Why are novelists turning to co-authors?

 

Why are novelists turning to co-authors?

Above is a report on the BBC website expounding on the fact that several authors are getting help from “co-writers” in producing the output that their public, and publishers seem to be expecting.  I’m fairly ambivalent about it – I dont read most of the authors quoted, and dont know whether the quality of the story telling has gone down hill at any point.

Wilbur Smith – who quite honestly is old enough to be taking a back seat now –  has in fact signed a 6 book deal, and continues to make use of a co-writer. Surely this is no longer purely the desire to be creative (cos they’re not creating *everything*) – how much of it is money driven?  If I remember correctly, Dick Francis used to write his books in conjunction with his wife, and published under his name, but I think that’s how it started out, and I cant remember many books coming out after he became sick.  We all know Terry Pratchett is sick, and relies heavily on his assistant Rob (who is a lovely bloke apparently). It’s not a “Terry and Rob” book, it’s still a Terry book, with technical help when Terry struggles with the technology.  I understand that Terry’s daughter will take over the reins at some point, probably when Terry has died – it’ll be interesting to see what name she publishes under, and whether we’ll notice the difference.

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