As an editor, you get a celebrity manuscript come across your desk, do you say behind closed doors "This is really bad but because it is written by Sally Sleezeball we'll publish it and our company will make a lot of money." Does that get discussed? Do you realize that it's bad when it gets published and nobody cares because it is going to make a lot of money, because it is after all a business and it will sell?
Yes, that's right.
We are told all along as writers that it's about the story. The writing has to be fantastic, the cover letter has to be marvelous, the query has to be wonderful. Why are celebrities not held to the standards that we are? And if in fact they aren't held to the same standards and it is ALL about a P & L statement why do editors just not fix the story and the bad rhyme so we don't know that Sally Sleezeball is as bad as she really is.
Oh, I wish. Celebrities come strapped with celebrity egos, however, and often cannot be told they need a ghostwriter. And the poor editor, who is already grinding her teeth to have to work on such drivel, has to deal with an author whose attitude is "Huh! Who are you to tell me how to make my story better?"
Your-goddamned-editor, is who.
I am a confirmed member of BACA, but it's worth noting that if a celebrity book brings in a bunch of money, it has the chance to bankroll other books that are higher quality but lower profile. If it gives us the chance to slip some not-so-sure-bets into the pipeline just because we love them, we're willing to be flexible. As I maintain, editors are not evil. But they can be all kinds of devious in the right cause.