Publishers scramble for comedians

Bumper crop of books on the way

Handfuls of comedians' autobiographies are in the pipeline as book publishers ‘jump on the bandwagon’ of the stand-up boom.

Comics with memoirs out this autumn include Rob Brydon, Jason Manford, Lee Evans, James Corden and Johnny Vegas. Meanwhile Simon Day’s autobiography is out this week, while David Walliams has a deal for one in 2012.

Fictionalised memoirs of Alan Partridge are also in the works, as is a book-length rant by Frankie Boyle called Work! Consume! Die!: I Am Actually Almost Completely Insane Now. And last week Chortle reported that Frank Skinner’s newspaper columns are to be released as a book.

Nor is it just memoirs. Noel Fielding is releasing a book of his artwork called The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton, , Marcus Brigstocke this week publishes a book about faith, Billy Connolly has a the travel book about Route 66 and Ben Miller, who has a physics degree, will release a popular science book next year.

Books by comedians can prove hugely lucrative. Michael McIntyre’s Life And Laughing: My Story has taken more than £4million in the eight months it has been out and Peter Kay's 2006 The Sound of Laughter has sold more than 850,000 copies, making it the biggest-selling hardback biography in a decade.

However, judging the demand – and therefore the price a publisher is willing to pay – can be difficult. Kay’s follow-up, Saturday Night Peter, sold less than a third as well as his first book.

Katy Follain, publisher at Michael Joseph told the Independent on Sunday: ‘We've all jumped on the humour bandwagon because it's very much a golden age for comedians.

But she added: ‘The comedian's memoir is definitely here to stay.’

See our Coming Soon page to pre-order any of the books.

Published: 19 Jun 2011

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