In November 2013, news broke that New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter would be spending his postcareer years as a book publisher, heading up his own imprint, Derek Jeter Publishing, at Simon & Schuster. Jeter isn’t the first star to be granted his own unit: in recent years, celebrities across the entertainment industry have been given imprints at major publishing houses. We checked in on five ventures led by celebs—including a headliner of a late-night talk show and familiar faces in the culinary world—to see which books each has released, what’s worked, and what’s in the pipeline.
Celebrity: Derek Jeter
Imprint: Jeter Publishing
Publisher: Copublishing partnership with Gallery Books and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
First Book: The Contract, a middle-grade baseball novel, by Derek Jeter with Paul Mantell (Sept. 2014). The book is based on Jeter’s own childhood experiences.
What’s in the Pipeline: An untitled photo book on Jeter’s final season with the New York Yankees (late fall 2014). The Ed Lucas Story (spring 2015), about the first blind journalist to cover baseball on a regular basis. A feature film on Lucas’s story is currently in development with Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right Productions.
Celebrity: Chelsea Handler
Imprint: A Chelsea Handler Book/Borderline Amazing
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
First Book: Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me (May 2011) by Chelsea’s Friends, Family, and Other Victims
Number of Titles to Date: 4
Notable Hits: Lies was a #1 New York Times bestseller and sold over 500,000 copies across formats. Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me (Mar. 2014) was also a #1 New York Times bestseller.
What’s in the Pipeline: Nothing at the moment. Handler’s “time and efforts” have been focused on writing and promoting Uganda Be Kidding Me, said Beth DeGuzman, v-p, editor-in-chief, paperbacks at GCP.
Celebrity: Rachael Ray
Imprint: Rachael Ray Books
Publisher: Atria Books
First Book: Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch (Sept. 2013)
Number of Titles to Date: 2
What’s in the Pipeline: Mama’s Recipes by J.M. Hirsch and Charlie Dougiello, a collection of the “best recipes from the mothers of 30 highly celebrated chefs,” and the yet untitled cookbook from Fanny Slater, the winner of the Rachael Ray Great American Cookbook Competition.
Celebrity: Anthony Bourdain
Imprint: Anthony Bourdain
First Book: The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue (May 2013) by Daniel Vaughn
Number of Titles to Date: 2
What’s in the Pipeline: Eating Viet Nam: Dispatches from a Blue Plastic Table (March 2015) by Graham Holliday, which will include an introduction from Bourdain.
Celebrity: Johnny Depp
Imprint: Infinitum Nihil
First Book: House of Earth (Feb. 2013) by Woody Guthrie, the late folk singer’s previously unseen novel, which he wrote in 1947.
Number of Titles to Date: 1
What’s in the Pipeline: See Hear Yoko (Feb. 2015) by Bob Gruen, a photographic “biography” of Yoko Ono. Debut novel Narcisa (Mar. 2015) by Jonathan Shaw, son of jazz legend Artie Shaw; The Name of the Ripper: One Man’s Obsessive Quest to Discover the Identity of History’s Most Notorious Murderer (Apr. 2015) by Bruce Robinson.