Sunday, 27 November 2011

Publishing hits rock bottom

As writers we all struggle to get published. We toil all through the night when all sensible people are sleeping.

Our characters tug at our sleeves and lead us on a merry dance when we’re meant to be concentrating on something else: life stuff like paying the bills and taking the rubbish out.

We don’t have leisure time because we’re too busy scribbling away.

We end up with back problems (from sitting hunched over our laptops or notebooks), relationship problems (‘you care more about your writing than you do about me’), drink problems (there’s a reason I’m teetotal) and some of us even end up relying on heavy duty narcotics (I’m not there, yet, but give me time).

Maybe we writers should be sending pictures of our bums to publishers instead of head shots

So nothing sticks in the craw more than reading that the publishing industry, who hand out meagre advances to writers (if they hand out advances at all) can somehow come up with bucket loads of cash to hand to ‘celebrities’ to supposedly write books.

Pippa Middleton is the latest to be given a book deal. According to reports she’s been given a 400k book deal by Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin books to tell us how to be the perfect party hostess.  

According to these reports, Pippa who’s never so much as had an article published will write the book herself. It’s up to you whether you believe that or not as most celebs get ghostwriters.  

Ms Middleton is just the latest in a long line of ‘celebrities’ to get huge book deals and she won’t be the last.

Footnote - If you have no idea who Pippa Middleton is, lucky you. She’s the sister of Kate Middleton who married Prince William. She became famous because apparently she has a nice bottom.


  1. Now come on, Jen. How else is the poor girl going to make a living? Do you expect her to live off her millionaire parents or multimillionaire in-laws?

  2. She can have at it. If I spent one second worrying about someone getting ahead of me it'd be one second that I'm not ahead of myself. I can't afford to lose that second.

  3. Cheeky!

    Good luck to her - if anyone's daft enough to buy it, let them.

    I know you could argue that Penguin could have paid for real writers to write real books, but it seems real words don't sell enough.

    Simple economics - supply and demand.

    It's not Ms Middleton's fault - it's ours, the Great British public. Perhaps we get the books we deserve?

  4. Maybe we do get the books we deserve. I'll wait till it's in the pound shop before I buy it ... for someone else !

  5. LOL! @Lexia

    Don't think this is just a Brit problem or just a book problem. The sad state of affairs is I have not bought a major publisher's work in years. I buy from indy's and self-published. Some of the best literature I have devoured.

    The shame is the really good writers do not get the exposure or acclaim they deserve.

  6. Sometimes I think publishers just give famous people big deals so they make the headlines. Very often they don't get anywhere near the money they put back in. All that happens is there's less money for authors who write their own books.

  7. I wonder when the first case for fraud over a ghost-written book will be brought to court. There's £400, 000 minus tax, there for the taking.

  8. Aaaargh! Don't mention celebrity book deals or you'll set me off. It wouldn't be so bad if they made loads of cash to keep publishers in business, but as you say quite often they seem to lose money so in a way, all readers are paying for them even if we don't buy that particular book.


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