Over the last decade, it has become increasingly obvious that celebrities command a massive influence in the world, especially western culture. Mass audiences admire and pay tribute to them for many varied reasons – their ground-breaking fashion trends, hip new music, Oscar-worthy performance in movies, the list goes on. Celebrities are viewed by many as untouchable super-humans, above the rank-and-file of ordinary folk. To say that some of their fans worship the ground they walk on could hardly be considered an exaggeration.
Now if you are a dedicated supporter of one or more celebrities my intention is not to burst your bubble, but behind every celebrity (be they musician, actor, or something else) is a team of people, managing their social image. A PR team as important to the image of that celebrity as any politician’s. There are definitely a number of things many of them couldn’t do without help. Writing a best-selling novel is one of them.
When you are a famous person with millions of fans, you have the ultimate advantage of being able to sell them just about anything. If your name is on it, they will probably buy it. If you recommend a product that is not even your own brand, they are much more likely go out and buy that too.
This is very clear form of social power. We are repeatedly seeing companies exploit that power and employ A-listers to do their advertising for them. Celebrities can bring attention to a brand in a way no other types of advertising can. One can hardly wonder why businesses and corporations pay celebrities millions of dollars to promote their product. That is the reason that as many as one in four American ads feature famous people. It’s a win-win; both the company and the celebrity build a more credible image for themselves by using each other for personal gain. Truly brilliant!
The publishing industry jumped on this particular bandwagon years ago and thus, the demand for ghostwriters has grown higher than ever. These invisible authors offer up their professional writing experience and use it to turn a simple idea into something real and meaningful. They are simultaneously playing the role of a public relations practitioner, as their writing is intended to make the celebrity look good.
How celebrities self-promote through their books
Ironically enough, celebrity novels are almost always judged by their cover, and that can actually be a good thing. It’s not just the book they’re trying to sell; it is their image. When an A-list celebrity publishes a book in their name, it adds a trophy on their shelf of achievements (metaphorically speaking of course). It’s the kind of trophy that’s engraved with “I sing, act, take care of two kids, update my social media platforms daily, go to the gym six days a week, and oh, I also wrote an entire book in my spare time.” It is no wonder that so many celebrities have said yes to publishing deals! It makes them appear to have unlimited time and talent. Meanwhile, the rest of us are usually struggling to fit half of what we need to do into a 24-hour day. When money isn’t the only objective behind publishing a book, it’s a fantastic way for celebrities to reach out to their fan base. A book can give fans a more personal look into their lives, whether it’s through their interests, hobbies, dreams, or autobiography. From Rob Lowe to Snooki, if they have a fan base, they’ll be able to sell an impressive number of books.
In recent years, there has been high pressure for celebrities to have a constant social media presence. To remain in the public eye, they have to keep themselves relevant. This often means sharing personal photos, engaging with their followers on Twitter, blogging, etc. Going one step further and publishing a book is an act of bravery in a world where everything is relentlessly subject to judgement and criticism. There is always some backlash when the public finds out a book wasn’t solely written by the celebrity on the cover, but that reaction begs the question – does it really matter if they wrote it all by themselves?
Sometimes it’s best to just sit back and enjoy a book regardless whether it was written by Jane Goodall or a mysterious and unknown ghostwriter.