Tacky book publicity gambit of the week

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With Michael Jackson’s memorial dominating headlines this week, it’s hard not to think about death. Or pop stars. Or people who are obsessed with the death of pop stars. Or, if you happen to be a publicist, how you could turn this new frenzy of attention to your advantage. Jacket Copy received this press release yesterday:

The unfolding of Michael Jackson’s will and estate, and the confusion surrounding it, is a stark reminder of the importance of providing a plan for those we leave behind. Although a majority of Americans are aware that they need a will, about 70 percent don’t have one. The irony is that for many, the legalities involved are not very complicated. Estate planning is largely the same.

Stephen Maples, author of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wills and Estates, Fourth Edition,’ is available to comment on the process Michael Jackson’s family or others will have to contend with when dealing with the estate of a family member or friend who has recently died. He can discuss aspects to writing a will and how to start getting affairs in order.

Indeed. Well, they’ve gotten their publicity. But I won’t be calling the ‘Idiot’s Guide’ author. Nor would I recommend that anyone who wants to leave their affairs in order begin at the idiot level; I’d say a lawyer is a safer bet.


-- Carolyn Kellogg