Blogger Dude Scores $300,000 Advance

by | Mar 30, 2008

If you have an extremely popular blog, other media makers might be willing to bet on you. That’s the idea forwarded in today’s Sunday Styles.

image of the white guy likin’ a dog, courtesy of Flickr user, PancakeJess

At the center of the piece is Christian Lander, an Internet copywriter who launched Stuff White People Like last January. The blog has since entertained millions of visitors with things white people like. Some of those things are: Having Gay Friends, Dinner Parties, Book Deals, Graduate School and The Idea of Soccer.

One of the intriguing aspects to this story is how literary agents have swooped in to scour the net for talent.

One of the first literary agents to troll the Web for talent was Kate Lee, who in 2003 was an assistant at International Creative Management, the sprawling talent agency, looking for a way to make her name.

When she started contacting bloggers and talking to them about book deals, many were stunned that a real literary agent was interested in their midnight typings. Her roster was so rich with bloggers, including Matt Welch from Hit & Run and Glenn Reynolds from Instapundit, that the New Yorker profiled her in 2004. Two years from now, the magazine noted, “Books by bloggers will be a trend, a cultural phenomenon.”

And two years after that?

“If I contact someone or someone is put in touch with me, chances are they’ve already been contacted by another agent,” Ms. Lee said. “Or they’ve at least thought about turning their blog into a book or some kind of film or TV project.”

I found it interesting that Kurt Andersen, a founder of Very Short List, who is represented by the William Morris agency and acts as an adviser to Random House, had a taste maker’s role in taking Stuff White People Like to book form. Lander’s agent asked Anderson to bring it to the attention of Gina Centrello, the president and publisher of Random House, which he did.