Writing in the Scotland on Sunday, Jeremy Watson says “celebrity memoirs are being left on the shelf because of fallings sales caused by the credit crunch…(and) publishers can no longer afford fees reaching into seven figures for authors.”
He points out that in the UK, there are only a few celebrity memoirs planned for the first six months of 2009—however, I wonder whether that’s partly because there were so many published in 2008 and because they tend to sell much better around Christmas than any other time of year?
An interesting revelation about numbers: “Last December, books had to sell at least 10,000 copies to make to the Top 20 of the Bookseller’s magazine charts [of hardback books]. This year it will take sales of just over 5,000.”
Reports suggest that comedian/actress Dawn French got £2 million (about $3 million) for her memoirs, “Dear Fatty,” and sales are projected to be only 30,000 so far this year, not a great deal for the publisher (but a great deal for her…).
Watson’s prediction: “Celebrity memoirs are set to be overtaken in popularity by self-help manuals and books on how to survive global economic meltdown.”
(If you're a non-celebrity interested in writing a book, see Your Writing Coach, published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, for how to get from your first idea all the way through to publication. You can get it online or at discerning book stores.)