Books: The Celebs' Golden Mouthpiece: William Novak

William Novak spins best sellers out of other people's stories

What do you say to an offer to ghostwrite Nancy Reagan's autobiography? "Just say yes," advised William Novak's wife Linda when Random House approached him a year-and-a-half ago. Today My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan has made headlines, sold some 400,000 copies and soared to the top of the best-seller lists. Yet if Novak went with a winner, so did Reagan. Novak, 41, came to the collaboration with credentials of his own. He is the golden mouthpiece of the nation's celebrities, a literary John Alden who can consistently woo -- and win -- the public in their behalf. In 1984...

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