The Society of Authors has been inundated with complaints since model Katie Price’s book, Perfect Ponies: My Pony Care Book , was shortlisted for the prestigious W.H. Smith Children’s Book of the Year Award (it’s like the trade equivalent of an Oscar). Ms. Price is the pneumatic model and reality television star known as “Jordan” among Brits. According to her publishers, Ms. Price, one of the most commercially successful writers in England, is a “brand” and it is impossible to quantify how much of the book she wrote.
Several authors have expressed horror at the prospect of a ghost writer for a model receiving the award. Alternatively, UK children’s book author Michael Rosen sounds like he’s trying to get laid: “We get too hung up about authorship,” he told The Times. “None of us writes a book entirely on our own. We get help from editors, or ideas might come from conversations with our families, or children. The issue is whether the book’s good, not who has written it. If Jordan or any of her helpers have written a very good book then absolutely good luck to them.”
More from The Times:
Joanne Harris, who wrote Chocolat and is now writing for children, said that it would be “depressing beyond anything” if Price wins on April 9. “If this is an award for people who write books then it should be open only to people who write books, not to somebody who lends their name to a book, or who would have written a book if they had time but didn’t.”
Robert Harris, the author of Fatherland, whose most recent novel was about a ghostwriter, said that Price’s nomination was “emblematic of the tacky culture we live in”. “Very often the books are by writers who would not be able to make a living writing under their own name but if you put a celebrity name on the cover then it becomes marketable.”