Real Book, Fake Author

The novel Charm has already sold more than 100,000 copies. It debuted at No. 13 on the New York Times best-seller list. However, its author, Kendall Hart, isn't real. Hart is a character on the ABC soap opera "All My Children." As this NY Times article puts it: "It has Kendall’s name on the cover but the name of the actual writer is being kept secret."

This is why writers get depressed. They work hard to produce good books, which end up in remainder bins. Meanwhile, people flock in droves to buy a book just because it has the name of a soap opera character slapped on the front cover.

These kind of books spun-off from TV shows seem to be increasingly common. I think Lost has produced a few of them, which have also sold well.


Posted on Mon Apr 07, 2008


If anyone out there is a rabid Star Wars fan, you might be able to fill in the gaps but about eight years ago SF writer Mike Resnick mentioned a proposal for writers for Star Wars tie-in books. Instead of collecting royalties, the writer would simply be paid an initial flat fee. The feeling was that a Star Wars book would sell about as well no matter the writer. I've never read a Star Wars book or kept up on the situation but I wouldn't be surprised if a similar deal was made with books about the Lost series.
Posted by Mark  on  Mon Apr 07, 2008  at  01:46 AM
There was supposed to be a mystery writer on the flight in Lost, who died, but one his manuscripts turned up, and this was published as his 'last' book - quite a nice tie-in to Lost. It wasn't too bad either. I think the real writer got a mention as 'editor' or something.
Posted by Nona  on  Mon Apr 07, 2008  at  05:45 AM
Didn't "Barney, The White House Dog" write some stupid book, kinda like a follow-up to "Millie"'s literary excursion under GHWBush? Could you imagine that; some guy/gal writes a scintillating account of pissing on the White House bushes and rubbing your ass on the carpet in the Oval Office, and somebody else gets the credit? I'm speaking of GWB's memoirs, of course. God knows what was in the stupid dog books.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Apr 07, 2008  at  07:14 PM
yeah i read some of the lost books, the ones about the other survivors of plane crash, they werent that good and i admit i only brought them cuz they had LOST on the front cover (and were cheap too).

but this thing reminds me of "venus in a halfshell" a book that Kurt Vonnegut talks about the fictional Kilagore Trout writing in one of his books. Philip J Farmer decided it would be fun if an actual Kilagore Trout novel be published and wrote "Venus...", and ended up having Kurt Vonnegut hurling abuse at him down the phone.
Posted by JoOdd  on  Tue Apr 08, 2008  at  03:21 PM
One of my favourite authors Virginia Andrews, died years ago but books are still being produced, under her name, and using her ideas. And the new author is kept a secret, they may be Virginias ideas, but the other author should get something
Posted by crazedbrunette  in  Australia  on  Thu Apr 10, 2008  at  05:56 AM
Lost produced one book by a character-Bad Twin, by Gary Troup, the guy who gets sucked into the turbine in the pilot. Later on Sawyer reads the manuscript for Bad Twin and Jack burns it. There were three or four other, more standard books credited to the real authors.
Posted by Ozymandias  in  Madison  on  Fri Apr 11, 2008  at  03:45 PM
I have read that book charm, to me its one of the best books you could get in the stores. Its so sad to know that the real author is not getting the name for his work.
Posted by chakru  in  india  on  Sat May 03, 2008  at  08:41 PM
There are many books that type of. If the books are real then author will be fake. If both real then the books will not be sold. In India there are an aid that people like to buy with good coverage books and don't like to buy literature books which they have gotten historically.
Posted by Austin  on  Wed Aug 20, 2008  at  05:38 AM
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