Tom Clancy And Perry Gamsby’s Latest Best Seller Out Soon!
OK, I am lying through my teeth here but I wanted to get your attention. I have just returned from perusing my local bookstore and once again I noted how so many books released of late are co-written. Tom Clancy has three other writers, so too Clive Cussler and James Patterson. Eric Van Lustbader is writing under the Robert Ludlum name with a Bourne sequel (call me a cynic but I expect to see it in the cinema soon). So many writers, big names, have ‘and Bob Nobody’ in much, much smaller font on the cover.
I know it is because the big name sells books and the big name is now so well off he or she no longer A) needs to work so hard and B) the publisher needs to make money. They get to pump out inventory that they are pretty sure will sell purely because of the BIG NAME on the cover. Few will notice the little name, or care. The style will be similar to the BIG NAME’s original and at best all they will have done is proof read and make a few suggestions. Given how meddlesome some editors are, completely revising the original manuscript at times, I would not be surprised if the true story was ‘little name and BIG NAME’s regular editor with BIG NAME simply agreeing to have his name on cover and take a cut.
OK, we know it is a business, we know it is all about selling paper but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Although, I am the first to confess that were I offered a crack at being a little name next to a BIG NAME, I would not knock it back. I am a freelance writer, a literary mercenary. I write for money just like BIG NAME does.