Celeb Books Only Safe Bet These Days

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2009 4:08 PM CST
Britney Spears poses with her awards backstage at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Britney Spears is shopping a book to top publishers, and editors are lining up to meet her—a further sign of the strapped book industry's new mantra: "Only the sure-fire, big ticket, lowest-common-denominator bestsellers will survive," writes Sara Nelson in the Wrap. Spears’ book, no doubt with a ghost writer, will focus on her recent rocky years.

Recent celeb deals—$2 million to Sarah Silverman and Diane Keaton, $6 million to Tina Fey—indicate an industry relying on mindless entertainment to keep it afloat in a recession. Celebrity memoirs aren't sure things—Jay Leno and Ted Turner are good examples—but publishers seem to be willing to pay a steep price for stories most people have heard before—and will shell out to hear again.