Pippa cashes in on her new friends in high places

The younger Middleton sister is turning her recently acquired fame into cold hard cash. John Walsh reports

Pippa Middleton, royal bridesmaid and possessor of the most famous bottom since Velázquez's Rokeby Venus, has signed a book deal for a reported £400,000, after a bidding war won by Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin.

The book, a guide to party planning, is due out next Christmas. It is thought that the author was advised to wait until after the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, so that nobody could accuse her of exploiting her royal connections, although it's hard to imagine any reason other than her royal connections that would justify a publisher spending so much on a party guide. Even if Ms Middleton promised to come round in person to blow up each purchaser's novelty balloons, the likely book sales still wouldn't justify an outlay of nearly half a million quid.

The party tome is a classic Sudden Fame Cash-In Book, a low-brow genre even less dignified than the celebrity memoir. Whereas the latter tends to appear towards the end of a lengthy entertainment career, the former tends to be rushed out in haste soon after the author's first exposure to the public's gaze, for fear that their appeal may not survive the year.

The most recent example is Nancy Dell'Olio, who announced two weeks ago that she is to write a "lovers' guide" (with pictures of herself in saucy knickers). Ms Dell'Olio was known for years only as the hyper-maquillaged Italian girlfriend of the England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, but her celebrity was fast-tracked by her appearance on this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

An earlier example of the cash-in author, someone persuaded to produce a book despite having no particular talent or subject, was Christine Hamilton. Known only for her on-camera handbagging of Martin Bell during the 1997 election campaign, when he stood against her husband, Neil Hamilton, she was ridiculed by the press as a classic Tory harridan and Home Counties termagant. So, following the famous advice that when it's raining lemons you make lemonade, she published The Book of British Battleaxes.

Heroic sportsmen are routinely snapped up for autobiographies. Sporting failures have to rely on the fondness of the public in order to cash in. When ski jumper Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards came last in his events at the 1988 Olympics, he expected to slink away in disgrace. But when he became a celebrity, he was able to knock out a cash-in book (On the Piste) while his moment in the spotlight lasted.

Cash-in books aren't restricted to humans, though. In 2009 a successful TV commercial for car insurance appeared featuring a Russian-voiced meerkat. Such was the public's response to the hairy puppet that a book followed in 2010 (A Simples Life: the Life and Times of Aleksandr Orlov); its flood of pre-orders outstripped those for Tony Blair's autobiography. Years earlier, a TV commercial for Yellow Pages followed the creaking attempts of an elderly author, "J R Hartley", to track down copies of his equally ancient book entitled Fly Fishing. He succeeded. The nation wept for him.

And with a certain inevitability, a cash-in book, Fly Fishing by JR Hartley, appeared in the shops at Christmas.

A fictional angler and a cuddly toy mongoose – that's the company Pippa Middleton will soon be joining in the ranks of the cash-in authors.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?