Everyday people would chronicle their lives—or personal experiments like cooking your entire way through a Julia Child cookbook—get a following, then land a book deal. But now successful blogs don't need to tell a story, especially if they strike the funny bone. The runaway success of Justin Halpern's Twitter feed listing the gruff-but-sweet witticisms of his 73-year-old father, @shitmydadsays, turned into a bestseller for HarperCollins and sold to TV before it was published. (The book is the basis for the CBS sitcom, $#*! My Dad Says.)
Agent Brian DeFiore warned, though, that not all cheeky Web sites are created equal. DeFiore, who sold When Parents Text, said with so many silly blogs out there, agents need to find the right fit. "The questions are always: how popular really is the site? (Popular enough to drive a readership?) And then there is the critical editorial determination of whether the material will work in book form, or whether the fans get their fill online."
Here are three tongue-in-cheek sites that recently impressed publishers enough to spark a good deal:
|Title||When Parents Text (Workman)||Sh*t My Kids Ruined (Random House)||101 Uses for My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress (New American Library)|
|Authors||Two recent college grads, Sophia Fraioli and Lauren Kaelin, now living at home with their parents.||Julie Haas Brophy||Kevin Cotter|
|The Gist||Amused by their parents' early attempts at communicating via their new smartphones, the authors began cataloguing ridiculous messages they received. The authors then started soliciting similar missives from readers.||Brophy began posting pictures of furniture, appliances, and other household items—with accompanying stories—that her children had destroyed. The site grew, and Brophy began posting pictures and stories readers sent in.||When Cotter's wife walked out on him after 12 years, she left behind her wedding dress. Cotter then began posting pictures of various ways to "use" the dress in her absence.|
|Example||Me: Ok thanks dad! <3 |
Dad: What is that? a butt with a cone?
|The "powdered couch"||Include a dirt tarp, an oven mitt, a shower curtain, and Darth Vader scarecrow.|