Dear Amazon,

I was delighted to read that your company is aggressively expanding from bookselling to publishing. In this difficult time for authors, with the future of the written word endangered by pressures both cultural and economic, it is heartening that Amazon is stepping boldly into the world of literature and the theater of ideas.

I note that your first big-name author is Timothy Ferriss, the self-help guru whose oeuvre is described this way by the New York Times: “Mr. Ferriss has risen to mass popularity by explaining to readers how to get the most change in their lives for the least amount of effort. His books promise to help readers lose pounds through ‘safe chemical cocktails’ and odd
food combinations, gain muscle in a month with only four hours of gym time, produce 15-minute female orgasms, and sleep two hours a day and feel fully rested.”

Now, I yield to no man in my respect for the female orgasm, but I admit that your choice of Mr. Ferriss initially troubled me. It seemed a bit crass and undignified — as though Arkansas chose, as its state bird, the horsefly.

But then I thought about it more. You have money to pay for books, and I write books. If your literary philosophy is to tell gullible nitwits what they want to hear, I am down with that. So, please consider the following titles. I will be happy to write any of these books, for a handsome advance.

“The Wishing Well Diet” by Gene Weingarten: How you can lose weight with no effort for
— literally — pennies a month.

“The Three-Hour Female Orgasm While You Are in the Next Room Watching Football” by Gene Weingarten

“Your Father Died Proud of You, and I Have Proof” by Gene Weingarten

“Why Jews Are the Best” by Gene Weingarten — This would be the first in a series. The second:

“Why Episcopalians Are the Best” by Eugene Winslow III. You see where I am going here.

“Your Kid Is a Genius Under Some Definitions
of Genius”
by Gene Weingarten

“Squat-Thrust Your Way to Being Third Overall Pick in the NFL Draft” by Gene Weingarten

“Heat Your House for Free With Your Wife’s Cellulite” by Gene Weingarten

“You, Personally, Will Never Die” by Gene Weingarten

“Think Your Nose Smaller” by Gene Weingarten

“Really Unflattering Photographs of Famous Attractive People” by Gene Weingarten

“God Will Still Let You Into Heaven Even if You Have Committed Adultery or Cheated a Little on Your Taxes” by Gene Weingarten

“They’re All Just Jealous” by Gene Weingarten

“I Am With Angelina Only Because I Haven’t Yet Met You by Brad Pitt as told to Gene Weingarten

“You, Too, Can Write Bestsellers That Morons Buy” by Gene Weingarten

“Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs” by Gene Weingarten

Oh, wait. I actually wrote that last one.