How do we get THAT job?
They're called "packagers." They write the books then get some young thing like the Opal Mehta girl to "front" the project. A hot novel by a pretty 17-year-old on her way to Harvard is a much sexier sell than a first novel by a couple of unknown 40-year-olds. For more proof of how to create a "front," look up the exposes of one J.T. Leroy.
To learn more about being a "packager," read this.
The Harvard Crimson is kicking everyone's keister on this story, including the NYT.
Every week, it seems, we learn a new dirty little secret about the publishing industry. Years ago a journo-friend of mine forced Tom Clancy to admit during an interview that the author uses a team of writers to produce some of his paperback series -- a veritable assembly line for quicky adventure fiction. But there on cover is "Tom Clancy."
And you can't tell me Nicole Richie knows enough words to produce her first "novel," The Truth About Diamonds. Whattaya bet she can't even type, much less know where punctuation goes?
Forget being a real writer. Being a "packager" is where the money is right now. Can someone tell me how to get that job?