From Blogging to the Book Circuit

March 25, 2011  |  

( — With some of the biggest publishing houses – Doubleday, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster – fighting budget cuts, staff layoffs and dwindling profits, it’s harder than ever for emerging writers to land a deal. Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest book retailer, laid off 100 corporate staffers in 2009 and even Borders filed for bankruptcy last month.  Still, despite grim economics in the publishing world, America is more literate than ever. According to a study by the National Endowment for the Arts, the overall rate of reading novels, poems and short stories rose by seven percent in 2008.  So, why is publishing taken such a beating? The power of the Internet coupled with decreasing book contracts has led potential writers to online avenues that have proved profitable. Tucker Max, a blogger turned New York Times bestseller, carved a path for bloggers who wanted a platform and a book deal. Max shared the secret to his success on his site, which he created in 2000, saying, “The easiest way to get a book deal is to be popular already. And the easiest way to do that is to have a popular website.” Max really knows what he’s talking about. While popular blog Stuff White People Like scored a rumored $350,000 publishing advance for it’s site, Max was already turning his book into a film “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.”

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