Byline Chelle LaFleur: The Heroin Diaries


Now, listen up, folks. Chelle here don’t often step outside her fictional world and into Susan’s, but today, she’s just got to. What Susan saw the other day just burned us both up too much for me to keep quiet. And since we all know that when Chelle talks, people listen, she let me have the floor for this one.

You see, Susan stopped in at the Borders on McKnightmare — she swears that’s the street name but ol’ Chelle’s got her suspicions — to pick up Nikki Sixx‘s The Heroin Diaries already. Good thing she got the chance; she’s only been reminding the Tour Manager to go and do it for her the past five weeks or so. Good thing that Tour Manager don’t get paid for his gig, or he’d be out on his hiney.

Back to the book ’cause this is what it’s all about. Mind you, that there book’s been on the Best-seller list since it came out, back in October. You’d think a best-selling book would be near the front of the store, right? On them best-seller racks?

Nope. Susan had to ask for help finding the book. Stuffed away — I gotta say it was face out on the shelf — in the music section.

Now, I ask you. Is that where you’d go look for a book about a drug addict? Hidden away on a shelf, not in plain sight? And what about this so-called soundtrack to the book? Where’s it at?

People, people, people. I don’t care how big a jerk Nikki Sixx might be — I hear he’s not, but even if he was — he deserves better than this. Susan’s not even a hundred pages in and already, she’s over at her own computer, typing away on a post about it. She’s gotta rave. She’s ready to make them kids she calls The Opening Act read it, even though they’re way too young to get more than “Drugs are bad” outta it. This book’s got power. This book oughta be required readin’ in schools ‘cept all them biddies who scared of their shadows would have a fit at the idea that Nikki Sixx is a bigger nudist than my good friend Mitchell Voss. But still, this is beside the point.

This is actually all about the marketin’ of this fine creation. ‘Cause let Chelle tell you, them marketers missed a hell of an opportunity to blow the roof off the way things get done.

First off, how many other books have come out with their own soundtrack? Where’s the push to sell the book and the music together? The music biz is so busy whining about how nobody’s carin’ enough to buy a CD, but here’s a chance to change that. Instead of makin’ someone pay full price for the music while you give ’em 20% off on the book, how about a package deal? Throw in a coupon for a free t-shirt while you’re at it. But for goodness gracious, you marketin’ wanna-be geniuses, don’t leave it up to rock writers like me to tell you how to do your jobs! You just might wake up and find that you’re outta your job and it’s now mine. Just ’cause I can do it better’n you don’t mean I want it. I like what I do.

And how many studies have we been seein’ lately about how people ain’t buyin’ books no more? I ain’t gonna go through the whole song and dance again, boys and girls. Go read the paragraph before this one. You might need the reminder already. This is where I mention that Nikki’s said he’s giving part of his bucks to charity, too. Hello? Raising money for a good cause? Why aren’t you with me, people?

Here was a chance for y’all to work together. Music and books, just like in Susan’s vision, comin’ together in this whole package where they make each other better even though the one can get along just fine without the other. Best of all, a lot of music people, they don’t read much. Same goes for a lot of book people — they don’t listen to a lot of music. Cross those folk over, show ’em a new way, people!

Here was a chance for y’all to sit up and smell a new day. And you blew it. Hidin’ a best-seller in the music section. Not offerin’ a package deal on the music and book together.

No wonder book sales are down and Susan and Rob Zombie are the only ones buyin’ CDs anymore. You people in charge, you just don’t get it. This was as plain on the noses on your faces, but God forbid you look in the mirrors.

Marketing people. Is this the sort of garbage they teach you in college? Then Chelle’s damn glad she didn’t waste her time.

Note from Susan: While I fully understand that those front displays are all paid placements and that the issue in my not finding the book was because someone at Pocket Books didn’t pony up the cash, maybe what Chelle and I ought to point out is that, with minimal publicity, this book sits at #16 on the November 18 edition of the New York Times Best-seller list for Non-fiction (see link above), and that this is its fifth week on the list. Maybe it’d still be in the top ten with a bit of help. And to be fair, I didn’t even see Slash’s new autobiography anywhere in the store, which is listed as debuting at #8 on the list. (Because let’s face it, if I’d seen it, I’d have bought it, too.) As for the Rob Zombie comment, I heard an interview with him on my beloved XM radio, and he admitted to being the only person left who buys CDs anymore. Since I still do, that means I’m in rare company; I think Zombie’s a genius.

And by the way, Chelle and I wrote this last week; I’ve since finished the book. Go get it.



  1. Sabrina

    November 17, 2007 12:02 pm

    I love Rob Zombie. *drool*

  2. pussreboots

    November 17, 2007 2:27 pm

    Interesting book review. I hadn’t heard of the book.

  3. bunnygirl

    November 17, 2007 4:59 pm

    I haven’t read the book but my husband read it right before you did and got so into it that for two straight days I had a quiet house with NO tv, NO guitars or Guitar Hero and NO pestering of any kind. He was on the sofa with his nose glued to that book every spare waking hour!BR/BR/Ah, blessed peace and quiet!BR/BR/Nikki Sixx needs to write a sequel.

  4. courtney

    November 18, 2007 11:03 am

    Eh, tell Rob Zombie we still buy cd’s. Too many of them. Just not his.BR/Michele sent us.BR/BR/MJ and Courtney

  5. julia

    November 18, 2007 11:24 am

    I think the bestseller phenomenon without front-of-store placement is showing us how internet commerce has changed pretty much everything. He must have gotten the lion’s share of sales from the net. Which doesn’t make us book store types even poke our heads out of browsing-the-store-shelves notice much. But marketing people do. Why put money and effort into a small percentage of sales (in store) when Nikki Sixx’s readers are going to order it delivered straight to their door, anyway? Nikki Sixx readers only get up when the stores close anyway, right? ;)BR/BR/This is a great review, by the way, Chelle. And Bunnygirl – what an endorsement!

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 18, 2007 11:37 am

    Well, I’m up before bookstores open…BR/BR/But you’re missing the point here, Julia. Which is that with a bit of effort, MORE people could have been reached. People who aren’t necessarily Sixx fans (or who don’t realize they are) but who’d be really affected by this glimpse into an addict. Some of the people who ought to be reading this book are the people who are afraid of people like Sixx, but whose kids might walk down this same path.BR/BR/How do we reach them? How do we reach those kids?BR/BR/With promotion and discussion. Not by hiding the book. BR/BR/And we won’t even go into the other lost opportunities here… I think Chelle did it for me.

  7. marci

    November 18, 2007 12:28 pm

    I see you found my shoutout, so there’s proof I DO read, but don’t comment.BR/BR/Glad to know it’s not just you, me and Rob buying CDs. 🙂 For the record, Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper’s were the first purchases for me. Mark’s getting Rubber Soul and Revolver for Hanukkah. 🙂

  8. Amy Ruttan

    November 18, 2007 8:05 pm

    Yep, it’s all about marketing and ponying up cash up front.BR/BR/That’s why for us e-book authors Marketing is EVERYTHING.BR/BR/I should do soundtracks to my books. I always listen to specific music for the entire book.BR/BR/Great idea Missy. 😀

  9. Nancy

    November 18, 2007 9:25 pm

    Thanks so much for letting me know about this and Slash’s book. I am putting them both on my list to read, once I catch a bit of a break. BR/BR/I was so into both of these bands. I had a HUGE CRUSH on Nikki Sixx. He seems so nice when I see him on those VH-1 shows. BR/BR/I remember the day when my girlfriend handed me the cassette for Appetite for Destruction. She never got it back.

  10. Wylie Kinson

    November 19, 2007 11:26 pm

    SHG – how’s this for weird. I’m sitting at my computer thinking about that Nikki Sixx book and thought – HEY, why not go over and ask SHG if she’s read it yet!BR/BR/And boom, poof, voila – you read my mind.BR/BR/So?? It’s good, yeah?

  11. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 20, 2007 8:48 am

    It’s AMAZING, Wylie. A must-read.

  12. Marcia (MeeAugraphie)

    November 20, 2007 9:42 am

    You tell those marketing people, Susan, someone has to. BR/BR/I am going to read that book now, thanks.

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