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Literary Agent: Celebrity Book Ghostwriting No Longer a ‘Dirty’ Occupation

When it comes to the crowded and increasingly lucrative field of celebrity book ghostwriting, few have a better handle on things than Madeleine Morel. The British-born Morel moved to New York City in 1977 where, five years later, she founded 2M Communications, a literary agency that today specializes in ghostwriting. As Morel’s bio reminds, she is “actively looking for new clients in order to maintain her Prada habit!”

Ha ha. Morel provided NPR’s Weekend Edition with some equally colorful quotes about the biz, including this one highlighting how ghostwriting is no longer something her clients, and others, are embarrassed to be associated with:

“Say ten years ago, ghostwriting definitely had a sort of dirty name, the same way as online dating had a dirty name. So if you were a ghostwriter you’d maybe tell your best friend on pain of death never to tell anyone else ’cause there was a slightly ignominious feature to it.”

By the way, the way things are going, the reporter for this radio report – Gabrielle Emanuel – may one day herself be in the market for a biography ghostwriter. The current NPR Kroc Fellow graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth in 2010, studied social policy at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and has done various other international stints including one in Mali with UNAIDS.

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