Today, we look at another way of monetizing your blog: books and e-books.
Since June of 2009, I’ve been monetizing my blog by selling books. It all came about innocently enough. I had been teaching workshops at The Alliance for Arts and Culture on social media for artists, and someone said to me, “why don’t you write a book?” It was a no-brainer. I had already been blogging for a couple of years, and the stuff I’d written became the bones of the book. My son was finishing grade 1 on June 22, 2009, and that was my deadline. Since then, I’ve sold hundreds of copies, both online, and in hard copy through Biz Books, the Ferry Building Gallery, and at various workshops. I’ve also written two more, and this fall, I’m planning on re-writing my first book entirely.
Books are an amazing way to give you credibility. And the joy of today’s world is that anyone can now publish them in e-book format.
But enough about me! Today I interview someone who got a book deal through their blog.
I met Elizabeth Nyland quite by chance one day, at Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria. I recognized her immediately as a fellow foodie, and became her follower and friend. Liz recently got a Cookbook deal (and cookbook #2 is in the works!), so I talked to her about how being a blogger turned into being an author.
RC: When you started your blog, was it your goal to get a cookbook deal?
EN: No, not at all. I mean, I always had a dream about writing a cookbook….ever since I was a little girl, but it was not the reason I started my blog. I started my blog to post my recipes after being a stay-at-home mom for six months. I had always been passionate about food, loved the internet and also loved sharing my stories. So in 2009, with a little cajoling from my husband, I started my blog for something to do.
RC: How did you get the cookbook deal? What was the process? Did they contact you first, or did you contact them?
EN: My cookbook deal is a little different than most food bloggers. Having talked to many friends who have had or are working on cookbook deals, I know that most of them wrote proposals. These proposals take large lengths of time to organize and write and I didn’t even start one. My publishing company (Countryman Press, a division of WW Norton) contacted me. They were looking for someone who was the whole package (i.e. could do everything from write to photograph to styling) and they also wanted to get on the paleo bandwagon. (You can see some of Liz’ photo and styling tips on this blog post). So they asked me if I was interested in writing a cookbook, we took a few weeks to pick a topic and then I started banging out recipes as fast as I could.
RC: What role do you think your blog played in the process of you getting the cookbook deal?
EN: My blog was the major factor in me getting this deal. A blog acts like a portfolio. They can see my writing style, my photography and food styling abilities and they know what kind of recipes I am able to develop. Without my blog I would never have gotten that deal.
RC: How often do you post to your blog (on a weekly basis)? and approximately how much time goes into each post?
EN: When I’m not working on a cook book, I usually post 1-2 times per week. Each post takes up approximate four hours of time. From recipe development, recipe creation, photographing the recipe, editing the photos, writing the post and then sharing it out on all networks…it does take a fair amount of time.
RC: Thanks, Liz!
You can follow Liz on her blog: Guilty Kitchen, on Twitter, @guiltykitchen, and you can buy her cookbook, Cooking With Coconut Oil: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Recipes for Good Living as of January 6, 2014.