Stranger Things top star Millie Bobby Brown’s debut novel is a vital fragment for the publishing and all other book related industries.
Brown’s best selling novel, Nineteen Steps, has faced much vocal backlash since its release in September due to speculation that the novel was written entirely by a ghostwriter, and also regarding the novel’s quality.
Despite this backlash, books written by celebrities such as Millie Bobby Brown are significant as they pave the way for lesser-known authors. Leading to instances such as a fan of Brown reading Nineteen Steps and then going on to pick up a similar novel by a smaller author — which would not have been discovered if not for Brown’s influence.
Independent editor, Carly Sampson, urges the importance of big names being displayed in bookstores, despite the murky waters surrounding ghostwritten celebrity novels.
“If Nineteen Steps had any other name on its cover, it wouldn’t have become a bestseller. That’s the truth of it. The industry needs people like Millie to gain traction and sell books,” Mrs Sampson said.
“I think that people are too focused on the ethics of it all, when in reality Millie and Kathleen [Millie’s ghostwriter] are two consenting adults doing business.”
Celebrity written books are a vital part of the publishing ecosystem. With an Instagram following of 64 million, Brown’s strong fanbase and established name has proved a means for more sales.
Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, is also an example of this phenomenon. On its day of release, Spare sold more than 400,000 copies, making history as the most successful non-fiction book published by Penguin Random House.
Dymocks employee, Imogen Coleman, expressed the popularity of Brown’s novel in her store.
“We had a mass of younger customers coming in to buy Nineteen Steps,” she said.
“One girl had a Stranger Things shirt on.”
Celebrity authors are crucial for paving the way for smaller authors to follow. Nineteen Steps is available for purchase at all major book retailers, such as Dymocks, QBD, Big W, and Kmart.