MacArthur closes book on celebrity pay-and-tell stories

British newspapers spend £10 million a year on book serialisations and much of it may be wasted, according to Times associate editor Brian MacArthur, who is responsible for the paper’s book buy-ins.

Writing in The Bookseller, MacArthur said: “Newspaper editors may soon begin to realise that they are paying far more than the books are really worth in boosting newspaper sales.”

Former BBC director general Greg Dyke’s memoirs were serialised this month in The Observer and The Mail on Sunday, in a deal reported to be worth £300,000. But according to MacArthur, this was trumped by the £1 million figure which was being asked for a biography of Sean Connery.

He said The Times bought 120 serialisations in the last year, paying from £500 to £100,000

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