Saturday, August 22, 2009

And Then the Sales Fairy Will Sprinkle Magic Sparkle Dust on My Book...

I was wondering to what degree celebrity books are ghost written?
Some are. It's a dead secret which ones. But it's a better bet, usually, that celebrities' enormous egos have prevented them from accepting "help".
I find it hard to believe that Madonna writes her own children's books.
(Rolls eyes) Ahem.
Do publishers actively approach a celebrity asking if they can use their name on a book? Though I would prefer to have my own name on something I've written, I wonder what's involved in getting a celebrity endorsement?
If you mean you're imagining a publisher accepting your manuscript and then approaching a celebrity to take credit for it, you can stop dreaming right now.

18 comments:

~Aimee States said...

What the...?

Anonymous said...

Quote: "...I find it hard to believe that Madonna writes her own children's books...."

I don't. I've read one.

Though I do remember George Foreman mentioning his children's book -- which mainly consisted of he fact that all of his sons have his same name -- was easy because he didn't really write it.

ABH said...

Long ago I read a book with Madonna's name on it in which the message was that you shouldn't hate people because they're rich and beautiful. Which I guess you shouldn't. But who besides the rich and beautiful would care enough to make this the moral of a picture book? So I figured Madonna must have at least contributed ideas.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the last question was what you took it to mean. As I read it, the last question wasn't about giving authorship to a celebrity, but getting an on-cover endorsement from a celebrity. It's easy to read it the way you did coming on the heels of the ghost writer questions, but a second read leads me to a different conclusion.

ae said...

If this is what people are buying, than it makes you not want to write anymore. Read books like those of Chris van Allsberg, Schachner, etc. (sorry for SP typos) and they will give you hope thru their greatness. And if they touch you enough, you'll want to write again. It took me a while to figure that out. And a long period of discouragement. But I am back now with heart and brains. There is greatness out there. No issues, no camp, no trends, no flash. Just genius. Trust yourself and find those who see it the way you do. Barb

Editorial Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:40--
You mean like a blurb from a celebrity? Can you think of a book that had such a blurb?

Venus said...

I know Julie Andrews says that it bothers her that people consider her a "celebrity author" as she has been writing children's book for 38 years. However, her books are actually good. I don't care if there are ghostwriters, as long as the story is good and enjoyable. The good ones will stand the test of time I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Well, the Junie B Jones books in Britain have an endorsement from Madonna. And I've just finished reading 'Eat, Pray, Love', which has an endorsement from Julia Roberts.

I think the question was asking about getting a celebrity to take credit for the book though.

Anna Letha said...

I don't think that final question is about getting a celebrity blurb. They specifically say they'd prefer to have their own name on a book. Why would they say that if they didn't mean that they wanted to ghost write a book for a celebrity?

sylvia said...

Though I would prefer to have my own name on something I've written

I don't think EA misunderstood at all.

Anonymous said...

Those celebrity children's books are enough to make any real writer eat her Word program. Especially when their sales ranks are so much better than... said writer's.

jess said...

I just participated in a blog tour for a book called Circle of Souls. The author first self-pubbed his book, then went to a small Mormon press. He has an endorsement or quote from Judge Judy--sort of a celebrity-- does she count? Mmmm, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

5:40 Anonymous here.

I think the original poster in his last question was saying "I do not want to ghost write, but I do want an endorsement," and asked how you go about getting a celebrity endorsement on a book. It wasn't the clearest series of questions we've ever seen here, but the way I read it there was a hazy transition between the ghost writing questions and the final endorsement question.

working illustrator said...

Maybe some of the publishing professionals out there can tell us whether they think celebrity books eat into the sales of other writers or if that's just a whole different customer base?

I usually think of my books as being in a whole different category, but maybe the celeb titles have the effect of sucking all the air out of the room (and all the shelf space out of the Barnes & Noble), even if they're not competitors, strictly speaking?

emay said...

They sure suck all the money for advances out of the room.

Anonymous said...

Emay, not that this post is about that, but since we're off-topic, I'd actually argue the opposite is true. A celebrity getting a big advance doesn't mean that an unknown will get less of an advance.

First of all, an unknown probably wouldn't have gotten a huge advance to begin with.

Secondly, the profits that the publisher makes on crap celeb books allows them to spend MORE money and take more chances on unknowns.

Lauri said...

I'm the original poster and you're right, my question wasn't clear. I apologize for that. What I meant to ask was: What is the process a publisher goes through in order to get permission from a celebrity to use his/her name. I was just curious and don't necessarily want a celebrity name or endorsement on something I've written.
By the way-to Jess: Judge Judy has a couple of her own children's books already out. She's such a sweet old lady isn't she?

Jane said...

The writer of Jordan's Pony Books, as opposed to her endless collections of What I Fackin Done Last Week biogs, once told me that Jordan's contribution to the process was to beadily regard the finished pile just before a book signing and snap: 'Can't you make em' any more pink?'