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Celebrity Books Written by Ghostwriters

If Your Fave Celeb Author Had a Ghostwriter, Would You Skip the Book?

Call me a cynic, but 99 percent of the time when I see a new book written by a celebrity author, I assume it's written by a ghostwriter. So I wasn't surprised to read in a New York Times article that my assumptions are probably correct. Readers are purposefully kept in the dark about the behind-the-scenes relationship between star "authors" and their ghostwriters, with some celebs even publicly taking credit where credit is not due. One example is Nicole Richie, who according to the NYT said she writes all her own stories despite her publisher saying the majority of her latest book Priceless was written by a ghostwriter. And if you were confused as to how Snooki penned a novel after only reading two books in her life (Twilight and Dear John), she fessed up to a "co-writer" after first telling Matt Lauer on Today that she wrote the book.

I find it depressing that books by celebrities are likened to perfumes and other branded merchandise, when for legitimate writers a book is a much more sacred entity. And it just happens to be that my favorite celebrity authors are Chelsea Handler, who's adamant that she wrote her own works, and Tina Fey, who is a writer. But how do you feel about ghostwriters? Would you think less of a celebrity author if you found out she had a ghostwriter do the dirty work?

Image Source: WireImage
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bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
Since I work in publishing, I know one of the reasons why ghostwriters for celebrities are rarely mentioned in public is because they [the ghostwriter] have contractually given away the rights to their writing to the celebrity author via a work-for-hire agreement. Other times, the agents for the celebrity contractually forbid mention of the ghostwriter in publicity or even the copyright information for the book. Ghostwriters are generally told not to talk about their projects since there are clauses specifying retribution for any talk about the material. But ... There are still a lot of ghostwriters that get front cover credit along with the celebrity ... it's really up to the relationship between the two. The ghostwriter's job isn't that much different from copy-editors and book-doctors. Those ppl don't get credit on the books they work on either.
amber512 amber512 5 years
I tend to stay away from celebrity "books" in general, so I don't really even think about the ghostwriter aspect. But I agree, they should be honest about what's really going on.
Tara-Block Tara-Block 5 years
Good points all around, and I see what you mean, spacekatgal, books often are collaborations. I just wish the celebrity authors would be honest about their role in the creative process, though, instead of taking full credit when they don't have a writing background. On a side note, I know someone who did ghostwriting, and they made bank for doing it. So at least they are compensated for their lack of recognition.
stephley stephley 5 years
Yeah I think less of a celebrity who hides the fact that their books are ghost written. If the ghostwriter talks to the celebrity and captures their voice for a book, then the ghostwriter is the author. If the celeb wants to be known as a writer, learn to write. B.S. is B.S., no matter how pretty the package.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
This type of book would be way more entertaining if they didn't have ghost writers or editors. I imagine the kardashian book would all be poorly drawn pictures of unicorns and misspelled diatribes about hair product.
Ciris Ciris 5 years
I don't really read celebrity books but I wonder about Lauren Conrad and Hilary Duff's fiction books (because those are the ones I'd most likely read)-- are those probably ghostwritten?
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