Not so long ago, celebrities were famous for their talents, and only their talents. Singers sang, writers wrote, and fashion designers made clothes. Now, every celebrity must have their own perfume, fashion line, make-up brand and, the newest must-have accessory, their own book.
No stranger to adding to her empire, Britney Spears is set to sign a book deal and pen her first novel. Well, she’s set to have her first novel with her name on it at least. Whether she puts pen to paper herself is yet to be seen. As a young writer with mere dreams of ‘penning my first novel’, I worry about the pool I would be swimming in if I ever attempted such things.
There was a time when writing and publishing a book would be difficult because writing is such a craft that it could take years or even decades to master, and that’s if you had the capability to master it at all. Not to mention the countless obstacles put in place by publishers for ‘what would sell and make money’.
Now, there is the extra struggle of wanting to put your regular, unknown name to a book and the likelihood of it being chosen instead of a novel with Britney Spears’ name. We have two chances of that happening.
Is it really fair that a singer with possibly and probably no writing experience is handed a book deal?
While no agreement has been reached about how much money she will get in the book deal, it’s safe to say it will be more money than most people could ever hope to get from a debut novel.
There is always a chance that I am too quick to judge. We all remember the doubts and judgemental comments about Victoria Beckham when she designed her first clothing line. But, nearly $100 million later, there is no denying that she really has the talent of a fashion designer.
So perhaps, like Victoria, we are wrong to assume that Britney does not have the talent of a writer. There is no denying that the book will sell, regardless of what is beyond the front cover. But, while Victoria’s fashion business continues to thrive, is there any chance of a second novel from the Baby One More Time singer? It is more likely to be a one-book wonder like so many other celebrity-named books.
Whether she will be able to write anything of substance is irrelevant to most budding writers. The fact that the quality will also be irrelevant to everyone else is what is most frustrating.
While so many excellent stories line the floors of publishing offices and so many talented writers are up to their necks in rejection letters, Britney Spears is sought out to enter the already overflowing field of writing, simply because her name is Britney Spears.
But, perhaps not; perhaps another literary great is about to enter the public domain and, like Victoria Beckham, her true calling will be revealed. Only time will tell, but, for now, I am considering changing my name to something more ‘book-deal’ friendly.