Pippa Middleton’s bland, basic party-planning book has bombed: poor Pippa?

Poor Pippa Middleton. Aren’t you getting the feeling that Pippa’s descent from “Duchess Kate’s hot sister” to “The Sad, Trainwreck Middleton” was swift and merciless? This time last year, Pippa was still big news. Not so much anymore. A few weeks ago, Pippa’s big party-planning book came out. Celebrate was supposed to be the big, gauche introduction to Pippa Middleton the Entrepreneur/New-Martha-Stewart. Unfortunately, it’s now looking like the book has completely bombed. Like, it’s bombing to the point where Pippa’s publisher is probably really regretting that $400,000 advance.

Pippa barely got to promote the book because of her sister’s scandalous rack – some say the royal family and the Middletons all wanted Pippa to avoid the press while Kate was still feeling “raw” from her boobs and butt crack being plastered all over the gossip press. Also, it probably didn’t help book sales when the reviews of Celebrate seemed to take an absurd amount of joy in mocking Pippa’s derpy suggestions – stuff like “carve a pumpkin for Halloween!” and “serve stuffed peppers with forks!” So… yeah. The book is not selling.

Her fledgeling career as a published author is barely a month old, but Pippa Middleton’s first book is already in the online equivalent of the bargain basket. The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister launched her entertaining manual, called – perhaps inauspiciously – Celebrate, in a blaze of publicity, but the glossy tome is floundering at number 180 in Amazon’s list of bestsellers, and the internet retailer has slashed the price of the book in a bid to shift copies.

Celebrate, trailed as ‘a year of British festivities for family and friends’, features entertaining tips, recipes, and craft ideas from party planner Pippa, who received a £400,000 advance for the book from publishers Penguin.

But pearls of wisdom from the 29-year-old – such as the observation that a turkey’s size makes it ‘perfect for feeding larger gatherings’ – have been met with scathing reviews from critics, and the book – originally priced at £25, can now be snapped up on Amazon.co.uk for £12.

Despite jetting to New York to promote her book, Pippa’s efforts are faring even worse on the other side of the pond, with Celebrate at 308 on Amazon’s U.S. bestseller list today. Her Stateside fans can now get their copy for $29.75, down from $50.

The Edinburgh University graduates tips for celebrating Burns Night received a particularly chilly reception in Scotland, where critics’ conclusions ranged from ‘pretty rudimentary’ to ‘dull as dishwater’.

Pippatips, a spoof Twitter account mocking the ‘banal’ party hints contained in Celebrate, has almost 20,000 followers.

Among the books currently outselling Pippa’s party-planning guide are Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography Total Recall, currently at number 88 in Amazon.co.uk’s list of bestsellers, and children’s book The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas, at number 97.

While cookery books from Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, and Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood are all holding fast in the top 10, culinary tips from Prince William’s sister-in-law are clearly failing to attract customers.

[From The Mail]

I’m saving my sympathy for Pippa’s publisher. They got such a raw deal. They should have made Pippa sign an enforceable contract guaranteeing her availability to the press during promotions for the book. I do feel bad for Pippa though – I don’t think it was her choice to avoid the press like the plague. If only Kate could keep her clothes on! That being said, I think Pippa’s book both shows us just how ordinary and “basic” the Middletons are. That’s the real secret to their success – they are all a study in bland inoffensiveness. They’re only goal in life seems to be not being controversial. Which is fine, I guess, until Pippa writes a bland party-planning book full of helpful hints like “A turkey can serve a large party because of its size.” O RLY?!?

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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77 Responses to “Pippa Middleton’s bland, basic party-planning book has bombed: poor Pippa?”

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  1. Marilu says:


    Who cares shes an ugly rich girl with a slightly better looking sister. And kate did the nude thing for publicity. Theres no way she would do something to ruin her reputation. Id wear a burqua all year if it meant preserving my future as a princess or queen of one of the wealthiest monarchies in the world.

    • Elisabeth says:

      That is harsch and uncalled for!

      She needs to find herself and it is not easy when you are ‘the’ sister.
      At the end of the day, Kate wasn’t doing any better before she married Prince William and she still isn’t.

      • Marilu says:

        I’m sorry if my comment implied I was dissing Pippa but not Kate because I was definitely dissing both. I think its funny that people think Kate accidentally got caught and feel bad for her, when its quite obvious she wanted the attention because she’s an attention whore. And you’re right, Kate would be an absolutely nobody without having married William, and pippa would be a nobody without her sister having married into royalty, oh wait…she still is.

      • melbese says:


      • Addison says:

        Agreed Elisabeth:

        I don’t think they care if they would be nobodies. I think if they were these two rich girls whom no one knew of they would still be okay with that.

        I doubt anyone seeks to “join” a royal family especially when their activities, wardrobe, bodies, and faces are going to be scrutinized by the world. When people are going to say stupid, vile things about you.

        Yeah, I’m sure Kate was like, I want everybody to talk about how many times I flip my hair, How many times I go shopping and how much money I’m given for it.

        Sure it’s every person dream to be called dumb…

  2. lflips says:

    I’m so tired of every “celebrity” both a and b list alike thinking they’re an author and a singer and a clothing designer and so on and so forth.

    • victoria says:


    • Raven says:

      Her publisher thought she was an author.

      • Mary says:

        No Raven, her publisher thought she was a way to make money.

      • MNFinn says:

        I agree with Mary, Pippa didn’t dupe the publisher into thinking she was an author.

        Penguin tried to leverage Pippa’s celebrity but failed because they released the book too long after the royal wedding which was when her celebrity had peaked.

        Pippa does not deserve our pity because the book failure has done her no damage.

        I am certain she calculated the up and downside risk before signing the book deal. She laughed all the way to the bank where she deposited her huge advance.

      • Laura says:

        The sad thing Addison is, I’m pretty sure Kate did want to join the royal family from the very start. Or at least her family did. That girl has never worked a day in her life and I bet she’ll be damned if she did. She’s always had her eyes on William so she could be the next princess/Queen … Don’t like her or her sister very much, both seem plain and dull.

  3. India says:

    Oh poor little Pip Pip Orangina. So sad, too bad. Cry me a river. What did she expect? Her grand book was nothing but a bunch of trash just like she and the entire rest of her tacky pushy family are. Just desserts.

    • Chrissie Malcolm says:

      So you know her family well, do you? You’re sounding a bit angry and bitter, India.

      I’m no fan of the the royal and celebrity hangers-on, but how many of us in her situation wouldn’t try to make the most of it? What possessed her to “write” a book about a subject that’s been flogged to death since Martha landed is beyond me.

  4. Loulou says:

    Just like her brother at the wedding, pontificating about anything is not that family’s strength or place to be doing. I think that family’s luck went as far as William being enamoured with the novelty of being part of a family. They should concentrate on making him happy.

    • lin234 says:

      I also believe that a huge part of Kate’s “charm” was her close-knit family. I don’t think it will last in the long-term when Will sees how the Middletons are using him for fame and money.

  5. Esmom says:

    It was greed that obviously drove the publishing of this drivel — by the publisher just as much as Pippa. They miscalculated, big-time. To use Martha Stewart as a parallel, I think she had a decent following of people she had catered for before she actually published anything. She had real experience, while Pippa just has some stale, dumb ideas.

    I can’t believe the price was originally $50 USD! Here’s hoping the publishing world will think twice before signing someone who’s not a writer or a real expert in his/her field.

    • GoodCapon says:

      50 USD is for the hardcover correct? I converted it to our local currency and it costs twice as much as your typical hardcover!

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        At least twice as much as a good book, yes. Maybe a best seller will be $25-$30 so $50 is crazy and though I love a good hard cover book the market is very much ruled by ebooks.

      • Esmom says:

        Yeah, at that price they’re obviously aiming for a very upscale audience. It’s almost in the coffee table/art book range, which seems odd to me.

    • TheEntrepreneursWife says:

      I thinking that saying she had “stale, dumb ideas” is giving her too much credit. It appears that nothing in that book is an original thought, but a regurgitation of common practice dressed up with glossy photos of a chick who has already used up her 15 mins.

    • Elise says:

      Can we please stop comparing her to Martha Stewart? Pippa’s not even in the same league with Martha. And Martha’s own book, “Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations” came out 1 year before Pippa’s (and sounds like her book, too).

  6. Dibba says:

    Should have hired a ghost writer

  7. Shelley says:

    She is such a waste of time. I am glad her book was a flop. Maybe she will get the picture and fade back to obscurity. But I will give her credit for doing something, unlike her sister who is wasting taxpayer’s money sitting around at the palace.

  8. Bluedog says:

    The Amazon reviews of the book are mostly positive and the book has received 4 stars. Maybe it isn’t as bad as the press is making it out to be.

    • GoodCapon says:

      I’m pretty sure some of the reviews are posted by her PR agents. They do it all the time.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. An acquaintance has published a fairly mediocre book and 99% of the Amazon reviews are by friends, so of course they’re positive.

    • Christina says:

      For a moment there I thought you were being serious! Thanks for the laugh.

      And no, this book is not a success. Not by any standards. She was reportedly paid 400K to ‘write’ this book, and it’s clear it will not recoup anything like that amount in sales. Which translates to a resounding flop, however you might like to dress it up.

    • Allison says:

      you are cooking for 40!!!yrs and this is your FIRST british cook book?? are you serious?

      sorry, but if you are really cooking for 40yrs and find this book wonderful, then you seriously wasted 40 yrs of your life…..

    • Kloops says:

      Well this was comical.

  9. lamb chops says:

    No sympathy for the publishers whatsoever. For the price of her advance they could have launched more than a few great new authors with real stories to tell, folks who have studied their craft instead of someone who is famous with nothing to say. Traditional publishing is dying in large part because of greed, because of poor decisions made by money men and not those holding an ethos of publishing great books, as in days gone by in the world of small traditional publishing. Hope publishers learn from this, but it’s doubtful as they look for the instant cash cows.

    • Esmom says:

      THIS. Very well said. And so depressing.

    • hoopjumper says:

      Great point.

    • PugsterMom says:

      I feel bad for her in a way. It’s like she’s not allowed to have a life or career just because her sister is the future Queen ofEngland. Is it her fault she is followed by paps or was asked to be her sister’s maid of honor? What’s she supposed to do, sit home all day? That book should have been edited by a competent editor, which obviously it was not

    • PugsterMom says:

      I feel bad for her in a way. It’s like she’s not allowed to have a life or career just because her sister is the future Queen of England. Is it her fault she is followed by paps or was asked to be her sister’s maid of honor? What’s she supposed to do, sit home all day? That book should have been edited by a competent editor, which obviously it was not

    • PugsterMom says:

      I feel bad for her in a way. It’s like she’s not allowed to have a life or career just because her sister is the future Queen of England. Pentagon stuff it her fault she is followed by paps or was asked to be her sister’s maid of honor? What’s she supposed to do, sit home all day? That book should have been edited by a competent editor, which obviously it was not.

  10. Suzie says:

    And some people say Pippa is the more exciting of the two sisters! They’re both useless twats.

  11. jennypenny says:

    Lol being british I’m glad to see other people in the world don’t see the big ‘ish’ with pippa…I’ve never seen what the deal is with this photo fodder,even when she was ‘the bum’ – SHE HAS NO BUM! Jesus people make celebrities out of no one these days,go away pippa,stop trying to ride the crest of your sisters boobs lol

    • Zoelw says:

      I’m British too and I do not understand the British press’ love of bloody Pippa, if she wasn’t Waity Katie’s sis she would just be another girl you wouldn’t give a second glance to walking down the high street!

    • Zoelw says:

      I’m British too and I do not understand the British press’ love of blo€dy Pippa, if she wasn’t Waity Katie’s sis she would just be another girl you wouldn’t give a second glance to walking down the high street!

  12. jennypenny says:

    Lol being british I’m glad to see other people in the world don’t see the big ‘ish’ with pippa…I’ve never seen what the deal is with this photo fodder,even when she was ‘the butt – SHE HAS NO BUTT! Jesus people make celebrities out of no one these days,go away pippa,stop trying to ride the crest of your sisters boobs lol

  13. jennypenny says:

    Lol being british I’m glad to see other people in the world don’t see the big ‘ish’ with pippa…I’ve never seen what the deal is with this photo fodder,even when she was ‘the behind’ – SHE HAS NO BEHIND! Jesus people make celebrities out of no one these days,go away pippa,stop trying to ride the crest of your sisters CHEST!

  14. Milla says:

    She just wants to get herself a good hu$band. Doubt she knows what is in the book.

  15. jennypenny says:

    Ah triple post, sorry! It was saying I was using bad language twice – damn

  16. Rumorhasit says:

    Her family has experience with party planning, enough to make it a profitable business. So that probably justified the publishers agreeing to this book.
    And let’s give the girl some credit, as she’s no Waity, she’s out there trying to make a living for herself.
    The press build you up to the sky, just to knock you back down to earth.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t know that their experience is as much party planning as it is selling discount party supplies. So yes there is a connection but I think it’s a somewhat dubious one.

  17. Talie says:

    I don’t understand why she avoided the American media who would’ve treated her like a member of the royal family and just peppered her with softballs. She dropped the ball.

    • bluhare says:

      That was the book tour she wasn’t allowed to do.

      • Talie says:

        I know, it just doesn’t make sense why American media was considered a risk. Whatever, she needs to stop letting Kate’s people control her life.

  18. bambilee23 says:

    Wait… it says she was paid 400,000 POUNDS… that means she was paid $636,200 for this crap! She should have called her book, “Ideas from a Three Year Old.” Can I use a fork, mummy? Mummy, let’s carve pumpkins!

  19. GoodCapon says:

    The real winner here is Pippatips https://twitter.com/Pippatips. I remember the account only had 2k followers when it was first created. Now it has 20k!

    I bet it’s more interesting and helpful than the actual book.

    • Esmom says:

      It’s hilarious. For example: “#PippaTip: a haircut is a great way to deal with over-grown or untidy hair. Hair salons & barbers can do this for you in exchange for money”

      Plus they have real ones from the book that are just as inane, such as “When planning a party, first decide who to invite.” LMAO!

    • LAK says:

      @Goodcapon,@Esmom – That twitter account is brilliant! It’s inspired! I may have to open a twitter account just to follow it. Never has a lunch hour gone by so fast and so amusingly as reading the pippatips.

    • LAK says:

      Hard to believe that @pippatips has more intelligence (tougue very firmly in cheek) than the real deal. Eg

      @pippatips “If you’re in a pub or restaurant that is closing but you’d like to continue your night out, try a nightclub for continued fun!”

      Vs this from the book

      “Roast Sunday lunches make for delicious leftovers for the rest of the week!”

  20. Chatcat says:

    I just don’t get all the Pippa hate and bashing. I mean she has a nice ass, yes we can all be a wee bit jealous, but come on…I am sure there is a KK story of the day or a Lilo catastrophe just waiting to be posted.

  21. PoliteTeaSipper says:

    *shrugs* at least she published a book and did something.

  22. Carolyn says:

    Silly Pippa. Thought she could just sit back and watch the ca$h flow in. Need a proper PR campaign, instore appearances etc etc. What?? No one wants to BUY her silly book? Oopsies.

    She can’t make her own money. Will need a rich husband double-quick now.

  23. Mew says:

    She should’ve written a book on how to get an ass like hers, maybe that would’ve sold a bit better.

  24. val says:

    The publisher must have been high when he forked over the money. I mean just the idea of this book alone was awful. Well I guess she has her Christmas presents, birthday presents already…no need to go shopping since she has plenty of books to giveaway.

  25. Tiffany says:

    I am getting the book, for free, from the library, for 21 days. The thing is there is no one ahead of me. I am the only one in the quere. Oh boy.

    • Nancy Blue says:

      I found one in a Charity shop this morning for £1.50. Someone had scrawled RUBBISH inside so the assistant said I could have it for £1!
      It will make cheap joke Christmas present and will guarantee a few laughs too!

  26. Eleonor says:

    They should have hired a better team.

  27. Nymeria says:

    Kaiser – She received her advance in £, not $.

  28. Jacq says:

    SUCH a dumb excuse – like they can’t vet questions and control the direction of an interview? That’s what handlers are for and it would have been a smart move to go to the expense to have had the press. I think that the more likely story is that someone at the publisher actually read the book and realized it would be a massive trainwreck to have her babble on about the already lame contents. Kate’s boobs were a convenient excuse.

    • Christina says:

      Completely agree. The publisher’s press office could make it a rule (as is the norm) that journalists could only ask about the book: no personal questions or questions about her family.

      I reckon they belatedly realised just how inane the book is, and just how dull Pippa is. I mean, how do you interview someone about table settings or bobbing for apples?

      It’s all just a lame excuse. But part of me finds the whole thing quite gratifying. Penguin clearly thought that they could put any old crap between covers, put a ‘celeb’s’ name on it and the public would rush out to buy it. Granted, that does work some of the time, but this was just a step too far. Instructions on making ice? PLEASE!

  29. Christina says:

    What a surprise (not!) Seriously, this thing had ‘flop’ written all over it from day one. The problem is that, despite the fact that the media have been trying to make a star of Pippa, she’s just mind-numbingly DULL, as is her sister. Not especially pretty, not especially fashionable, not especially clever or charming. Just blah.

    The media were hoping she’d be a tabloid friendly London girl about town, being photographed coming out of all the most exclusive restaurants, wearing th latest in Sloaney fashions, escorted by a string of handsome aristocrats, and generally having a gay ol’ time. Instead she goes and ‘writes’ a ‘book’ about children’s party games. LOL!

    I now expect Pippa will go off and marry some accountant or stockbroker who’s as dull as she is, and live in obscurity in some sedate dormitory town. And that, hopefully, will be the end of Pippa and her overrated arse.

  30. linlin says:

    She got born with a silver spoon in the mouth and just got 400’000 pounds for a shitty book- so lucky Pippa, not poor Pippa. Very, very, very lucky. I doubt that she could accomplish anything on her own.

  31. Zombie Shortcake says:

    Losing to “The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas” must really sting. But seriously, if she had written her book with a team of seasoned, full-time party planners and ghost writers, it would probably be faring better.

  32. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    She’ll try designing clothes next. That’s what all no-talent, famous-for-being-famous, reality-type “celebrities” do, like the Kardashians. I think her 15 minutes are up, but I also think she’ll try to fame-whore for a little while longer. After all, $400k doesn’t go as far as it used to, especially since she’ll need to keep up with the expensive life style of the really rich circle of people she desperately wants to be a part of.

  33. Sachi says:

    I’ve said before: just hit the internet and look up party-planning blogs. You’d be able to find better photos, tips, and advice. Best of all is that all the information about vendors and stores are free. No need to fork out more than $50 or more for a book that will tell you the stupidest and most obvious of ideas, like adding a centerpiece to your table to make it prettier or carving a pumpkin for Halloween. Yikes.

    Pippa is not an author nor is she a party planner. She had no business ‘writing’ a party-planning book just because her parents ran a business on party supplies. The book itself doesn’t reflect any genuine work on Pippa’s part. If she were truly interested in writing that book, she’d have come up with better ideas and tips than just giving out some vague “advice” that almost anyone can come up with.

    This was the publishers’ fault. They were trying to capitalize on Pippa’s hype that was already over long before the book was even in talks of being published. The publishers thought that Pippa would be loved and adored because she wore a dress that enhanced her arse and because the media built her up as the next hot thing.

    But it hasn’t even been a month since Kate’s wedding that many people were already over Pippa and comments like, “She’s a nobody! Stop trying to make her happen!” or “I don’t get the hype. She’s not pretty at all.” have been rampant on many websites.

    Hanging out with gun-toting jerks in Paris ended her 15 minutes.

    She’s become a bit of a joke since the Paris incident and now we have this rubbish book.

  34. Nancy Blue says:

    What about the other 3 promised books? The next one is supposed to be ‘Budget Weddings’!
    I can’t believe the publisher will be interested in those now. Perhaps it is her brother (the cake maker’s) turn now ie to produce a book on how to sell vulgar iced cakes with sex slogans on them! After boobgate his cakes with boobs and tacky slogans about them were withdrawn!

  35. kibbles says:

    This book idea sounded dumb in the first place. Too bad the Palace isn’t interested in Pippa using any aspect of her sister’s life in the Royal Family as part of a book. Now that would be a best seller. Imagine if she had been allowed to write a book on weddings and how to recreate some of her sister’s magical wedding day to the Prince. Just including several personal photos from that day alone would have been enough to propel the book to the top of Amazon’s seller list. Oh well. That said, the entire Middleton family is nothing special. At least the parents knew how to create a successful online party supply business. The two sisters are just typical rich brats.

  36. Dena says:

    Published author here (also with Penguin, heh), long-time lurker, first time commenter, but I had to chime in with some corrections vis a vis Pippa’s advance and how publishing works.

    First off, she didn’t actually get a check for $400K. The way these large, multiple book deals are structured is that the author gets a portion of the advance on signing and another portion upon delivery of the book BUT since it’s a multiple book deal the author doesn’t get $200K and $200K. No, she gets a predetermined portion of that total $400K. A percentage (for simplicity’s sake I’ll say $100K). Then, after the first book is pubbed and the publisher has sales to go on, the advance for the next book will be adjusted to account for those sales. So let’s say it had sold well and she’d sold through the $100K. Then she would actually get $150K (or whatever was negotiated) for the second. BUT if it sells poorly…she won’t get that much. The amount can and will be severely reduced. And so on for the third book.

    Depending on the publisher and the agent involved they can weight all the risk on the back end of the contract, ie, pay a smaller percentage of the total advance for the first book, with it to grow for the next two based on sales. The total value of the contract if the books sell as planned is $400K, which means that they can report a huge advance to the trade publications, etc.

    Why do they do that? Because retailers like Amazon and B&N base their pre-orders for the book on the publisher’s expectations that it will do well – which the advance indicates. Because huge advances (on paper) generate huge buzz in the media, in publishing circles, etc.

    But I guarantee you Pippa did not get that whole $400K (and it sounds like, based on sales of this book, she won’t be getting it in the future, either).

    • susannej says:

      Thanks for this information … I didn’t know this, but sometimes wondered about this gigantic numbers as “traditional print” (books as well as newspapers) is slowly thinning out.

  37. Belle Epoch says:

    This book should have been handled better by the publisher. She’s one of the most famous people in the world, related to royalty, and her family is in the party business! How did they screw that up? They should have hired a ghostwriter, thrown in some authentic photos of the girls when they were little, and had an appearance in the book by Kate making a daisy chain or something. Now there is no hope for her future books.

    Writing a good book is more work than anyone realizes until they try it. The publisher should not have expected Pippa to do anything more than show up at the party. That’s the deal when you sign up celebrities who know nothing. It works for Gwyneth Paltrow!