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Publishing confessions

After some spectacular flops in 2006, the celebrity memoir has been declared dead. But the man who helped to create the genre reckons we shouldn't write it off yet

By Trevor Dolby   January 2007

In 2006, publishers handed out more than £10m in advances to celebrities for their “autobiographies.” Of the 15 or so big money books on offer this Christmas, perhaps four will make money, three will break even, and the rest will make a loss—some a thumping loss. Celebrity publishing is not a new phenomenon. Sports and film stars have been writing their memoirs for several decades, and the genre’s antecedents go back to the Victorian confessional and even, perhaps, to the medieval lives of saints. But when Katie Price, aka the glamour model Jordan, brought out Being Jordan in 2004, a…

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