The year 2010 was big for bloggers — especially post the "Julie & Julia" craze — who made the transition from web blogger to published print author, but 2011 had fewer success stories.
While it's probably every blogger's dream to see their traffic and pageviews spike, have more and more readers commenting on their posts, and — the holy grail — an eventual book deal, it just can't happen for everyone.
A couple of years ago, someone in publishing told me that the whole "blog-to-cookbook" thing was over (2010 doesn't count because you have to remember that it takes much longer to publish a book than a post), but perhaps there is still hope for some promising bloggers out there.
Looking ahead to 2012, we already see Joy the Baker coming out with a book in February (Hyperion) and Sodium Girl debuting sometime in the spring (Wiley), which means that while the blog-to-cookbook trend has slowed down, it's not totally dead.
So what do you need to make it to the big time?
A huge following on both your site and social media avenues (think Facebook and Twitter) is very important, and targetting a unique angle, such as a specific health concern, or perhaps low-budget dining (we've heard rumors of BrokeAssGourmet working on a cookbook), might also help elevate you to the world of the published.
Take a look at the eclectic list we've put together for those who made the list last year. We have Homesick Texan, healthy vegan recipes, and a baking book — hard to make a generalization about what gets you a book deal with these examples. And you may ask, why are these the best? Well, because they are the ones that got published.
Happy cooking. Congratulations to all of the bloggers who've made it to the big time — you're keeping the dream alive.
They Draw & Cook (Welden Owen, 2011)
Brother and sister team, Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, created the popular blog They Draw & Cook, where they bring playing with their food to a whole new level. The blog consists of illustrated recipes from artists all over the world. And now, they've turned it into a page-turning, colorful cookbook.
From mojitos to bacon and egg toasties, the book is filled with adorable and exciting illustrations that prove that more than anything, cooking is meant to be enjoyable and a little silly, too.
The Happy Herbivore (BenBella Books, 2011)
This light-hearted cookbook, like Lindsay Nixon's blog, focuses on healthy and delicious recipes that are good for you and the environment. With flavorful and spice-filled recipes like this red lentil dal, Nixon shows that being a vegan doesn't mean having to give up good food.
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter (Free Press, 2011)
Jennifer Reese, aka The Tipsy Baker, has put together this humorous book filled with tips for what you should and shouldn't make from scratch. On her "make it" list? Her delicious pumpkin pie recipe.
Serious Eats (Clarkson Potter, 2011)
Founder Ed Levine has turned his popular blog, filled with food news, cooking tips, and techniques, into a comprehensive cookbook. With this book, you'll be equipped to make all of America's favorite foods (think burgers, pizza, and steaks), plus exotic dishes like this Halal cart-style chicken and rice with white sauce recipe.
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