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How to Make Money Because of Your Blog – Book Deals

The New York Times has an article this week revealing that the advance of the book deal announced on the blog Stuff White People Like last week is worth $300,000.

We’ve seen a number of bloggers sign book deals over the last year but this kind of money is beyond what I’ve seen before.

Book deals are a perfect example of bloggers making money because of their blog (indirectly).

Other bloggers who’ve released books based upon their blogs include (from among many):

Of course there are many other examples (it seems I hear about more every week). Feel free to nominate others in comments below.

Speaking of book deals – expect to see a little more news on that front from ProBlogger in the coming days. No Six Figure advances but some fun news.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Don M says:

    I am working on something similar with my songwriting blog. I hope to have an announcement soon as well. :-)

    dm
    http://www.bloggingmuses.com

  2. Heh, what I wouldn’t give for a book deal. Shame I’m not very interesting! ;)

    Good post, though, I had no idea that the folks from “i can haz cheezburger’ had managed to secure a book deal.

    Steve

  3. katy says:

    you’re overlooking an enormous number of food bloggers who have written or are in the process of writing cookbooks because of their blog. Jaden at Steamy Kitchen (http://www.steamykitchen.com) and Cynthia at Tastes Like Home (http://www.tasteslikehome.org/) are two examples off the top of my head. Both are great, engaging writers, excellent photographers and phenomenal cookes. Molly from Orangette (http://www.orangette.com) now writes a monthly column for Bon Appetit as well!

  4. katy says:

    um, cooks. not cookes. :-)

  5. Laura says:

    Dooce is about to come out with a compilation book on parenting I believe.

  6. Frugal Dad says:

    You should definitely consider a book, Darren. Pro-blogging may be a tight niche for a book, but the broader concepts (marketing, technology, self-promotion) are all popular areas for new books. I’d buy it!

  7. Bloggers aren’t the only fortunate online creators snagging book deals. Mainstream publishing is now turning to novelists who are releasing their unpublished fiction via free serialized audio podcasts.

    I’m one such novelist; thanks the success of my “podiobook,” it’s heading into print next year from St. Martin’s Press. I’m also writing the debut novel in a new thriller series, also due in ’09 by St. Martin’s.

    Most recently, A-List podcast novelist Scott Sigler’s release of “Infected” from Crown hit bookstores everywhere earlier this week. The future is looking brighter for talented novelists who are embracing the “giving it away is okay” philosophy.

  8. Tanya says:

    Quite a few food and weight loss bloggers also have gotten book deals because of their blogs. Chez Pim, Heidi Swanson, PastaQueen and Shauna from Diet-Girl are a few off the top of my head.

  9. Frank McLoven says:

    I’ve got a Google Earth picture book that was from the google sightseeing blog: http://googlesightseeing.com/book/

  10. Kind of a side-product, but writing magazine articles also pays well. Try contacting a publication in your field and propose an article to them.

  11. rexeditor says:

    My book “Try the Veal” is mostly humor content from my days at randomsalad.com.

  12. Nick Smith says:

    Wow, I am excited! I love fun news…

  13. Fat Lazy Guy says:

    Waiterrant.net is about to release his book soon.

  14. Cookiemouse says:

    I don’t know how much money changed hands but Rachel’s blog in London launched a book and a political media star.
    http://rachelnorthlondon.blogspot.com/

  15. Jason Murphy says:

    Here’s a few well known blogs that have released books recently:

    “Look at My Striped Shirt” from ThePhatPhree.com
    “Men are Better Than Women” from MenAreBetterThanWomen.com

    And books by Tucker Max, and Maddox. Although don’t call Maddox’s site a blog. Even though it is.

  16. Michele says:

    Here in Ireland there have been a number of book deals signed, though the only one published to date appears to be Twenty Major’s (see http://www.twentymajor.net – possibly NSFW!)

    Michele

  17. sailaja says:

    Food blogs to book deals -
    Orangette
    Delicious Days
    Chocolate & Zucchini

  18. My Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business book came as the result of my solo business marketing blog, with the two working hand in hand to sell the book and bring more people to the space.

    I must admit that my two previous books, at the top of their industry, provides a push for sales and blog visits as well.

  19. Ryan says:

    http://www.girlwithaonetrackmind.blogspot.com/

    Has been published in multiple languages and on the top of many best seller lists.

  20. Ben says:

    Wine blogger Dr Vino got one with Simon & Schuster:

    http://drvino.com/2008/01/16/writing-a-book-and-taking-a-break/

    That Stuff White People like thing is crazy–both for the money as well as the timeline!

  21. Linda says:

    I’ve thought about taking a couple of my older (now unused) blogs off the web, and making e-books out of them. Not a great money-maker, but you never know . . . if I sold 1000 of them at $3 each, that’s $3000 – probably more than they’re worth as free content on the web unless the SEO benefit is considerable.

    For a blog that would appeal to actual book publishers, I believe a autobiographical story told in segments would be viable. I always thought the Farmie blog was fascinating enough to end up as a book – http://www.socialchemy.com/Farmie/ – but I see he hasn’t sold it yet.

  22. Strange Maps (http://strangemaps.wordpress.com) got a book deal with a major publisher based on their blog postings. If you like maps, it’s a great blog!

  23. Mark Mason says:

    Darren — I enjoyed your chapter in Yanik’s book. Can you comment on the general financial situation for a book like that one? I’m not asking for the actual details, just some general idea if it is worth it. I am suspecting that you did that deal for the market exposure, and not the cash.

  24. Dee Stewart says:

    I receive many opportunities to write for magazines on Christian publishing. But I’m a journalist anyway.

    My novel, which I’ve been playing around with for a while and a publisher has asked for it constantly gets put on the backburner for my blog. This week I took a break from blogging to complete the final edit.

    On a side note: For new authors with such large advances I wonder will a great deal of those monies go to promotion. I also wonder how many of these books sell well in this market?

  25. Musing says:

    I had a hard time finding books by bloggers all in one place, so I made my own Amazon book store. I’ve got about 100 titles, but am always adding more (your post and readers comments have added some!).

    Something else, Blurb looks like a really cool way to self publish your blog. It works similar to CafePress, so there’s no financial risk.

  26. Farfield says:

    So many nice things to read. Who has time left to write articles for their blogs? :)

  27. DM says:

    “Musing” loses cool points for embedding an affiliate link in their comment. Sneaky though …

    dm

  28. Darren Rowse says:

    Mark – that chapter was not something I really gained any direct financial gain from but it was something that exposed me to a new audience and networks – it’s paid off in other ways.

  29. Mike says:

    Wow. I wonder if you just make a blog about the things you like, if you can get at least 10% of that? ha.

  30. Lamonte says:

    To be honest that website makes me angry, I’m an African American….

  31. Missy says:

    I’ve been working on my book for a weeks now. Now that you have written a post about it, everyone (and their mom) will be writing a book. Yikes!

    My book is half way finished, and it will be available soon, but i’m not giving out much more info than that.

    You all will have to just wait!

    Missy.

  32. Nice thing deal with book store, there so many way to earn money from the website like it.

  33. Ed Winslow says:

    I read your posts everyday. You are an ambassador of quality to the blogging world. I wish I had your skills. Thanks

  34. Matt Wardman says:

    Darren

    At least two of these books (Cheeseburger and PostSecret) are basically created 98% by other people, and the websites have aggressive terms and conditions in order to make that as legal as possible. I think that that approach is questionable.

    However, PostSecret at least is using pics that include people who have fairly clearly not given their permission (as they are required to have done in law). The t&c state that the submitter takes the responsibility, but the law (in most places) states that the publisher has a responsibility.

    Example: http://tinyurl.com/6et3by

    That seems to me to be an important question – these are not obscure little blogs that are only read by a handful.

  35. Bontb says:

    That blog has been sold for my BirthDay! on April 1st. Target acquired it and I think its stupid idea.

    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/stuff-white-people-like-bought-by-target/

  36. Reginald says:

    Although there were quite a number of interesting links included in this post, one particular link stood out.

    That link, ‘Making Money Because of Their Blog indirectly, I found to be practical information any interested individual can use.

  37. Ariel says:

    Stuff white people like…wow…who knew? I gotta come up with some time-wasting ideas like this for my blog.

  38. Of course, ProBlogger has a book being released this year too. Cant wait for it to go on sale.

  39. Pamela Slim says:

    Hi Darren!

    I have been touched very directly by this trend — Penguin/Portfolio will be publishing my book, Escape from Cubicle Nation, based on my blog. They contacted me with interest, so it made the whole process a lot less intimidating.

    From what agents have told me, due to the increasing competitiveness of the book industry in general, a HUGE factor in signing a book contract with a new author is their current platform. So if you already have lots of interested readers, have been featured in the press, have good numbers of ezine subscribers, etc. this could get you a publishing deal even over someone who writes a little better or has more “professional” credentials. I am not saying your writing can suck, but do not underestimate the power of blogs to build platform.

    I am going to do my very best to write a useful book. I am extremely thankful to my blog readers for paving the way for a good deal. Mind you, it wasn’t 300k, but enough to pay the babysitter and rent while I write. :)

    I also know Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist came from her blog.

  40. I’ve also got a book coming out in the spring/summer of this year in which I interview 40 very prominent bloggers. If you’re interested, you can find the complete list of interviews at: http://www.followsteph.com/2008/01/15/blogging-book-interview-update/

  41. Left Brain says:

    On the Beauty Brains we put together a book with the best 100 or so questions and answer published on our blog.

    But instead of going through a standard publisher (and we were actually approached by a book agent), we opted to self publish and see how it goes.

    You can see the result of this effort here. We certainly are open to any advice.

    The Beauty Brains

  42. Judy Strauss says:

    Thanks for mentioning our book in your post (Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online)! Our experience was similar to some of your followers – it was my co-author Andy Beal’s MarketingPilgrim blog that caught the publisher’s attention and made them realize that we could help substantially with the book marketing. These books don’t make much money for authors, but open many other speaking and client doors. Good luck to all of you working on a book. It is really rewarding.
    Judy

  43. Ellen says:

    And way back in 2005 a collection of food bloggers were published in a book called Digital Dish. None of us got a big advance. ;( It was still fun, though.

  44. George says:

    Ummmm…what about Tucker Max? His book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, has out sold all the ones you listed, COMBINED, and it started out on his site, http://www.tuckermax.com

  45. Matt Wardman says:

    Ummmm. Tucker Max.

    Ruled out by the word “book”, perhaps.

  46. Jerry Lees says:

    Book Deal!??? Sign me up! ;-) I sometimes feel like my blog posts are chapters anyways!

  47. Reginald says:

    Is there an organization that is actually keeping track of the success rate of authors or self published authors who use this particular type of venue to fulfill their dreams?

  48. Anne says:

    I did the opposite: wrote two books which resulted in building two advertising-supported web sites that became huge.

    I read in The New York Times that only 3% of published authors make enough from royalties to support themselves from writing alone. My advice: don’t view it as a get-rich-quick scheme. And, writing a book is very, very difficult because of the days, weeks, months spent in isolation. In my case, I made nothing on my books (non-fiction, travel) but did very well later from the web sites.

    I’ve been offered the chance to write books since then but I can see much better ways of making money than writing a book.

  49. Reginald says:

    Thanks for the information, Anne.

    At least, we have a real scenario to consider, which paints a more detailed picture of what a blogger can expect as realistic income with regards to writing/selling books via their blog.

  50. Anne says:

    What I’ve learned is that there are several steps involved. Blogging 101: building the blog. Blogging 102: writing the blog and reaching your target readers. Blogging 103: increasing traffic to the blog generating inbound links, getting page rank.

    It’s a good idea to note how many postings I get from Darren: several daily. There’s a lot of work behind that.