Meghan Markle ‘isn’t unique’ and celeb authors often given ‘whopping advances’

Children’s book authors have hit out at publishers for giving celebrities like Meghan Markle "whopping advances" to write stories for kids.

The Duchess of Sussex announced that she has penned her first book, The Bench, in collaboration with Penguin Random House earlier on in May.

The children’s book, which is set to be released in June, is based off of a father-son relationship seen through the eyes of a mother.

Meghan said she got her inspiration for the novel from Prince Harry and Archie, and a branding expert suggested she may have been paid upwards of £500,000 for the novel, a claim the Duchess' team has not commented on.

Now, British children's authors have hit back at publishers for offering up large advances to celebrities to pen books.

Children’s author Gareth P. Jones criticised the industry, claiming publishers are looking for "celebrity over quality" to sell the books.

He told the Telegraph Meghan’s situation isn’t "unique" and that there is "appeal" for celebrities to write books.

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He wrote: "Most celebrity authors get such whopping advances for their efforts that I’m not sure book sales or longevity are important factors for them.

"The appeal for celebrities to write children's books really has started with the David Walliams phenomenon.

"He saw a market where his books could sell but also would have many off shoots from theatrical interpretations, animations, audio books and merchandise.

"This allows the author to maximise in only a way someone like J. K. Rowling could imagine."

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Meghan received backlash for the book as a cover reveal showed she will be using her royal title, the Duchess of Sussex, rather than Meghan Markle.

Some called Meghan a hypocrite over the move while others pointed out it is the former Suits star's legal name.

Announcing the release, Meghan said: "The Bench started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born. That poem became this story.

“My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.”

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