James Franco is going to publish a novel, but not with a major, established publishing house.
Instead, the General Hospital and Rise of the Planet of the Apes actor has inked a deal with Amazon, The New York Observer reported.
Actors Anonymous will be the actor's first published novel, and it will likely mean a publicity boost for Amazon's expanding publishing arm. Franco's deal also reflects a trend in the publishing industry, one in which more and more aspiring writers are eschewing the conventional publishing route.
Franco is known to have many pursuits outside of acting, and has become something of a professional student in recent years. He has completed graduate work in fiction writing, English and filmmaking at major U.S. universities, including NYU and Yale, so he's certainly not lacking in credentials (assuming you don't consider his attendance record).
He also has professional writing experience. His collection of 11 short stories, titled Palo Alto, was published in 2010 by Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner. It got mixed reviews from critics and readers on Web sites such as GoodReads.com. Publishers Weekly described the stories as amazingly underwhelming.
Actors Anonymous is said to be based upon Franco's experiences as an actor, but, unlike so many public figures who avail themselves of ghost writers, this celebrity might actually earn his byline.
Assuming he can find the time, of course!
Franco has several films lined up for a 2012 release, and he recently filmed Oz: The Great and Powerful, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, which also stars Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams.