List of Celebrity Writers of 2014 stirs debate

( ) Updated: 2014-12-16 14:53:19

List of Celebrity Writers of 2014 stirs debate

[Photo from the Internet]

A list of celebrity writers of 2014 has been forwarded by more than 100 websites and has received about 57 million hit on the twitter-like Sina Weibo in less than 10 hours since Huaxi Metropolis Daily released it on Monday, according to the newspaper.

Celebrities are ranked on the list according to their books' royalties. Li Kaifu, former Google China president and the founder of Angel Investment Firm, tops the list with his bestseller Be Your Best Self that harvested 13 million yuan in royalties, followed by the entrepreneur Feng Lun's Barbaric Growth and the actress and singer Xu Xiyuan's Beauty Queen: Secrets of Beauty Treatment.

The list has stirred heated online debate after some celebrities forwarded it on Weibo. Lu Jinbo, the publisher of Han Han’s books, wrote in his repost, "Everybody can write. Writing is not a privilege that only professional writers can enjoy. Let's make it a national sport." Scholar Zhang Hongjie also echoed, "If the celebrities can really buckle down and write, their works may have positive influences on their readers." Meanwhile, other writers such as Tangjiasanshao joked that these cross-industry talents are stealing the professional writers' job.

While the discussions on Weibo are mostly light-hearted, Xinhua Daily published an article today headlined The Celebrity Writer List Weighs Profits over True Value, criticizing the list's overemphasis on money. The article lumps it into the by-products of utilitarianism and vulgarization and analyzes the different kinds of celebrity books that prevail these days.

It argues that although the writers' identities vary, the very essence and valuable trait behind this title should lie in the writers' keen interest in life and ample empathy for human nature. "Celebrities have every right to publish their books, but when media issues a list like that, they should take more into consideration rather than just focus on monetary value."

Wu Huaiyao, founder of "China's Richest Writer" list, said to Huaxi Metropolis Daily, "It is an unavoidable trend to make such a list after we've seen so many celebrities penning their works."

Huaxi Metropolis Daily has also released lists of China's 60 Richest Writers, Most Popular Script Writers, Internet Writers and Foreign Writers in the past few years.

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