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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...

Austen Lloyd: Practice / HR Manager - Somerset

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...

Ashdown Group: HR Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen