Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another Celebrity Book Auction

In yesterday’s New York Business, Matthew Flamm noted that rocker Keith Richards’ autobiography:
has turned into the hottest auction of the summer.
My first thought was, haven’t there been enough books already about the Rolling Stones?

Apparently publishers don’t think so. The bidding on the proposed book is up to $7.1 million. You heard right. Ordinary writers sometimes don’t get more than $10,000 for their first book, some with small presses get even less. Then they get absolutely no support with promotion for the book. Keith Richards will have to fight off the reporters clamoring for an interview. He already has a platform.

Also, keep this little tidbit in mind:
The $7 million offer would be for world English language rights. Translation rights, which Mr. Victor will sell separately, will push the total advance even higher.
Richards won’t be writing the book by himself. He’ll have a long time friend and non-fiction author James Fox collaborate with him. This might be because, as the New York Business said:
Some reports have questioned whether “Keef,” as he’s known in Britain, would remember enough of his past to write a book.
Publishers are willing to pay this much for a book if they believe they’ll get their money back. They may or may not think an aging rocker’s memoir is as important as the memoir of a past president. It’s the bottom line that’s the bottom line, not the significance or the quality of the work when it comes to celebrity books.


  1. A Keith Richards bio? How 'bout one that just lists all the drugs he's taken all these years---it would rival Proust in length. It boggles the mind our need for celebrity bios/autobios.

  2. I totally agree with you. It's difficult to believe enough people will buy the book for the publisher to make back the money spent. 'Course, America can't seem to get enough of celebrities.


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