In the traditional publishing world, a big celebrity name can move titles. Madonna, for example, has produced several best-selling children’s books, such as The English Roses, and Gwyneth Paltrow has written successful recipe books, including It’s All Good. But as self-publishing has become more accessible, celebrities with smaller fandoms have also been getting in the game.
Norman Reedus, for example, is best known for playing the crossbow-wielding zombie-apocalypse survivor Daryl Dixon on the AMC television series The Walking Dead. As such, he has a relatively small but devoted fan base—some of whom create amateur art projects, from sketches to mosaics to cakes, featuring images of Reedus himself. In October, he self-published a compilation of these artworks, Thanks for All the Niceness. Part of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to a charitable foundation. The actor also self-published a photography book in 2013.
He’s not the only TV actor to go that route: Eriq La Salle, who played surgeon Dr. Peter Benton on the NBC show ER, wrote and published the 2012 thriller Laws of Depravity, which received the Kirkus Star. Last year, he told Kirkus that he felt that authors are “more empowered” in today’s publishing environment—but he also noted that self-publishing is “a lot of work,” calling it “a marathon.”
The trend could even extend further, into celebrity memoirs. Earlier this year, Carl Reiner, a comedy legend with several traditionally published books to his credit, put out I Just Remembered with Random Content, an imprint he financed. As he told Kirkus: “Times are changing, and I change with them.” —D.R.
David Rapp is an Indie editor at Kirkus Reviews.