Why Reality TV is a boon to UK publishers

By Carmen Comment

Many of us knew that Britain was celebrity obsessed. But it seems to be careening out of control based on the money thrown at instant Reality TV stars. Or is it? Reuters checks in on the growth of the celebrity corner of publishing, which has extended the stardom life of people like Jordan, Jodie Marsh, Jade Goody & Chantelle.

“At the moment British culture is incredibly celebrity-driven,” said Joel Rickett, deputy editor of the industry’s weekly trade magazine The Bookseller. “I wouldn’t be surprised if publishers aren’t sniffing around the current series of Big Brother. The winner could walk out into a book deal.”

John Blake, who publishes Jordan’s books, has no qualms about taking her on. “She was turned down by almost every publisher. I took a gamble, paid her a 10,000 pound advance and by goodness it paid off. In hardback the book sold about 650,000 copies and in paperback has sold 450,000,” he told Reuters. “Then she got pinched from me. Random House, the biggest publishers in Europe, paid her more than 300,000 pounds for the second volume of her autobiography.”

And even if you think Chantelle is an annoying brat who doesn’t deserve her fame, at least her reaction to being published is, ah, somewhat genuine. “Oh My God, I never thought I’d have my own book. But as I’ve learnt, if you want something bad enough and you believe in it, it really is possible to live the dream.”