Two bloggers have just been hoisted out of the torrid obscurity of the blogosphere and presented with fat publishers’ cheques.
Today, in the Independent, we learn that Catherine Sanderson, on the strength of her blog La Petite Anglaise, has landed a six-figure two-book deal. There’s even talk of a movie-of-the-blog starring Kate Winslet.
Ms Sanderson had already come to public attention last April when she was fired from her job because of her internet site – in one entry she writes disparagingly of her boss’ “braces and sock suspenders … when I speak to him, I can’t prevent myself from mirroring his plummy accent.” She is currently suing her former employer for wrongful dismissal and is claiming £50,000.
The other star-is-born is Judith O’Reilly who has just picked up a £70,000 deal with Viking Penguin after her blog Wife In The North impressed a number of notables including journalist Andrew Sullivan and Tom Watson MP. After exiting the Sunday Times as education correspondent and downshifting to darkest Northumberland, because of some romantic notion of her husband, she retained her sanity by writing a public diary.
The churlish will say that her Sunday Times connection won’t have hurt her. But the blog does have a must-read pull, thanks to Ms O’Reilly’s facility for soliciting our pity as her metropolitan spirit struggles in the northern heartlands, all rendered in a velvety prose style. Remarkably she only started blogging in earnest in January.
Both sites strike me as reality blogo-soaps – the way forward with publishers, plainly. And but for the blogs it is highly unlikely that these two fortunate people would now be contemplating a life of recognition and perhaps the odd guest spot on Radio 4's Start The Week.
You maybe assured that Madame Arcati shall resist any temptation to start her own reality blogo-soap ....