What is this sorcery?

I was rating things on goodreads, you know, because I need more books to read. (I really don’t, but I have a problem.) I came across a book by ‘Richard Castle’. I asked myself, ‘Richard Castle? Is Richard the first name of the guy on Castle? I can’t remember…’ I clicked on the name and saw this:

castlegoodreads

I don’t want this to be a rant, but my first thought was ‘with all the authors out there trying to make a name for themselves, we need a fake one?’ I liked the one episode of Castle I watched, so this isn’t about that. I have to wonder how good these no-name novels can actually be, but I would feel almost dirty buying them.

Sure, somebody wrote them. And that somebody agreed to have the Richard Castle name on them and was probably very well paid for it. And perhaps that’s how they want things to be. Perhaps they don’t want the potential fame and would rather remain anonymous. I don’t know.

Yet I feel like somehow this cheapens the product. Will the average reader realise that there is an actual working author behind the book? Or will having a fake author reinforce the idea that books just write themselves? This is different from having a pseudonym, after all. This is a ‘pseudonym’ that has his own TV show, and is played by a well-known actor. It’s like the Milli Vanilli of literature, except you know from the outset that he’s lip synching and you’re not supposed to care.

Maybe, as usual, I’m overthinking things.

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