To Be Confirmed

Author Biography not found. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted on: July 13, 2009

There was a story (advertisement) this morning on BBC News which spoke about a new biography of Michael Jackson by HarperCollins. This book, they boasted, had been compiled in record time by sticking to ‘some of the strictest deadlines ever in publishing history’.

They continued by describing how the day after Jackson died they decided to commission a new biography; it was imperative that they were the first. They got an author, James Aldis, and locked him away in an office where he was expected to write 10,000 new words on Jackson in 2 days. The picture deadline was a day later.  

From deciding to commission a book to collating the material took less than a week and this was something that HarperCollins was proud of. During the interview no probing questions were asked what-so-ever, so here are mine:

  • What was more important to HarperCollins, being first or producing a quality publication?
  • What kind of research can be done on an American icon without even going to the country?
  • How many of Jackson’s friends, family or enemies did James Aldis manage to speak to?
  • Were these 10,000 words fact checked?
  • Why was the picture researcher given an extra day to the author?
  • Who is James Aldis?

The last question I think is perhaps one of the most important since the book has been thrown together so quickly that HarperCollins haven’t even had time to put an author biography up on their website.

Now I don’t want to say outright that this book is poorly researched but I think it is the responsibility of the NEWS to at least ask the questions that seem glaringly obvious to me.

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