In 2002, Julie Powell started a blog chronicling her attempt to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Her blog gained a popular following and in 2005, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen was published. A few years after that, the adaption, directed by Nora Ephron was released in theaters.
It's not a common occurrence for bloggers to land lucrative book deals, but more and more, publishers are looking at the Web to find "the next big thing." Of course, it's not as simple as having a popular, well-written, or riveting blog. That site also needs to translate into print and be something tangible that people will want to live on their shelves or coffee tables.
Certain websites fall into that category more easily than others: Cooking sites, humor sites, and sites that rely heavily on visuals all tend to translate well into print. In some cases, especially with visual blogs, simply replicating what already exists on the web can work (PostSecret, for example), but in most cases, the trick to having a successful book derived from a blog is to ensure that it is a complement to what can already be found online.
From well-known to cult-following, here are a few blogs worth putting on your shelves.
Jenny Lawson describes herself "Like Mother Teresa, Only Better." One thing is true: she's definitely funnier. And when the humor writer found her popularity soaring (Augusten Burroughs said of her, "When I was funny, I wasn't this funny), she also landed a book deal. "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" is "a mostly true memoir" in which she shares cringe-worthy real life stories and things that most of us would never dream of saying aloud.
Gary Vee, as his fans call him, was always more than a blogger-he was an entrepreneur. But it was Wine Library TV, a video blog about wine, that allowed him to grow his success. He's now a New York Time bestseller and the CEO of VaynerMedia. Anyone looking topursue her life passion,create a successful social media marketing strategy, or grow her business will benefit from checking out Vaynerchuk's books. And he also has a guide to wines in case you're looking for something to sip while you read.
Heather Armstrong was one of the very first "mommy bloggers" who was able to eventually quit her day job (okay, so first she was actually fired because of her blog) and concentrate on her website full time. She's published three books, all of which draw from or are a "best of" her very popular blog. Our favorite is "It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita" as it really gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at Armstrong's life.
101 Cookbooks was created when Heidi Swanson realized "When you own over 100 cookbooks, it's time to stop buying, and start cooking." Is it ironic that she now has two book of her own? Maybe a little. But we don't care because "Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen" and "Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking" are two in our collection that we go back to again and again.
PostSecret, the site that publishes anonymous secrets that are mailed to them in various forms, has been around for a long time. And though the secrets have declined in recent years, we do think the book versions make for excellent bathroom reading.
Editor Julie Carlson's book "Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home" is a must-have for fans of the interior design and home remodeling site. Weighing in at almost 400 pages, this carefully curated book is full of never-been-seen photos, tours, round-ups, and design ideas that will keep readers engaged and inspired.
This tumblr blog that publishes "conversations" between and owner and his dog is hilarious. We can't explain why it's so funny; it just is. And clearly we're not the only ones who think so since the first book "Texts from Dog" now has a sequel.
The mission was simple: "Take a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present." The results were glorious. Nostalgic and magical, this book is a perfect example of a blog that was meant to be a book.
It probably wouldn't work for any other site, but for Rookie Mag, a site featuring writing, photography, illustrations, and more specifically for teenage girls, a printed "yearbook" anthology consisting of the site's best work is the perfect complement to the online version. The best part? Editor-in-Chief Tavi Geninson is a teenager herself and the author ofRookie Yearbook One and Rookie Yearbook Two.
We hesitated to include self-proclaimed "asshole" Tucker Max on this list, but considering he launched his book career from a blog he started "as a dare" in 2002 that chronicled true stories about drinking and sex and that his first book "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" was not only a New York Times #1 bestseller but sold over one million copies world wide, it seemed only fair. His next two books also debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, so whether you agree with the content of his blog and books, you can't argue that he is an excellent example of someone who used the Internet as a way to get attention for his writing...and made a lot of money as a result.