Monday, June 6, 2011

Celebrity ghostwriting

The New York Times recently posted an article about the secretive use of ghostwriters among celebrities who aspire to be novelists.  It should surprise no one to hear that celebrities like Snooki, the Kardashians, Hilary Duff, etc depend on professional writers to do the majority of their writing for them.  I have never seen Jersey Shore, and I saw about fifteen minutes of a Kardashians episode while I was at the gym, so I can't exactly claim personal acquaintance with any celebrity who's recently released a novel of their own.  However, I do know that a real talent for fiction writing is a pretty rare thing, especially a talent so great that you can score a book deal with a reputable publisher, so I'd be very skeptical to hear that any of these celebrities did all of the work on their own.

One of the concerns expressed in the NYT articles was whether this open secret in the publishing industry can be considered dishonest, from the perspective of the consumer.  For whatever reason, publishers seem to be more willing to hide a ghostwriter on a fiction project, while non-fiction works by celebrities usually have a second author listed clearly on the cover. 

If you were a celebrity author, would you accept the services of a ghostwriter?  As a reader, are you more or less likely to read a celebrity's novel if a ghostwriter is clearly acknowledged?

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