Tip of the Day: Check out YA author Lauren Barnholdt’s cool book trick vlog. She shows everyone how to figure out what printing your book is in. I had no idea how this was done—pretty cool!
Approximately once a week my husband and I get into a debate—he from a reader’s point of view and me from a writer’s point of view. (Some background--I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs but my husband listens to an insane amount of audiobooks on his iPod-- 300+ books last year.) Anyway, here’s the debate and I want you guys to weigh in.
Yup—that’s it. Now I understand ghost writers are necessary for all of the Hollywood memoirs etc. because it’s just so obvious that none (ok, I'll be fair and say almost none in case there is one or two who do write their own) of these celebs are going to write their own books. I’m not going to begin to believe that Dr. Phil is writing a dozen books a year while working all day on his TV show or that Miley Cyrus is about to jam out her memoir on the tour bus in between concerts. In fact, I had a good laugh when watching Oprah and seeing a particular celebrity not have a clue as to what Oprah was referencing in this celeb’s own book. Not only did she not write it I don’t think she ever read it.
No, here’s my problem. I don’t like when people put their names all over a fiction book and someone else wrote it. It really, really bothers me.
For example, about a year ago I came to a horrible realization. The teen fiction series I grew up on, the one I read like 100 books of, Sweet Valley High, was NOT written by Francine Pascal. Nope. This is true. And I’m sorry if you didn’t know and I just ruined your day. Yeah, ok, so Francine never claimed that she “wrote” the books. They say “created by Francine Pascal” on each cover. But hey, I was 12 when I read them. And I didn’t over think this kind of stuff. I mean, look at the covers.
Her name is the only one that appears! I thought she wrote the books herself. This was someone I admired and thought it might be fun to one day write books just like her. Ha! I don’t know why exactly I’m so bitter about this but I am.
And more recently, James Patterson. His name is written in enormous letters across the top of books and he is getting the credit but someone else is writing the book. Oh sure, if you look closely you’ll see who really wrote the book. But how many people are looking closely at each book? How many people just pick up a James Patterson book and go on their merry way?
So back to me and my dear hubby’s debate. He thinks it is just fine that authors have other people write their books because they provide an outline to the book. Outline shmoutline I don’t think it’s the same. I can give someone an outline to one of my books and I don’t think the end product will be nearly the same. Not that it would be worse or better. It would just be different. It’s still not ME writing the book. If Lauren Myracle gave me an outline to one of her books I could manage something but it would NOT be a Lauren Myracle book. And I think that would tick off Lauren Myracle fans don’t you? My husband says an outline is all you need—he doesn’t think it matters who wrote it as long as the idea came from the big name author. And he is always referencing how Robert Heinlein books are continued after he has died just because other people write them and how wonderful this is.
I still don’t agree. What do you think? Am I just overly sensitive because I’m a writer? Do readers who are not writers not care if a book says JAMES PATTERSON across the top but is written by Bob Smith?
Kristina, Miss Soon-to-Pub