Leading children’s writers have slammed publishers for giving celebrities like Meghan Markle “huge strides” on books based on their fame and regardless of the quality of the writing.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, announced earlier this month that she had written her first book The Bench, and said it was inspired by Prince Harry and his son Archie who would explore the ‘special bond between father and son ”as“ seen through a mother’s eyes ”.
It is not known if Meghan received an advance for the book and if any of the proceeds will go to charity, a brand expert previously told FEMAIL he could have already brought in £ 500,000 to the Duchess at the following a “bidding war to secure his first business.” “.
But now British children’s author Gareth P. Jones, who wrote the Dragon Detective Agency series of books and won the 2012 Blue Peter Book of the Year award for The Considine Curse, has slammed the publishers for having privileged “fame rather than quality”.
Leading children’s writers slammed publishers for giving celebrities like Meghan Markle, 39, ‘huge strides’ on books based on their fame and no matter how good the writing
He told the Telegraph that Meghan “isn’t unique” in wanting to write a children’s book – and while many parents dabble in writing, it’s rare that they get a book deal unless they are. ‘they are not famous.
He said: “Most famous authors get such huge strides for their efforts that I’m not sure book sales or longevity is a big factor for them. “
Meanwhile, writer of children’s thriller Waiting for Murder Fleur Hitchcock said quality should come first over fame.
She said: “There have been absolute disasters over the years – remember Madonna’s? – some sell on the name and crash, but some are marketed so aggressively that they overwhelm the competition.
Earlier this month, the Duchess of Sussex announced that she has written a £ 12.99 children’s book titled The Bench, which goes on sale June 8 and is illustrated by bestselling California artist Christian Robinson.
In March, Idris Elba signed a global deal to write a series of children’s picture and fiction books inspired by his teenage daughter Isan – joining a long list of famous faces who wield their star power with their own series of books. .
The list includes royalty like the Duchess of York, Hollywood star Natalie Portman and even rising stars like Emerald Fennell.
Other stars to release children’s books include Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, whose bestselling Sulwe will be turned into a Netflix-hosted musical.
Pop culture and brand expert Nick Ede previously revealed that writing a children’s book has become a status symbol for celebrities who believe it’s a “smart way to earn money.” money, maintain fame and earn years of royalty.
Gareth P. Jones wrote the Dragon Detective Agency book series and in 2012 won the Blue Peter Book of the Year award for The Considine Curse
Nick suggested that the famous author’s popularity was boosted after many saw the booming success of comedian David Walliams’ book empire.
“The celebrity call to write children’s books really started with the David Walliams phenomenon,” Nick said.
“He saw a market where his books could be sold, but also many shoots of theatrical performances, animation, audiobooks and merchandise.
“It only allows the author to maximize in a way that someone like JK Rowling could imagine. ”
A brand expert previously said the famous author’s popularity was boosted after many saw the booming success of comedian David Walliams’ book empire.
Presenter Fearne Cotton has written several children’s books, while the Duchess of York is also an acclaimed children’s author (left and right)
At over £ 100million, Walliams’ book income exceeds his show business income and when WH Smith listed his most popular children’s books of 2020, three of his books were in the top ten, even beating JK Rowling.
The branding expert said Hollywood stars could earn “years of royalty” by writing a children’s book that could become a classic for young readers.
He explained, “Celebrities like Idris Elba who have massive appeal in movies and TV and who can write a compelling story that kids learn from is a nifty way to make money and keep your fame and fame. get years and years of royalties.
“I think it’s a nifty way to stay relevant, build a new fan base and make money, as well as build a legacy like famous writers, from Enid Blighton to Roald Dahl, who use still their intellectual properties for modern adaptations. “
The Bench – which will be released simultaneously in the UK and the US – was inspired by a poem the Duchess of Sussex wrote for Harry on Father’s Day the month after Archie was born.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, wanted the story to be told through an ‘inclusive lens’ and will feature a ‘diverse group of father and son’ (pictured with Archie and Harry in 2019)
In one illustration, a red-headed soldier wearing a US Army cap is seen holding his young son in the air as a woman watches cry from a window
The story, which will be published on June 8 by Random House Children’s Books, will be illustrated by successful Californian artist Christian Robinson, raised by his grandmother in a one-bedroom apartment also shared with his brother, two cousins. And his aunt.
Popular culture expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL the Duchess of Sussex was likely paid between £ 250,000 and £ 500,000 to write the book.
A publicity statement said Meghan, who chose to use her title on the book cover, wanted the story to be told through an ‘inclusive lens’ and will feature a ‘diverse group of father and son’ .
Meghan will also tell about the audiobook costing $ 4.99 (£ 3.54) – which, along with the hardcover version, could net her millions through sales.
In one illustration, a red-headed soldier wearing a US Army cap is seen holding his young son in the air as a woman watches cry from a window.
It’s a likely reference to her and Harry, who served in Afghanistan with the Blues and Royals. The words read: “This is your bench, where life begins, for you and our son our baby, our parents”.