I happened to notice this post today: Does celebrity sell?
If you thought the children’s books market had reached peak celebrity then look away now for there is a veritable deluge coming in 2017. This includes, though is by no means limited to, David Walliams, David Baddiel, Tom Fletcher, Clare Balding, Adrian Edmondson, Julian Clary, Christian O’Connell, Mo Farah, Greg James, Chris Smith, Dermot O’Leary, Miranda Hart, Danny Baker, Dara O Briain, Fearne Cotton, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Chris Hoy, Isla Fisher, Gemma Cairney, Frank Lampard, Chris O’Dowd, Brooklyn Beckham, various YouTubers and rather curiously, George Galloway.
In a culture where celebrity sells I understand why publishers go down this route. The phenomenal success of David Walliams has put every publisher under pressure to have their own chart-topping version….
And so on.
I had two immediate thoughts:
a) I’ve heard of only maybe one or two of those people, and
b) Who is it that finds a celebrity author a plus?
I’m probably being unfair, but my assumption when I see a book “by” a celebrity is that it was ghost written. I mean, I KNOW I’m being unfair in some cases — sure SOME of them must write the books that come out under their names. I guess. But honestly, I doubt the authenticity of basically every book supposedly written by a celebrity, whether an actor, a comedian, a politician, or whatever else.
Not Winston Churchill. I’m sure he wrote his. But basically everyone else, I’m pretty skeptical. But who would look to modern-day celebrities for articulate, intelligent, charming children’s books? Or any other kind of books?
Well, maybe that’s just me, because of my near-total disinterest in celebrities. It just seems strange.
2 thoughts on “Children’s Books by Celebrities”
a) Well, The Bookseller is a UK mag! I’m not into celebrity culture at all and I’ve heard of all but two of those.
b) People who don’t read? (turns off snark)
Of the specific people named, I expect that the comedians (eight of them) will make a competent fist of it because they are actually used to creating stuff and working with editors. (David Walliams is a comedian who’s been writing bestselling children’s books for some years now- I expect his fame got him the first contract, but children definitely like his writing.) The sportspeople may well be working with ghostwriters to create “inspirational” books? And who knows about the famous-for-being-famous people.
Interesting that so many of the celebrities are comedians. You’re right, one would suppose that kind of background would probably lead to witty, clever writing.