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Celebrities with Book Deals

September 1, 2013
Kim Kardashian at the Seventh Annual Hollywood...

Now that she’s had a baby, will Kim Kardashian write a book about child rearing? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I get older, I’ve noticed that I spend more time reading about books than actually reading books.  I enjoy reading book reviews on blogs and book sites.  I check out the news about upcoming books, knowing that I’ll never read most of them.  And I enjoy seeing all the writers I’ve never heard of getting book deals.  Unfortunately, a lot of these new authors getting book deals are celebrities. 

I’m sure this is nothing new.  Celebrities have always written about themselves (or had a ghost writer do it for them).  But now I’m seeing celebrities branch out into new (that I’ve noticed) directions.  Just today (I wrote this over a week ago and published it today, so “today” isn’t really today), a celebrity announced plans to publish a heart-shaped book about photography.  Another celebrity (a comedian on a sit-com that I occasionally watch) is writing a humorous (we’ll see about that) book about relationships.  Yet another celebrity is writing a children’s book.  That’s not news; there’s always a celebrity writing a children’s book. 

Whenever I read book news, maybe half of the publicized book deals seem to be celebrities.  That doesn’t mean half of the books being published are written by celebrities; I think the books that are making news are written by celebrities.  Since the public already knows their names, it’s very easy to publicize their books. 

In one way, it’s strange that celebrities would want to write books.  Writing ability is not usually what makes a celebrity a celebrity.  Some celebrities read lines (written by writers who are not celebrities) very well.  Others sing lyrics (written by writers who are not celebrities) really well.  Others make sex tapes (but these probably weren’t written by writers who are not celebrities). 

I don’t blame celebrities for signing book deals.  If I were a celebrity (and I’m not), and a book publisher offered me a deal (which they probably won’t), I’d sign it.  I’d be obligated to sign.  Part of being a celebrity is being famous, and fame can fade quickly.  A celebrity is obligated to milk every possible amount of income out of fame because fame can disappear so quickly. 

Even though celebrities get book deals because of name recognition, I don’t want to mention the celebrities with book deals by name.  The celebrity book deals are happening so quickly that by the time you read this, the deals I’ve mentioned will be old news, and there’ll already be new celebrity book deals.  And when you’re talking about celebrities, the worst thing you can do is talk about old news (and I wrote this last week, so I’m playing with fire here). 

There are a couple celebrities whom I admire, but I wouldn’t necessarily read any books they wrote (they probably don’t read mine, so we’re even).  I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants because she is a writer and I was curious about what her book would be like.  A bunch of comedians whom I enjoy have written books, but I haven’t read any of them. 

When it comes to celebrities, I think I’ve watched more sex tapes than read books (except for Tina Fey, whose book I’ve read, but I haven’t seen a sex tape). 

I feel sorry for the celebrity without a book deal.  What does it say about a celebrity when he/she can’t get a book deal?  If a celebrity can’t get a book deal, maybe that means the celebrity needs to find another calling.  But I hope those celebrities who can’t get book deals don’t become authors.  There are already enough of those.

 If your favorite celebrity wrote a book, would you buy it?  Or are there any celebrities whose books you would absolutely refuse to buy?

From → Pop culture

  1. If Vladimir Putin wrote a book, I’d buy it. But only because he’s sexy 🙂

    The only celebrity that I wouldn’t refuse to buy is Viggo Mortensen, because he actually is a writer and poet so I know that it wouldn’t be written by a ghost writer. I’d be suspicious of other celebrities.

  2. Just curious, what was your opinion on Bossypants? I keep meaning to read it, but is it worth it?

    • It’s not a must-read, but it wasn’t a waste of time either. The reason I liked it was because she doesn’t come across (in her writing style) as obnoxious or having a big ego. As a quiet person, I appreciate that.

  3. If a celeb I like writes a potentially interesting book I’ll read it. I’ve read only Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry so far and I absolutely loved it. He did study literature at Cambridge 🙂

  4. I liked the books by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, but those weren’t novels. I think those are the only books I’ve read by someone who was famous for something other than writing. I don’t really think of celebrities with books as being in the same class as other writers (especially if they have ghostwriters) and I generally don’t think of them at all, but I can understand if struggling authors get frustrated at people with no writing talent publishing bestsellers.

  5. As an author preparing to publish a first book I am disheartened by the advantages celebrities have. They easily get the public’s attention about everything they do. Since nobody ever heard of me what are the chances of my success?

  6. I mostly read only the finest literature, aka tawdry romances. I once read a romance novel by “Fabio”. Twas a mistake. Given that and what I see on TV, reading a celebrity book is not at the top of my list.

  7. The only celeb book I’ve read is Angelina Jolie’s “Notes From My Travels”, but that was actually worth reading in my opinion. Otherwise, the celeb books make me roll my eyes and gag. : )

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