From Weblog to Book, the Saga Continues

by Sean Hackbarth

Stuff White People Like goes from clever weblog to book deal in weeks. Publishing success for something like this is far from sure:

It will be difficult for the publisher to make a profit, said Sara Nelson, editor of Publishers Weekly. Doing some back-of-the-envelope math, she figured Random House would have to sell about 75,000 copies, a total that would likely land the book on best-seller lists, to earn back its $300,000 advance.

Blog books are far from a sure thing at the cash register.

Gawker.com spawned the book, “The Gawker Guide to Conquering All Media,” which has sold fewer than 1,000 copies since its release in October 2007. A book based on a popular Web site focused on fashion disasters has sold 2,000 copies in its first seven weeks of release, according to Nielsen BookScan.

But there are successes. On the nonhumor front, the best seller “Julie and Julia,” about a woman who cooked one Julia Child recipe a day, started as a blog, and “The Hipster Handbook,” spawned from freewilliamsburg.com in 2003, has sold 39,000, according to Nielsen BookScan.

This fall expect to see lolcats sitting on store shelves.

Speaking of someone who turned their weblog into a book deal or two Jennifer Cutler, “The Washingtonienne,” is connected to a Manhattan call girl ring busted last week.

“Why Blog? Reason No. 92: Book Deal

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