhaps, the most “trending” book signing was that of James Reid’s because it ended up cancelled. Scheduled to sign his and real life girlfriend Nadine Lustre’s all-access book Team Real, Reid, who was already at SMX, was ushered out of the venue by security when throngs of fans crowded around him. The movie and TV star could not even get into hall.

    “Sorry for what happened at the MIBF… I hope no one got hurt,” the singer-actor expressed via Twitter account @JayeHanash.

    For some, this unfortunate situation highlights misgivings over having celebrity authors at an event they believe should be dedicated to genuine bookworms.

    Facebook user Steven Maxwell Tan posted on MIBF’s page, “Show us your contingency plan so that worst-case scenarios, like last Saturday [Reid’s book signing] won’t happen again. People who only wanted to buy books couldn’t access certain parts of the NBS booth, because of fans causing a ruckus.”

    User Bryan Jaojoco Villanueva gave a stronger statement, “Alisin ang mga artistang nagbobooksign ng mga libro nila na hindi naman talaga sila ang sumulat. Sila ang mas nagpapagulo.”

    Finally, user Jenny Bangug at least offered a suggestion, “Super haba ng pila hassle pagpasok kasi yung iba hindi naman bibili ng book pumunta lang para sa artista… Sana may separate venue for the artists.”

    Whatever their opinions though, one thing is for sure. With that kind of reception, celebrity authors are bound to grow even more in years to come.

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