Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Overpriced Lives of the Stars Flop in Bookshops; AUTOBIOGRAPHIES SOLD CHEAP AFTER FAILING IN THE CHARTS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Overpriced Lives of the Stars Flop in Bookshops; AUTOBIOGRAPHIES SOLD CHEAP AFTER FAILING IN THE CHARTS

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK SAWER

SHE may have had plenty of success on TV, but when it came to her autobiography Billie Piper was a flop - and she wasn't the only one. Stars such as Jack Osbourne, Michael Barrymore and David Hasselhoff have seen their autobiographies head straight to the bookshop bargain bins since they were published this autumn.

Their books, for which they were paid advances ranging from [pounds sterling]100,000 to [pounds sterling]500,000, have failed to scrape into the top 20 bestsellers.

It is thought publishers were hoping to duplicate the success of Sharon Osbourne. The X Factor judge and wife of rocker Ozzy became the surprise publishing sensation of the past 12 months.

Her life story, Extreme, has sold almost 900,000 copies to date, making it the biggest-selling autobiography of all time.

But the memoirs that have flopped in her wake have left publishers counting the cost of the huge advances they paid to their writers.

Actor Rupert Everett was paid a [pounds sterling]1 million advance for his autobiography Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins. However, it has failed to enter the top 20 non-fiction chart. His book has been reduced to [pounds sterling]11.39 on Amazon, down from its recommended retail price of [pounds sterling]18.99. So far he has recorded only 20,000 sales.

Big Brother winner Chantelle's Living The Dream has sold even fewer and been slashed from [pounds sterling]16.99 to [pounds sterling]10.19. Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller, said: "It's been a gamble for the publishers. People saw Sharon Osbourne's book did very, very well and they wanted to follow that trend, but many of the new titles have not done very well. …

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