Celebrities Publishing

July 3, 2018 | Lynn

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Celebrities are extending their reach into the publishing world, either with their own books, their own publishing company or imprint, or they are simply promoting books they are enjoying themselves. The famous SJP aka Sarah Jessica Parker recently announced that she has a publishing imprint where she will acquire and curate fiction that she enjoys as a reader. Her first title is A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza.  Time will tell how popular this new venture of hers will be, meanwhile she is not the only celebrity to enter publishing.

Antony Bourdain, who sadly recently died from suicide, had an imprint with Ecco Press called Anthony Bourdain Books. Some titles were written by Bourdain himself, while other titles he would curate from other authors passionate about food.  Here are some titles that he curated.

L.A. Son: my life, my city, my food

L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi

Chefs are now combing foods, flavours and cultures and Roy Choi is no exception.  He has joined the food truck revolution in L.A. with his tacos with a Korean twist.

Grand forks : a history of American dining in 100 reviews

Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 100 Reviews by Marilyn Hagerty

The author of this book, Marilyn Hagerty was once mocked for her review of Olive Garden, but Anthony Bourdain saw in her reviews an honest take on food for the regular American and helped get this book published.  Marilyn reminds us to be polite to staff, notice the small touches and enjoy a good salad bar.


Lena Dunham, famous for her role on the HBO show Girls has joined forces with Random House to form Lenny Books and they seek to publish fiction and non-fiction. She has released three titles so far, with more planned for future dates.

Sour heart

Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang

Jenny Zhang is a National Poetry Award nominee who has collected stories on the lives of girls in their adolescence growing up in New York City.

Courage is contagious and other reasons to be grateful for Michelle Obama

Courage is Contagious and Other Reasons to be Grateful for Michelle Obama

This book is a series of essays by many authors highlighting the good works we saw Michelle Obama accomplish while she was First Lady and how she inspired millions through her programs.

Finally, I would be remiss to mention celebrities and publishing and not mention Oprah Winfrey. While she was still hosting her own talk show, Oprah started a hugely successful book club in 1996 that took the world by storm. Whatever title she named would be snapped us by viewers faster than bookstores and libraries could keep up. Oprah has since stepped away from her talk show, but she continues to promote books through her website and magazines.

The sun does shine: how I found life and freedom on death row

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

This is the newest book in Oprah's book club and it discusses one man's journey of being on death row for 30 years for a crime he did not commit.  While not a typical summer read, this book is sure to be gripping in content.

Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific crest trail

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayer

This powerful memoir covers a young woman's trek from the Mojave Desert up to Oregon and what she learns about herself on that most difficult journey. It was turned into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Reese Witherspoon does not have an imprint, however she runs an online book club, and has bought the right to different books to produce into either television shows or movies.

I am not saying that celebrities getting into the publishing world is a bad idea, it's simply a new source for book suggestions. Not all books recommended by celebrities will be good, not all will be bad, they will simply be promoted differently through social media and perhaps publishers will have to pay attention.