The ultimate dream for most bloggers: Get a book deal. And why not — plenty of bloggers have turned their online projects into tangible ones. Just think: Julie Powell's Julie & Julia (that turned into a movie, too!); Blair Koenig’s hilarious STFU, Parents; Leandra Medine’s Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls; and remember Meaty, that essay collection by Samantha Irby of Bitches Gotta Eat (a blog that has made me laugh until I’ve cried)? I'd go on, but I'm sure this list has you remembering about a million more examples — including ones you probably own yourself.
Sure, there’s no recipe for writing a hit book, but all of these women have consistently unique voices and seemingly made no compromises between their online and on-the-page selves. To make their books a hit, the next crop of blog-to-book stars will have to do as their predecessors and create fantastic content like their readers have come to love online, plus stay true to their voices, and have the writing chops that can translate to a good read outside scrolling on a phone. It's a hefty task.
But there are some ladies out there who can do it. In fact, I've got some in mind — and here they are. You may know some, you may not, but if I'm right, you'll know them all soon enough — because they'll all be on your bookshelf.
“I’m an Internet, “ Akilah Hughes says in one of the videos posted on her blog, and it’s pretty much true: Hughes is a super-active on social media, also a hilarious vlogger (her YouTube account is addictive), and her writing is charming (she’s written “Unpopular Opinion” pieces for HelloGiggles, with headlines like “Millennials Are the Best. Generation. Ever” and “Fall Is Awful.”). Her blog is full of her videos, memes and other quippy posts. Some of her stronger work — commentary on natural hair, book reviews done while tipsy — would translate effortlessly into a book that you’d definitely buy for all your girlfriends.
Mariah Kunkel is just plain cool. Her lifestyle blog, Quite Continental, focuses on fashion (her menswear-inspired personal style is enviable), design, travel, and everything else in between. One feature of the blog, Quite Continental’s Charm School is, as Kunkel puts it, “modern guide to living a charmed life,” and her tips (like how to tie a tie, be your own Valentine, and drink more gin) would be excellent compiled into a glossy coffee table book.
Joanna Goddard’s Cup of Jo isn’t exactly a new discovery — her posts on relationships, beauty and life in New York City have been circulating around the internet since 2007, and longtime readers (I’ve been a fan since 2009) have enjoyed watching her go from a single Manhattan gal to a Brooklyn-based married mother of two. Her posts lean heavily on parenting tips, date night ideas, and family outing events, but single readers without children can still connect with her honest posts about anxiety, feeling lost during her 20s, sex and phobias. She frequently recommends great books on her blog, and she has the writing chops to have a hardcover hit on her hands. It’s kinda surprising Goddard hasn’t released a book yet, but you can bet a million new moms and NYC newcomers will snap it up when she does.
The most well-known fashion and lifestyle blogs are often aimed towards straight ciswomen; Qwear is run by and written for queer women and trans people. The style profiles are seriously gorgeous and the interviews are really well done. Sonny Oram, the blog’s founder, explained in a recent post that they try to give inspiration, not advice, on how to dress, explaining “that too much advice can actually get in the way of people and their sense of style because they'll start to think that they can't figure things out on their own and they have to follow these rules, or that their instincts aren't good enough.” While Qwear’s fashion photos and tips would make for a stunning book, so would their message of self (and style) acceptance.
Kate Arends has turned her gorgeously curated blog — filled with must-have home goods, up-and-coming clothing designer spotlights, and a number of posts on personal issues — into a seriously successful boutique brand and design studio. She was recently featured in Martha Stewart Living, and a collaboration with Target comes out in September. She is also a social media powerhouse, with 2.6 million followers on Pinterest. A graphic designer when she started Wit & Delight, she now works on the brand and blog full-time. While a design-focused book would be welcome (Martha Stewart didn’t call her a tastemaker for nothing), Arends could have a hit on her hand with a memoir and advice book on how to turn your dream job into a cool reality.
Jean Wang is a giant among fashion bloggers. Extra Petite is far from your average outfit of the day site — Jean works in finance and is, yes, extra-petite (she says she’s five feet tall and less than 100 pounds), so she focuses on helping smaller women dress for big jobs with pro tips on fitting a petite frame. Her sense of style is impressive, but a guidebook on how to stand tall in the business world would be a perfect gift for recent college grads.
Tomato and raspberry sorbet (looking good above), pumpkin rosemary soup, blackberry and sage scones: the Southern women behind Wit & Aroma make drool-worthy dishes. Their recipes are simple to follow, their ingredients easily obtainable, and their finished products are beautifully presented and captured. A cookbook with simple entertaining tips could give The Kinfolk Table a run for its money.