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Best of Book Riot: 12 Celebrities Who Should Have Their Own Imprints

Jennifer Paull

Staff Writer

Jennifer Paull walks quickly.

To celebrate the end of the year, we’re running some of our favorite posts from the last six months. We’ll be back with all-new stuff on January 7th.

Now that Johnny Depp’s got his own publishing imprint with Harper Collins, which other stars are going to jump on the bandwagon? This books-as-prestige-barometer thing seems to be taking off, what with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hitRECord publishing arm and Anthony Bourdain’s imprint, also with Harper Collins. And let’s not forget Viggo Mortensen’s Perceval Press, named for an Arthurian knight. (Aragorn was well ahead of the curve; the press marks its tenth anniversary this year.)

So who will be next? Which celebrities should get their own imprint? Who has enough wattage / clout and has something juicy to share? Yet wouldn’t get insufferably inflated (*cough* Sean Penn)? Here are a dozen to start with, laced with thanks to my fellow Rioters. Add your nominations below!

Gwyneth Paltrow
GOOP Books, any day now.

Guillermo del Toro.
Who better to do a slate of dark fantasy, monster tales, and the occasional video game spinoff?

jonstewart1Jon Stewart.
Nonfiction to make us smarter, with healthy dollops of skepticism and sarcasm. Also, crossword puzzle books. (After all, Stewart teamed up with crossword genius Will Shortz to engineer his wedding proposal.)


Hasn’t she done this yet? Feels like she should’ve.

Emma Thompson.
Anyone who can see the high stakes in Beatrix Potter has the eye of a great publisher. The bibliophilic actress could split her list between outstanding children’s books, overlooked classic fiction, and human rights–centered nonfiction. She once said, “I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them . . . sometimes, human beings need story and narrative more than they need nourishment and food.”

tina fey and amy poehlerTina Fey and Amy Poehler.
One of the many things these dames should run. The name of the imprint alone would surely be awesome! Stride of Pride.

Wes Anderson.
He’d have an elephantine literary gestation period, but each resulting book would be polished to such a high sheen, you would never want to crack the spine.

Patti Smith.
Beautiful, wrenching, illustrated editions of Arthur Rimbaud, William Blake, Bob Dylan, and other favorite poets.

Stephen King. 
He can start priming the pump for a new generation of thriller and mystery writers, then toss in the occasional baseball or AC/DC rock-bio tome.

Werner Herzog.
Think of the audiobook possibilities.

Ryan Gosling.
Since he already works in publishing. He can have our F&Gs anytime.