How 5 Bloggers Went From Blog to Book Deal : Under30CEO How 5 Bloggers Went From Blog to Book Deal : Under30CEO
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How 5 Bloggers Went From Blog to Book Deal

| May 18, 2010 | 9 Comments

blog to book dealThese days it seems like everyone has a blog.  While having one can certainly help lead to potential clients and brand awareness for your business, sometimes they even lead to book deals.  After all, if you can prove to a publisher that there’s a following that already wants to read your work, it’s a good indication for greater things to come.  Whether the original intention in starting a blog was to get a book deal or not, here’s how some have done it:

Author: Matt Gallagher

Book: Kaboom

Matt Gallagher originally started his blog when he was deployed to serve in Iraq as a way to share experiences with his friends and family, “no one likes the blast email,” he said.  In May 2008, the Army made him shut it down. Two months later, The Washington Post published an article about the Army shutting down a soldier’s blog, which gained the attention of publishers who offered him a book deal shortly after.  His book, sharing experiences serving in Iraq, came out in March.

Author: Pamela Slim

Book: The Business Blog: Escape from Cubicle Nation

Originally starting her blog as a class assignment, Pamela went from about 100 to 20,000 visits in 24 hours when her blog was linked up by author Guy Kawasaki.

She found different ways of directing traffic to her site, “I spent a lot of time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs when I first started blogging. I also closely followed the work of some of my very favorite bloggers, took copious notes on their writing style, approach and insight.”

Author: Christian Lander

Book: Stuff White People Like

Christian started his blog in January 2008 and a month later it was featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, to debate whether the site is considered racist or satire. By March 2008, he had a book deal with Random House.

Author: Shauna James Ahern

Book: Gluten Free Girl

When Shuana James Ahern began her blog in 2006, she wasn’t just another online presence raving about her favorite foods and recipes.  Her added-value was blogging specifically about simple methods for cooking and buying products for the ever growing gluten-free population.  A year later she was writing a book.

Authors: Lauren Leto and Ben Bator

Book:  Texts From Last Night

Not every book deal today requires a solid writing style or expertise in a specific subject-matter.  Just ask Lauren Leto and Ben Bator who came up with a concept everyone could easily identify with.  People around the world submit their texts and the most entertaining ones are posted on the site.  It was that simple.  The 192-page book was released in stores in January. While securing a book deal was a major success, it was by no means a slowing down of the site, which currently gets about 4 million hits per day.

Setting up a blog is easy.  WordPress.com is a popular site or if you use Gmail, you basically already have an account on blogger.com.

Now go off and be the next success story. But don’t just start ranting about that annoying cashier at the grocery store.  To have a good blog, you should have a focus, know your point of view, and target audience.  That’s not to say your focus can’t be somewhat wide or fun.  My blog’s theme is life-after-college, which even allows me to write about the annoying cashier occasionally…from a recent grad’s perspective, of course.

Uptin Saiidi works in television and is creator of the life-after-college blog, Eruptin.com. Follow him @uptin

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  • srinirao

    Interesting stuff guys. I've interviewed Christian Lander and he's got a great story. The blog to book deal thing is one of those things that I think many bloggers have some big misconceptions about. One of the things that Peter Shankman told me was that starting a blog and expecting to lead to a book deal is like playing pick up basketball and hoping to get picked up by the NBA. One of the things that all these people do have in common is a particular theme that is very focused. This is something almost every blogger who got to a book deal has shared with me.

  • http://www.businessbeware.biz Ashley Bodi

    Wow those are some awesome stories! It's so cool to see everyday people write about what's going on in their life because it's real and not someone who never experienced the actual thing they are writing about. Loved it!

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Agreed. Like always its important to remember that it takes a lot of hard work to get things like a book deal and the vast majority of bloggers will never have a book deal. But just like we always talk about blogging opens up doors. Its low cost to do and anyone can do it…that effort in the end will many times put a handful of options in front of you to pursue.

  • http://thestartupist.com Ethan

    Sweet list. Tumblr even has a whole section of their directory now devoted to showcasing simple tumble logs that have made it from hobby to book deal (i.e. This is Why your Fat and Hipster Kittens)

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Cool! I didn't know that.

  • Onehundredjobs

    You should add Oneweekjob.com to the pile. Sean Aiken's book about completing 52 one week jobs in 2008 was just released.

    I'm completing 100 Jobs for $100 at onehundredjobs.blogspot.com, I hope my fate is traditional publication, as well. If not, E-book!

  • Pingback: twentyhood.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Thanks for the tip! Sounds like a fun but hectic adventure!

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    I started my blog as a way to Market my business, (Insurance -see http://www.RyanHanley.com), to my local community. But over the course of the last Year I have grown a huge Insurance Professional following. I probably have more people in the Insurance Industry to follow my blog than consumers. This is bad for Insurance Business but pretty good for Site Traffic.

    It seems kind of like a pipe dream to think that I could get a book deal but I’ve always dreamed of writing a book about how Professionals can take their business online with a Blog… The professional presence online is much different from the Retail Store Owner…

    These people above are amazing…

    Thanks,

    Ryan H.