Just because Nicole Richie is a reality TV star doesn't mean she can't also write. In fact, she claims to write every morning, before her family wakes up, and said last year that she writes "all my own stories." How else do you think she'd have had two books published? Er ... a ghostwriter, perhaps? That's the very different story Richie's publisher gives to the New York Times, in its amusing article today about the world of celebrity "novels."
The Kardashian sisters, Hilary Duff, Lauren Conrad, even Snooki: All are published celebrities, and all probably used ghostwriters. That fact is understood by publishers, editors, and agents, but not made clear to the general public: Ghostwriters aren't mentioned on promotional tours, press releases, or front covers. The best they can hope for is usually a mention somewhere deep in the acknowledgements page. The celebrity "authors," on the other hand, may simply contribute storylines that mirror their own lives—and can earn an advance of up to $1 million for the trouble. Click for a list of celebs who penned best-sellers (yep, Snooki's on it).