Novels ‘written’ by celebrities

Last week Andrew was asked by the London Evening Standard (via Incwriters) to respond to an article on Authors who have launched an attack on novels by celebrities. His response appears below, courtesy of the London Evening Standard:

‘The trend for celebrity novelists is nothing new. Publishers need to sell books. The problem arises out of the money spent to publicise books across multi-platforms; the web, the media, the Literature festival and the retailer. It is this question of cost which means a publisher will inevitably turn to an easier or cheaper route of making money. You can’t blame them for that. It is an industry and publishers have to survive. However, it is prudent for such publishers to use those celebrity profits to give equal promotion to the new novelist, poet or short story writer. It is this lack of commitment that is hard to swallow by many and it gives the reader an unbalanced view that the publishing market is driven by celebrity. It seems to create a monopoly of books by talented celebrities but not necessarily talented writers. These celebrities draw in crowds but not readers. The proof of this can be found on any Sunday car boot, street market or second hand bookshop. Here you will not see a glut of Charles Dickens, PD James, Chris Beckett, Ian Parks, Gaia Holmes, Andy Remic or Will Self. Critically, that speaks.’ – Andrew Oldham 26th October 2009

What are your views on celebrities writing fiction?

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