Wednesday, September 20, 2006

good god -- a book deal.

My dear fellow food bloggers,

I just published the post on my website announcing this, but I'd like to share the news here too.

Wiley and Sons, in New York, has offered me a book deal, to write a narrative cookbook. It's a book about becoming a gluten-free gourmet after growing up on bad junk food and never feeling well. It's filled with stories and recipes that anyone can cook. It really is a life-long dream come true for me.

I'm putting up a little notice here, not to brag, but to thank all of you. When I started my blog, I had no idea the community that was awaiting me. You have all sustained and inspired me. Many of you have become friends. When I started my blog, I had no idea that anyone other than my friends would be reading it. I certainly had no idea that it would lead to a book deal.

Among all the other stories and guidelines and ideas for how to make great food, I will be talking about the joy of reading food blogs, about this community, and profiling some of you for all the readers to see. I may be calling on you soon, for quotes and images, if you would like to share. The manuscript has to be finished by January 2nd, so I'm up against the wall. But I know I can do it. Keeping my blog has taught me how to meet deadlines, day after day.

Thank you again, everyone. And if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. Or, any ideas about writing jobs after January. My school decided to not hire me back, once they heard I needed four months off. Politics -- too entangled to tell -- also played a part. In some ways, the administration was always nervous about my blog. Ah well. I don't miss the 6 am alarm clock, anyway. But let me know if anyone has ideas for that too!

Thank you, thank you, my fellow food bloggers. You are a mighty community.

This Post was written by Shauna from Gluten-Free Girl


nika said...

millions of congrats!

cybele said...

Hooray! I'm so happy you're writing a book because I want to give it to my sister-in-law (but sad that it won't be out sooner). Congrats.

Paula said...

Wow! Congratulations!!!

McAuliflower said...

Gotta say- this makes so much good sense. You have a great story to tell and its one that will help so many people.

happy to see a fellow blogger make such a great move!

ilva said...

Great news! I'm really happy for you, I'm sure it will be a really GOOD book!

L Vanel said...

Congratuations, that is just fantastic! I will offer this advice that someone offered to me - don't be so fast to turn off the 6AM alarm and find yourself a special place you can concentrate to knock off that manuscript!

Cate said...

Congratulations - how exciting!

s'kat said...

Talk about a good year, you are really racking 'em up! Congrats... of course you know your loyal food bloggers will be first in line for a copy!

Sylvie said...

Congratulations. I knew once I saw your FoodTV quickie that you were destined for more exposure. Such a great topic which can help so many others with dietary restrictions.

Meena said...

Congrats! This is so much fun and so very exciting!

Rachael said...

OH my sweet, sweet peach. I remember when you first mentioned this to me, I was overwhelmed with excitement for you, because I could not wish for a better thing to happen. You are a light, and and inspiration and you know, a total doll! Kudos and congrats. ( I SO wish I had seen the FN bit!)

As for the school Ouch. If you want, I would be super psyched to help you out in a few offshoot arenas if you me and we'll chat. :-)

Anonymous said...

OH and dollface? Dont forget to thank Le Cruset on your "Thanks" page! Maybe you should even write them a note and say you got a deal...who knows, maybe they will throw something (else) your way? Pay for a photographer maybe?

Corporate sponsorship is your FRIEND!

Sam said...


My suggestion would be for you to share with us here in the s'cool how you got the book deal. I am sure it would be of help to any other bloggers who are interested in pecuring something similar.
I know you are busy, but when you have the time to give us some tips would be great.

If you can't tells us the whole story at once, in stages would be great.


Shauna said...

Thank you, everyone. This feels like such a blessed time.

Sam, that is a great suggestion. I can give the overview here, and if anyone wants to know more details, I can help them here.

The first part is getting the agent. In some ways, that's the hardest. I was lucky. I made friends with someone who is also a writer, but not a blogger. We were friends for a good six months before she suggested that she introduce me to her agent. I didn't ask -- I thought it would be crass -- but I did send her the URL of my website, early on. It was through reading my blog that she was convinced I was a strong-enough writer for her to introduce me.

Then, I had to pitch myself to the agent. This was back in December. SHe was intrigued, immediately, because I have a blog.

Here's what I have learned: the publishing world is fascinated by bloggers. More than other first-time writers, who sit at home and write for themselves, we bloggers have fervent fans and a built-in audience. Marketing is king in publishing. Use your blog to market yourself.

So I did. I pitched myself to the agent. She wanted a two-minute pitch, and I gave her one. Work on this, to hone what your vision is, before you ever talk to an agent.

She asked for a book proposal. This took six weeks to write. Ay. It's a different language. If anyone here is writing one, let me know. I'll be glad to offer some broad suggestions.

When I sent that in, late in January, it took the agent until March to sign me. Everything moves slowly in publishing, until they want something from you, and then it's FAST.

After I signed with my agent, I did a dance in the hallways. And then I revised the proposal. Then, revised it again. I worked with her, closely, to make every word count. We weren't done until July.

Because I had that spot on the Food Network -- an opportunity I found out about on Food Blog S'Cool -- and it is still running there, twice or three times a day, the agent was able to send out dvds of my spot with the proposal. I'm sure that helped.

At this point, I did nothing. I had to just sit back and wait. The agent took care of it all.

I'm lucky. My agent is very well connected. She sold my proposal in under two weeks. And then, after we looked at a couple of offers, we decided to go with this one at Wiley and Sons.

And then, they said, "We need the entire manuscript in four months." YIKES!

So, it's a lot of work, a lot of waiting, much luck, and then a mad dash to the end. It's amazing.

Gabriella True said...

OH MY GOD!! Congratulations!!

Now we can say, "we knew her when..."

Julie said...

Wow, that is amazing. And Wiley is a great house. Thanks for sharing more of the details too. I'm sure you will do a fabulous job!