Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Plethora of Ghost Writers

Three weeks ago, I blogged about authors ghost writing for deceased authors, like Robert Ludlum and James Patterson. Sometimes you can tell when a book has been written by someone other than the author whose name is blazoned in big letters across the top of the cover. The secondary writer’s name is somewhere on the cover, in much smaller letters. Sometimes you can’t tell because it’s kept secret or hush-hush. They don’t want you to know because they’re worried about sales.

Yesterday, the New York Times came out with an article about ghost writers or those who take over another author’s series, Here’s some of the other authors, dead or alive, whose books are sometimes written by others:
[Ludlum’s] estate has borrowed from the examples of V.C. Andrews, dead since 1986 but selling well thanks to novels in her name written by an uncredited author; Ernest Hemingway, whose estates issued several books after his suicide; and Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler (both quite alive) who diverted from their skin of solo thrillers to create series written in conjunction with, or solely by, others.
According to Sara Nelson, editor in chief of Publishers Weekly:
Series and big-name authors have tended to work well. Publishers, like executives in other creative fields, want Nos. 2, 3 and 4 to work as well as No. 1. And instead of going off to find the new Ludlum, they figure they’ve got this formula and will continue to use it.
Interesting article.

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