If you think only one or two bloggers’ blogs or blogged books have been found, think again. The numbers are increasing every day. Ever since roughly 2005, publishers have been scanning the Internet to find new writers with great ideas that can be turned into books. Some of those writers actually are bloggers. Some of them are simply blogging; some of them are blogging actual books.
From research done on Publishers Marketplace, some experts estimate that more than 50 blogs actually landed book deals in 2009. Only announced deals are included in the database, though, which makes it likely that the total number is higher. Here’s a run down on just a few blog-to-book deals.
Julia Powell received a book contract for a memoir she wrote based on her blog The Julie/Julia Project. This book was then made into the 2009 hit movie Julie & Julia written and directed by Nora Ephron. Powell blogged about cooking almost all of the 524 the recipes in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking during a single year. Ephron’s screenplay is adapted from My Life in France, Child’s autobiography, written with Alex Prud’homme, and Powell’s memoir.
Lizzie Skurnick received a publishing contract for a children’s literature/young adult book from Harper Collins for her blog Jezebel’s “Fine Line’s” column. In this column Skurnick analyzes classic young adult books, deconstructing them with wisdom, humor and incredible insight. The book will include work that has appeared on the blog as well as new work.
In England, Salt Publishing offered Emily Benet, who originally wrote under the name Belle de Jour, a contract for her blog about a 28-year-old call girl’s sexual exploits. Shop Girl Diaries won a Guardian award and de Jour sought out a publishing deal. There were rumors this was a six-figure deal.
Sex After Sixty was discovered by the e-book publisher 3ones as Mary L. Tabor wrote her memoir live for all of Cyberspace to read.
Shreve Stockton’s Daily Coyote blog, which contained photos of and commentary about the coyote pup she raised after its parents were shot, was published by Simon & Schuster and given the same name.
Ben Huh acquired the Fail Blog in January 2008 with his company, Pet Holdings—of I Can Has Cheezburger? fame. It contains a collection of photos and videos depicting various kinds of failure. After being contacted by several agents, Huh sold it to Harper Paperbacks, who turned the bog into book form.
Pamela Slim started blogging as an assignment for a class about building platform and online business. Her blog, Escape From Cubicle Nation, shows readers how to bust out free from their three gray walls and start businesses. She received a book deal from Portfolio Hardcover for Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur, a guidebook containing Slim’s best material.
Walker Lamond’s blog includes fatherly advice on how to be a good man. He got a deal from St.Martin’s for Rules for My Unborn Son, which, like the blog, offers a collection of advice from father to son.
Stuff White People Like, by Christian Lander, supposedly got a $350,000 advance from Random House Trade Paperbacks. The title is pretty self-explanatory.
Postcards From Yo Momma is a blog by the Observer‘s Doree Shafrir and Jezebel’s Jessica Grose that includes entries about Moms stupid e-mails. The book version, Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home, was contracted by Hyperion.
Have I convinced you? Of course, these writers drove traffic to their websites. They wrote great copy. They blogged often. Some of them even contacted agents. And they were discovered.
You can do what they did. You can do better than just blog. You can blog a book. You can be discovered while you do so.