Children’s author criticizes publishers who consistently commission celebrities like the Duchess of Sussex

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Leading children’s writers have denounced publishers for giving celebrities like Meghan Markle “huge strides” on books based on their fame and regardless of the quality of the writing.

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, announced earlier this month that she had written her first book The Bench, and said it was inspired by Prince Harry and his son Archie who would explore the “special connection between father and son “as” seen through a mother’s eyes.

It is not known if Meghan received an advance for the book and if part of the proceeds will be donated to charity, a branding expert previously told FEMAIL he could already have made £ 500,000 for the Duchess following a ‘bidding war to secure your first business’.

But now British children’s author Gareth P. Jones, who wrote the Dragon Detective Agency series of books and won the 2012 Blue Peter Book of the Year award for The Considine Curse, has slammed the editors. for having privileged “celebrity over quality”.

Leading children’s writers have slammed publishers for giving celebrities like Meghan Markle, 39, “huge strides” on books based on their fame and regardless of the quality of the writing

He told The Telegraph that Meghan “isn’t unique” in wanting to write a children’s book – and although many parents have their go at writing, it’s rare that they get a contract for a book unless that they are not famous.

He said: “Most famous authors get such breakthroughs for their efforts that I’m not sure book sales or longevity is a big factor for them.”

Meanwhile, author of children’s thriller Waiting for Murder, Fleur Hitchcock, has said quality should come first over fame.

She said: “There have been absolute disasters over the years – remember Madonna? – some sell on the name and crash, but some are marketed so aggressively that they overwhelm the competition. ‘

Earlier this month, the Duchess of Sussex announced that she has written a £ 12.99 children's book titled The Bench, which goes on sale June 8 and illustrated by bestselling California artist Christian Robinson .

Earlier this month, the Duchess of Sussex announced that she has written a £ 12.99 children’s book titled The Bench, which goes on sale June 8 and illustrated by bestselling California artist Christian Robinson .

In March, Idris Elba signed a global deal to write a series of children’s picture and fiction books inspired by his teenage daughter Isan – joining a long list of famous faces who use their star power with their own series of books.

The list includes royalty like the Duchess of York, Hollywood star Natalie Portman and even rising stars like Emerald Fennell.

Other stars to release children’s books include Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, whose bestselling Sulwe will become a Netflix-hosted musical.

Pop culture and branding expert Nick Ede previously revealed that writing a children’s book has become a status symbol for celebrities who believe it’s a “smart way to earn money. money, maintain fame and guarantee years of royalty.

Gareth P. Jones wrote the Dragon Detective Agency book series and in 2012 won the Blue Peter Book of the Year award for The Considine Curse

Gareth P. Jones wrote the Dragon Detective Agency book series and in 2012 won the Blue Peter Book of the Year award for The Considine Curse

Nick suggested that the popularity of the famous author was boosted after many saw the meteoric success of comedian David Walliams’ book empire.

“The celebrity call to write children’s books really started with the David Walliams phenomenon,” Nick said.

“He saw a market where his books could sell, but where there would also be a lot of filming of theatrical performances, animation, audiobooks and merchandise.

“It allows the author to only maximize in a way that someone like JK Rowling could imagine.”

A branding expert previously said the famous author's popularity was boosted after many saw the runaway success of comedian David Walliams' book empire.

A branding expert previously said the famous author’s popularity was boosted after many saw the runaway success of comedian David Walliams’ book empire.

Presenter Fearne Cotton has written several children's books, while the Duchess of York is also an acclaimed children's author.

Presenter Fearne Cotton has written several children's books, while the Duchess of York is also an acclaimed children's author.

Presenter Fearne Cotton has written several children’s books, while the Duchess of York is also an acclaimed children’s author (left and right)

At over £ 100million, Walliams’ book income exceeds his show business income and when WH Smith listed his most popular children’s books of 2020, three of them were in the top ten, beating even JK Rowling.

The branding expert said Hollywood stars could earn “years of royalty” by writing a children’s book that could become a classic for young readers.

He explained: “Celebrities like Idris Elba who have mass appeal in movies and television and who can write compelling stories that children learn from are a nifty way to make money and keep your fame and fame. ‘get years and years of royalties.

“I think this is a smart way to stay relevant, build a new fan base and earn money and also build a legacy like famous writers from Enid Blighton to Roald Dahl who still have their properties. intellectuals used for modern adaptations. “

The bench – which will be released simultaneously in the UK and the US – was inspired by a poem the Duchess of Sussex wrote for Harry on Father’s Day the month after Archie was born.

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, wanted the story to be told through a

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, wanted the story to be told through an ‘inclusive lens’ and will feature a ‘diverse group of father and son’ (pictured with Archie and Harry in 2019)

In one illustration, a red-haired soldier wearing an American-style army cap is seen holding his young son in the air as a woman watches crying from a window

In one illustration, a red-haired soldier wearing an American-style army cap is seen holding his young son in the air as a woman watches crying from a window

The story, which will be published on June 8 by Random House Children’s Books, will be illustrated by successful Californian artist Christian Robinson, who was raised by his grandmother in a one-bedroom apartment also shared with his brother, her two cousins ​​and her aunt.

Popular culture expert Nick Ede told FEMAIL that the Duchess of Sussex would likely have received an advance of £ 250,000 to £ 500,000 to write the book.

A press release said Meghan, who chose to use her title on the cover of the book, wanted the story to be told through an ‘inclusive lens’ and will feature a’ diverse group of father and son “.

Meghan will also tell about the audiobook priced at $ 4.99 (£ 3.54) – which, with the hardcover version, could earn her millions of dollars in sales.

In one illustration, a red-haired soldier wearing an American-style army cap is seen holding his young son in the air as a woman watches crying from a window.

This is probably a reference to her and Harry, who served in Afghanistan with the Blues and Royals. The words read: “This is your bench, where life begins, for you and our son our baby, our parent”.


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