Well ... maybe not so much anymore. It seems the trend of books "by" celebrities is in the downswing - or perhaps just the calibre of celebrities is. So, if the pendulum swings away, eventually it will swing back. Just in time for my autobiography, where I name drop HM The Queen (and her Queen Mother): two (2) Canadian Prime Ministers (and a questionable third) with whom I had experiences; the redoubtable Katharine Hepburn (I was there the night when...); and numerous Canadian writers who will be famous because they knew me.
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The death of the celebrity memoirWe can thank Snooki for something: Finally, this annoying publishing trend looks like it is fizzling out
BY LAURA MILLER
In a recent essay for the Daily Beast, Michael Korda, the storied former editor in chief of Simon & Schuster, warned the public to stay away from celebrity memoirs, decrying the majority of these books as “dull, homogenized, bland and sanitized.” He ought to know, for as he goes on to explain, he spent much of his professional life trying to persuade movie stars to write their autobiographies. (One of the ironies here is that Korda, while a celebrity only in the book world — which means not much of a celebrity at all — is famous for writing divertingly about almost any topic, including himself. This piece is no exception.)
A growing awareness of this truth might explain why sales of celebrity memoirs have fallen off of late. According to the Guardian newspaper in Britain, a whole raft of celebrity-authored books tanked in the U.K. last year. In the U.S., as well, there have been several notable failures, particularly by cast members from the reality TV show “Jersey Shore.” Could the public finally be wising up?
Of course, the cause might just be the low caliber of the celebrities in question. I didn’t recognize any of the names the Guardian held up as fizzling memoirists — except for Alan Partridge, who isn’t even a real person. “I, Partridge” was in fact written by the actor-writer-director Steve Coogan, who created the character of Partridge for a television series parodying B-list chat-show hosts and other effluvia of the media world. His book is a parody of celebrity memoirs, and reportedly the only “significant” title in a genre whose sales have dropped 60 percent in the past year.