10 Surprisingly Successful Celebrity Authors

Tons of celebrities write memoirs. Even the ones who aren’t old enough to write memoirs dictate their short lives to a “co-writer” who gets it ready for Kindle consumption at rapid speed (Justin Bieber, we’re looking at you). But there are other famous folks who give fiction writing a shot and find themselves atop a best-seller list or two. Read up on a few successful celebrity authors and the books you may or may not have known they wrote!

1. Julianne Moore


Julianne Moore published her first children’s book, Freckleface Strawberry, in October 2007 and it was an instant smash. It landed on the New York Times Best Seller list and was later adapted into a musical, further proving that having red hair and freckles makes you awesome.

2. Hilary Duff


Um, yeah. Lizzie McGuire wrote a book. A popular one at that. Her debut young adult novel Elixir (which was co-written with Elise Allen because, let’s face it, when you think Hilary Duff you don’t think “novelist”) was released in 2010. It peaked on the New York Times Best Seller list and Duff went on to “write” two more sequels to the supernatural romance.

3. Lauren Conrad


The former Hills reality star penned a novel that was basically a fictionalized version of her life – kind of like, well, The Hills. L.A. Candy was released in 2009, became a bestseller, and inspired two sequels – Sweet Little Lies and Sugar and Spice.

4. Lauren Graham


We know from Gilmore Girls that Lauren Graham has a knack for spouting witty dialogue, but apparently she can write it too! Her debut novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe – about a young woman trying to make it as an actress in New York in the mid-90s – was released in 2013 and quickly entered the New York Times Best Seller list. Rory would be so proud.

5. Chris Colfer


Talk about an out-of-the-blue success story! We only knew Chris Colfer as a singing/acting machine on Glee, but he became a bonafide author in 2012 with the release of the children’s book The Land of Stories:The Wishing Spell. He spent two weeks at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list in the Children’s Chapter Books category. All of this accomplished at the ripe old age of 22. Can you even? 

6. James Franco


That’s one way to put your many college degrees to use. James Franco released a collection of short stories called Palo Alto in 2010. And while many critics deemed it a failure, it was turned into a film…which nobody saw. Ok so maybe it wasn’t commercially successful but come on, don’t you just want to read it out of curiosity?

7. Nicole Richie


The former party girl of The Simple Life  put pen to paper (or, in a more likely scenario, hired a ghostwriter) to complete a semi-autobiographical novel called The Truth About Diamonds. The book, released in 2005, is about a singer’s adopted daughter who becomes a celebutante and battles drug addiction. Sound familiar? Richie even put a picture of herself on the cover. Still, it reached number 32 in the Hardcover Fiction New York Times Best Seller list. She released a second novel, Priceless, in 2010.

8. B.J. Novak


How do you entice kids to read a book with no pictures? Have B.J. Novak write it. The former Office star’s children’s book – aptly titled The Book With No Pictures – became a huge hit with the kindergarten set when it was released earlier this year. For anyone who thought this was an unusual career move for Novak, he’s having the last laugh – along with thousands of extremely entertained kids.

9. Ricky Martin


Since becoming a dad, Ricky Martin is no longer livin’ la vida loca. Instead, he’s writing children’s books. His first book, Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars, was released in 2013. The picture book was inspired by his own childhood and was published in both English and Spanish. Martin previously penned his memoir in 2011.

10. Steve Martin


This comedian takes his writing seriously. He wrote a novella, Shopgirl, in 2000, which was turned into a movie. And in 2010, he published a novel called An Object of Beauty about a young woman trying to make it in the art world.

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