While reviewing Nina Amir’s How to Blog a Book (link to my review), I realized that many of the books I’ve read are very closely related to their authors’ blogs. As someone who delights in watching others achieve big dreams, I offer you this list of bloggers who have published books based on their blogs.
May they inspire you to dream big as well.
I’ve watched these authors explore ideas, publish ‘how to’ posts, ask their readers for opinions, publish a poem here and there, develop a blog series, or share what they have learned. And in due time another book would appear, whether traditionally published or self-published, whether a best seller or something small or even something completely out of the box. Sometimes much of the material stayed up on the blog once the book was out; sometimes it ‘mysteriously’ disappeared.
In each case it was a joy to watch the process, and when I read the revised How to Blog a Book, I realized that some of these blogger-authors had probably read the earlier version which, at the time, was the only book of its kind around.
Bloggers and their Books (Most book links are to my reviews; there are never affiliate links on this blog.)
Crystal Paine of Money-Saving Mom based The Money $aving Mom’s Budget, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode directly on her blog and blog comments. Because these inspiring resources are not easy to find on her very busy blog, her many readers have cheerfully catapulted her to the bestseller lists.
Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Cheap Good Eats has self-published as well as published traditionally. As a super-organized homeschooling mom of 6, her blogs’ focus on streamlined family life and on yummy inexpensive food has translated into seven books so far. She explores many aspects of her books on her blogs and then organizes and edits them extremely well, adding new ideas as well as printables and recipes before publishing them. I’ve reviewed Summer Survival Guide , which I aim to reread next week, and A Simpler Season ,and enjoyed two of her cookbooks as well.
George van Popta first published much of his delightful Pure Love, a sonnet version of the Song of Solomon, on his blog, but almost all of the sonnets have disappeared from there. Mostly Canticles, a collection of hymns, was also first introduced on his blog. Unlike most of the other blogger-authors mentioned here, George is neither a prolific blogger nor an enthusiastic marketer, a refreshing reminder that there are many different approaches to both blogging and book writing.
Gretchen Rubin explores many topics on her blog; although she does not actually blog her books she certainly discusses many of the concepts online before, and after, her books come out. It is hard to determine whether she an author with a blog or a blogger-author, partially because her blog often seems to be more about self-promotion than the insightful ideas that populate her three best sellers The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better than Before.
Laura Vanderkam explores many of her ideas about time management and productivity on her chatty blog. A mother of four, she focuses on the concept that managing time and tasks well allows women to have it all, and her enthusiasm for the topic flows from her blog into her books and back again. I’ve reviewed 168 Hours, devoured the What the Most Successful People Do booklets, and am eagerly waiting to read I Know How She Does It.
Amy Lynn Andrews, one of the most out-of-the-box thinkers I know, has put out a unique and ever-changing Knowtbook that she calls her ‘brain’ about online business—marketing, social media, blogging, working from home, and more. Most of the material is available on her blog and much of the rest is available in her free UseLetter, but that doesn’t stop Amy or her readers. She also wrote the ebook Tell Your Time and refused a traditional publishing contract for its second edition; her thoughtful discussion of this refusal is a beautiful complement to Nina Amir’s point of view. Amy is one of my heroes because of her clear thinking, her deep faith, and her principled approach to life. Her resources would be a very helpful accompaniment to anyone wanting to blog and sell a book, and I am surprised that Nina did not mention her in How to Blog a Book.
Tricia Hodges of Southern Hodge Podge was publishing her mother’s art tutorials on her blog when someone asked her for an ebook version. This led to A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels which has been followed by other chalk pastel books. We are doing A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels this summer. Tricia is an example of a blogger stumbling into publishing ebooks without having planned it, an encouraging reminder that being faithful in what one does can lead to unexpected opportunities.
Besides these, I’ve noticed other bloggers reworking blog contents into books: Michael Hyatt, Ruth Soukup, Tsh Oxenreider, Kris Bales, and many more. And, of course, Nina Amir first blogged How to Blog a Book (which also contains some dramatic blog-to-book success stories) and has successfully blogged several other books as well.
If you want a peak into the process, here are some bloggers currently working on books.
Cheri Fields of Creation Science for Kids is getting ready to self-publish a mini-book, Mysteries of Time and Creation, and was testing out her cover on Google+ on June 16. If you have opinions about book covers, you can help out here.
Anne White, of Dewey’s Treehouse and an Advisory Member of the amazing homeschool curriculum Ambleside Online, is writing a book based on her two decades as a Charlotte Mason home educator, curriculum developer, writer, and speaker. “I wondered, what is it that children need to be taught in order to grow into critical thinkers, problem solvers, decision makers? How do they develop the attentiveness to fix their minds on a problem, and the creativity to solve it?”
And, if I were an old-timer, I’d say I’d eat my hat if Jessica Fisher did not have a book about travelling with kids up her sleeve, and Michael Hyatt one about living wisely.
I hope that this list of bloggers who followed their dreams and became published authors has inspired you…or at the very least has added a few blogs and/or books to your to-read list.
And, no matter what your age or circumstances, if your big dream is increasing in intensity and becoming a calling, go ahead. Be brave. Find the resources you need to move ahead and then go for it, to God’s glory.
Unfortunately my comment form is still not working (my techie son and I have not been able to resolve this yet), but you can comment on Google+ instead. Now that our homeschool year is finished, I do hope to solve this problem, finally. Thank you for your patience.
Disclosure: I am not compensated for mentioning these bloggers, blogs, and books in this article.