Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Macmillan's Secret "Unghosted" Acquisition

Today, a new Hollywood memoirist came out of the woodwork--actor Rob Lowe.

Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan, will be publishing the tome, said to be written by Lowe himself sans ghostwriter:

Macmillan is just now announcing an acquisition it made in the fall of 2009, when Steve Rubin, president and publisher of Henry Holt, bought Rob Lowe's memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. The publisher said the manuscript came in as a "confidential submission" because Lowe is writing the book himself and all parties wanted to keep the work under wraps until the first chapters had come together. The title is now slated for May 2011, with Holt's Gillian Blake editing.

In the book, Lowe details his career as well as his personal life, including his experiences as a father and his battle to get sober. In chronicling his 40-year career, Lowe offers a glimpses from his days as a child actor in Ohio, his stint in Malibu in the 1970s, through his time as a teen idol in the 1980s. Holt took world rights from Jennifer Rudolph Walsh at William Morris Endeavor.

See the PW announcement HERE

When I first saw this deal, I was kind of stoked, I'm not going to lie--I was also kind of ADD.

As a big-time "Brothers & Sisters" fan, it first reminded me that I have a couple more episodes to watch before I'm done the most recent season.

Then the pop-culture-hungry teenager in me was like "Oooh, I wonder if he'll talk about his alleged 2008 "nanny-scandal"!?!?

Only after that inner-squeal did my brain settled down a little and reveal to me the true topic of this post: ghostwriters.

We all know what a ghostwriter is (and if you don't, click here--I won't tell.) But what we don't know--unless we're privy to the inner-workings of a big trade publishing house--is whether or not celebrity authors can really write or if someone else is doing it for them.
The cynic in me is always skeptical when a celeb, like Mr. Lowe here, claims that he/she will be writing every down him/herself. Yes, it's stereotypical and unfair, but I think the majority of the population also questions the truth of such statements.

On a practical level, with all these celebs do, when do they even find the time to write? I can't imagine they can actually juggle that much work/social butterfly-ing/political agenda-ing/etc. and have time left over to write a book. Then on a more embarassing level, I wonder if they're even capable of writing something clear, concise, and engaging enough to sell for any reason other than who they are? We know they can recite some lines in a reasonable numberof takes, but can they really write such clever lines?
I know for a fact that some authors are very hands-on with their approach to writing, whether it be as a memoir a la Born Standing Up by Steve Martin--or fiction like L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad. But more often than not, celebs get a little help from their friends the ghostwriters.

But perhaps more important than whether or not they have a ghostwriter is wheter or not it even matters. It's a celeb's name that sells a book, not the quality, accuracy, or truthfulness or the content.

Heck, sometimes, a celeb just needs to carry a book and it becomes an instant bestseller.
What do YOU think about ghostwriting for the rich and famous?

Do you have a favorite celeb memoir/novel to recommend?
(If not, Ben Kenber of AssociatedContent.com sure does! Check it out HERE)

1 comment:

  1. I think it's rather hilarious that people are so stoked about Rob writing his own memoir. Oh golly gee willickers, we are supposed to pat him on the back for using his f*cking brain?! I use mine every damn day! Celebs shouldn't be doing memoirs if they can't be bothered to write them. Having a co-author is one thing, but a ghostwriter is another. Stupid lazy SOBs.

    To your other question, my fave celeb tome would have to be Chelsea Handler's first two memoirs/books of essays. No clue if she had a ghostwriter or not. But she's one funny mofo.