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Philip Pullman: Celebrity authors are sidelining genuine talent

19th October 2010

Philip Pullman has expressed his despair at the publishing world's fixation with celebrity authors, claiming it is damaging to 'real' writers.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph at the recent J.M. Barrie Award ceremony, the author said he is not opposed to anyone writing a book but argued that only good works should be worthy of being published.

Pullman, whose bestselling children's books include Northern Lights, added that he believes many celebrity books are not of sufficient quality to warrant publication and claimed that audiences are actually reading the words of a ghost writer, not the attributed star, in the majority of cases.

'The pity is that publishers throw so much money at books of this kind and serious writers, who depend on the publishers to make their living and who have real talent, are getting sidelined,' he told the newspaper.

Pullman may have to deal with more celebrity works appearing on book shop shelves for some time to come, however. Speaking to the Bookseller earlier this year, Hachette UK chief executive Tim Hely Hutchinson said celebrity memoirs are one of the non-fiction genres that look set to remain profitable in the coming years.
 

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