So, You Want To Write a Book? (+ book tour update)

May 25, 2011

Hello everyone! How are you doing today? I’m going to gush a bit first but then I want to talk to the dreamers out there who want to write a book. But first, this week has been awesome for me because I’m working with Chronicle Books on the Decorate Book Tour for the US and it’s all coming together now! I can’t believe they are sending me on a tour around the states so I’m going to visit as many places as I can in 10 days to meet lots of you! I’m traveling alone and feeling a bit shaky kneed about it but how many times in life does your publisher send you on a book tour!? So I’m going for it with a huge smile, my camera to record the entire adventure, and I can’t wait to meet you guys because it’s going to be so rad to hug so many that I’ve only tweeted and emailed up until now. I also plan to adopt some of you as dinner and lunch pals so I hope you don’t mind. After the official US book tour, I’ll return to the states to be a keynote speaker along with Oprah’s own Cristina Ferrare at The Creative Connection in St. Paul on September 15th (come if you can!) and I’ll be doing a book signing there on the 16th as well so if you can’t catch me on my little book tour this summer then I’ll be back in September in St. Paul!

So, You Want To Write a Book? (+ book tour update)

Once Chronicle has everything carved in stone (we’ve been working on this for months so it feels good to be nearly finished) I will announce the dates on decor8 and also on the Decorate Facebook fan page. And a huge by the way… I’d like to thank all of you for supporting Decorate, making it a Wall Street Journal Bestseller at #2, and for keeping it in the #1 spot since it pre-ordered back in early March on both and I mean, hello! This is some kind of wonderful. I know my publishers are still shaking their heads as I think they knew the book would do well but not “sell-out” well, because it sold out in the US online and the reprints won’t arrive until the beginning of June. It’s also being reprinted in the UK. Insane, right?!?

So, You Want To Write a Book? (+ book tour update)

Decorate – A Wall Street Journal Bestseller at #2 – because of YOU.

So now for the dreamers in the house who want to write… Well first, you have been so supportive of me and as a result, I feel invigorated and so positive — you guys have shown the world that a blogger can go from “just” a blogger to a best selling author thanks to readers who truly care to make that possible. I was told by a friend once that a publisher told her that the readership a blog has wouldn’t translate to book sales. I’ve been told that bloggers who write books can fail miserably and that people who blog may not have the skill to author a book because blogging is so much different from “real” writing. While all of that can be true, I refused to believe it. After all, I’m the girl back in 2005 who was pitching story ideas to shelter magazines about blogging and had them turn me down flat saying, “Blogs will never amount to anything, don’t bother.”

Well it looks like all of us who are blogging, the little engines who could, are the big engines who DID. And that sorta rocks when you think about it. We as the blogging community are out there voicing our opinions, planning events, being invited to big time events, being seen in major publications and on television, getting book deals… I guess the saying is true that, “if you build it they will come.” It’s wonderful to have so much faith in something and to stick through it (in good and in bad times) only to see that the something you invested so much of your energy in actually paid off – and for me and so many of you who are blogging, all of the time and energy we’re spending building so many important connections has paid off – immensely.


So, You Want To Write a Book? (+ book tour update)8 Page Spread about me and Decorate in Red magazine, UK.

I’ve heard some publishers and so many others say discouraging things about bloggers who want to write a “real” book and about the collapsing publishing market in general, that it would have been easy to not bother pursuing my dream to be a published author. Despite the negativity I decided that I would do it anyway because brick walls aren’t always there to stop us but to see how badly we truly want something, right? Plus, I had this feeling in my heart that it was the right direction for me to take and that if I jumped, the net would appear – and that net was you, so my new saying is,

“Jump and then the interNET will appear.”

I believe that like never before. I want you to believe it too.

And the result of going for it… Well, I wrote a book – yes that’s true – but YOU did the most important part, you bought it, are still buying it, and are showing so much support that I wake up each day feeling luckier than the day before. love you guys, thank you for making this whole book thing so worthwhile for me. I’ve had hundreds of blogs write about the book (see here) and 5 star reviews online at various stores, Decorate is being talked about in huge publications from InStyle, Canadian House & Home, Good Housekeeping to Livingetc and and 8 page spread in Red magazine (shown above).

Another unexpected perk, since the end of last year my daily readership has swelled to over 45,000 unique visitors each day. I cannot believe how many people are finding me through word-of-mouth online thanks to all of you in addition to the help of my fabulous publishers Jacqui Small/Aurum Press, Chronicle Books and Murdoch Books for sharing my book in advance at the big fairs and book events in New York and London. I’m so happy to welcome new readers to decor8.

Decorate is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life, outside of getting married, so thank you all for giving me some pretty amazing moments and for accepting my gift to you who follow decor8 as loyally as you despite the billions of other things you have to see and do online these days. Decorate is a gift from me that you can hold and enjoy for years to come and since you’ve accepted it with such enthusiasm and support then I’m ready to not only go out there and meet you guys but I think I’ll continue to write and blog and think of even new things to get involved in to inspire and encourage you — because I love knowing that something I’ve done is out there making a difference, making you feel inspired and making you feel part of this community of design blogging because you are – we are all a part of it and it’s so, so special. I will forever remember this “blog era” as some of the best days of my life.

So in the end, I want you to believe in your dreams because sometimes good stuff can and does happen and you often have to just believe in your dream and act on it and see what results. Sure, it’s a risk but I believe that the greater risk is to not try at all and to never know if your dream could have come true.

What do you think?

I’ll be back in a moment with a gorgeous home with a country modern touch, so stay tuned..

[images: holly becker (top), wsj (middle), red magazine (bottom).]


  • Reply Andreia May 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    well Holly, mine has just arrived and I’m loving it! Must write my review + post about it, as soon as I can!

    • Reply decor8 May 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      @Andreia – Well thank you, how nice. :)

  • Reply Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Congratulations on being published, and on pursuing your dreams and not taking no for an answer or listening to the naysayers, i.e.publishing is a collapsing industry, etc…good for you for following your heart and pursuing your passion!!

    I just posted yesterday that photography + writing + food/recipes WILL have a place in my career and I am following my heart and dreams too :)

    • Reply decor8 May 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      @Averie – GOOD for you, go for it, I can’t wait to see how well you do!

  • Reply elisa May 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    thank you for the vote of confidence, holly. it’s been thrilling to watch your success! it heartens me to see the blogging world supporting books being published. i love that, just as i love the cinema just as much as ever, though it is a delight to buy a film online and watch it in bed! x

  • Reply Nadine May 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Dear Holly,
    I´m in London for the weekend and I´m so looking forward buying your book (hope they have at least one for me in stock :)). Congratulations to your wonderful success!


    • Reply decor8 May 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      @Nadine – Hello honey!!! Have fun in London! You can find the book at Selfridges and Anthropologie – Anthro has signed copies. :)

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente May 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I think that this is exactly what I needed to hear today….as I CONSTANTLY struggle with what I am doing & if it is worth it for me. So, thank you for the inspiration Holly…. each time I read something about your book, how much it means to you & how well it is doing; it makes me smile and feel so genuinely happy for you I could jump for joy. :) So, thank you for being so generous with your experience and including all of us in your lovely journey. You are the best…

  • Reply meenal @ maison marigold May 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    that is a whole lot of really wonderful news..all the accolades are so well deserved!! many congratulations once again, are ever so inspiring..xx meenal

  • Reply Shay May 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    First off, I love reading your blog every morning (since 2006 ) you have been a true inspiration ! You are the friend I always wished for, without the drama… LOL , Always giving and positive, inspiring and informative. I hope to meet you somewhere on the US book tour.
    Secondly, Your book Decorate is the best book on design I have ever read.
    It should be on the best seller list !!!
    All the best and Thank YOU!!!

  • Reply Kajsa May 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks to my blog I was contacted by a publisher in the US (I live in Finland) who wanted to know if I was interested in writing a book for them. I was and I did! Scandinavian stitches was published in October and I am now writing the proposal for next book. When I first started blogging it felt awkward to talk about my blog with people irl. Today I feel proud of having built a career in my own way and get so much positive feedback. I am very happy that lovely and brave people like you are leading the way! And of course I’ve got your book!

    • Reply decor8 May 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      @Kajsa – I have your book and love it. :) Thank you for leaving your comment – how nice of you to stop by but also to share your story. It’s very inspiring!

  • Reply Fatou May 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Holly!
    Congrats again! I got my copy of the book and it is lovely! I haven’t delved into it as much as I want yet…I’m a busy mom of two lovely girls. I’m an interior design student as well, and sometimes I feel a little discouraged about how long its going to take me to get to my dream. Visiting your blog is always a joy and inspirational. I really love this posting, dreams do come true, you just have to persevere and never give up. If you want it bad enough, and work hard you’ll get there. Thanks for always sharing your inspirational stories!

  • Reply Deirdre May 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Such a sweet post, Miss Holly. You certainly deserve all of the wonderful things that have been, and still are, coming your way. You deserve every bit.
    I can’t wait for your US tour. Still keeping my fingers crossed that you might find yourself in Ohio territory…but, I won’t hold my breath! If I need to travel to have my book signed, then so be it. It’s simply another good excuse for a road trip!
    Much love, and congratulations,

  • Reply Emily@theNest May 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Holly, well deserved: every sale, and accolade! Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy!! You are truly inspiring, and I’m so glad you are receiving all that fantastic energy! XX

  • Reply Mary Middleton Design May 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Holly you are a huge inspiration to us all. I was so glad to meet you at Liberty in London and am in no way surprised by what a hit you have been. Keep smiling and keep doing what you do – ’cause its awsome!

  • Reply Lisa May 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Holly! I love hearing stories like yours and I am so very happy for you! Hoping that you get to come to Austin, TX so that I can get my copy of the book autographed! I’ve shown it to so many people, just love it so much.

    Hugs! :)

  • Reply Alexis May 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm


    Thanks for the publishing info. here. I have several book topics I could do. And if you come to CT, go to bookseller RJ Julia. I’ll buy you tea. Alexis

  • Reply bonitarose May 25, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I so agree with you. I began blogging when blogging was just starting to be recognized. Ppl thought I was crazy for writing an online diary of sorts.. there are some in my circle that still don’t understand why I put myself out there, why do i write? why do i share my life online? They think it’s crazy. I’ve always wanted to tell my story in book form. To be a published author to go to the bookstore and see my name on a book, and a bestseller? that’s a huge dream.. huge, just as it was for you. I read your post and it gives me hope. I’ve just suffered a horrific blow and been emotionally and verbally abused as of late, and I would like nothing more to write my story and share my triumphs, my challenges my life with the world. I know it’s a tough business.. and i know it’s all about connections and the ppl we meet ,both in person and online. U are a shining light to me during right now, for me.. a dark time in my life. You make a difference and you give me hope that I too, one day can tell my story as you have and share my voice with the world. xo bonitarose in fargo nd

  • Reply Jana @ the Summer House May 25, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Congratulations sweet girl. I recently found your blog and I hope you stop by my neighborhood on your book tour! Fun!!!

  • Reply Heather @ Post Road May 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Congrats on the book! But most of all kudos for having a plan and sticking with it! To have the confidence in yourself to shine.. now that is a lesson we can all take home!!

  • Reply Kat May 26, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I loved seeing that feature in Red mag here in the Uk. Such a treat to see you get great publicity. I don’t think we realised as readers what leaps of faith you took in doing Decorate the book & how much you had to believe in it and yourself in the process. So this post was very insightful and helpful with regards to my own dreams.
    There’s a spiritual saying “when we are ready the teacher appears” And I think too “when we believe in our talents the opportunities appear.” Whether large scale like Decorate or small things, every creation is about believing that what we have to share is of value to someone. In your case many many people Holly :)
    Love Kat xox

  • Reply Victoria Hudgins May 26, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Your next book should be encouragement focused. You are so good at doing that! Thanks fro cheering us on… even from afar

  • Reply Jessie May 26, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Holly, I’m so looking forward to meeting you at the Creative Connection event. I have so much praise to bestow upon you that it will be best done in person! I might have to drag my copy Decorate along too for an autograph :)

    • Reply decor8 May 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      @Jessie – YES bring your copy so I can sign it. :) :) xo

  • Reply Sarah May 26, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I’ve ordered my copy and it will soon arrive in the mail. I can’t wait to flick through! THANK-YOU for all your inspiration.

  • Reply Heather May 26, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Congrats Holly! I’m looking forward to seeing your book…it looks great!
    On publishing…my sister has a series of children’s books she’s written and illustrated. She started over 10 years ago before blogs became such a great vehicle for developing a readership. All I can say, if anyone wants to write/illustrate a book is KEEP TRYING and do your research to find a publisher compatible w/ your idea. My sister must have sent proposals to over 40 companies…she ended up w/ a book deal with a small regional publisher that led to a bigger publisher, and her second book was on the bestseller list of the Boston Globe for weeks. She now has over 15 books published! (Of course, she’s immensely talented, so that helps!) Good luck everyone!

  • Reply Jen May 26, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Dear Holly,

    This was such a sweet inspiring post! You continuously show such beautiful gratitude for the things you create… and I always, always leave decor8 feeling as if I’ve been uplifted and inspired. Now you’ve done that in book form and it’s just as lovely!

    Thank you so much for sharing your vision with us everyday!!

    All the best,


    ps- I hope Chronicle sends you to Florida!

  • Reply fenny setiawan May 26, 2011 at 9:19 am

    You are someone that always inspired and uplift my spirit. By reading your post everyday I feel very inspired. By reading once in a while your personal story sharing I really feel motivated. Thank you Holly.

    I will be in LA this coming July follow my hubby for conference, it will be my first trip to US and I am dreaming if you were be in LA I will for sure come and see you at your book launching. I am far here at Malaysia and always hopping someday I can meet you in person :)

    • Reply decor8 May 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      @Fenny – I would love that!

  • Reply Ashley May 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Dearest Holly,
    Thanks for sharing so sincerely on the journey to being published. I’ve been reading your blog for 2 years now and it’s always been an inspiration. Congratulations on the success of the book! I’m looking forward to reading lots more of about decorating and making things beautifuL!

  • Reply Steph Bond Hutkin (Bondville) May 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Oh you are such an inspiration for us all Holly. Well done to you; just thrilling. Did you ever imagine seeing your name in the WSJ up there with Billy Bryson and Barbara Streisand?!??! I mean, come on!!! So happy for you :) xxx

  • Reply Rita May 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Dear Holly,
    I was indecisive about whether or not to buy your book, but the article on Red magazine made up my mind. I’ve just ordered Decorate from Amazon!

    • Reply decor8 May 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      @Rita – Yeah!!! :) That’s terrific, you’ll be happy you did — don’t worry….

  • Reply April {iam_artisan} May 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    You are truly an inspiration Holly… When I was in your class, I really learned a lot and it helped me see clearly what I wanted to do and write about. I always come back to our topics just so to be enlighten again… Blogging has been my outlet from stress and you gave more meaning to it…. Now, I just can’t imagine how many more you can inspire with your book… I just can’t wait to get my hands on your book, still waiting for the local bookstore to have stocks of it.

  • Reply Seth May 27, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Congratulations Holly. A well deserved success and such an inspiring and beautifully written post!

  • Reply Shell May 27, 2011 at 1:17 am

    A great post, Holly. You have to follow your dream, ignore the naysayers and take a leap of faith. Which you did beautifully!!! I love hearing Dreams come true, it gives other people hope.

  • Reply Karlita May 27, 2011 at 7:37 am

    HOlly, you are such a wonderful person, your words made me cry, I don’t know why! haha but you have the great ability to transmit your thoughts and feelings! Congratulations for your effort, your perseverance, your gratitude, your inspiration! Would like to hear about your upcoming projects!! xoxo

    • Reply decor8 May 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

      @Karlita – Thank you, that is very sweet. I appreciate your comment and for stopping by. :)

  • Reply debbie May 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I find that blogging bring 2 strong emotions. One that delights me&makes me smile because I love it so much & the other of self-motivation and recognition. its very hard to keep going and want to achieve a dream when there are so many other brilliant people. You cant help but some days feel like an ant drowning in a lake never mind a needle in a hay stack. But you know Holly, im getting stronger&have enjoyed every minute as it grows a person, the challenge encourages growth and recognition of who you really are inside. i love that.

  • Reply Decor Arts Now May 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    It is so wonderful how everything has worked out for you.!
    I share a similar dream, and really hope to make it a reality like you did.
    BTW, can’t wait for my Decorate to arrive.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply Julie Hayman May 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    What better time to stop lurking than today? Congrats on the huge success of your book. It’s really no surprise. : ) Your taste is amazing and your writing is friendly and accessible. What more could we ask for as readers?

  • Reply Rosa May 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Dear Holly,

    What a lovely words again, I’m reading your post in the train to Amsterdam and I get tears in my eyes because it’s moving what you say! And it inspires me to keep going on with my dream! Thank you…

  • Reply emily May 30, 2011 at 4:01 am

    you are fabulous! i’ve been reading decor8 from my little computer screen in australia for about two and a half years now and love it more and more each time i get the chance to have a look (harder now with an 8 month old baby!). I bought your (perfect!) book about a month ago from my local bookstore and it’s amazing. what a special and talented woman you are. as silly as it sounds, you’re one of my biggest idols. thank you! emily xox

    • Reply decor8 May 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

      @Emily – Thank you, that is so sweet to say. I am happy that me over here in Germany inspires you over there in Australia. Aren’t you happy the internet puts us in touch with so many like-minded friends? Such an honor to know you Emily. Thank you for dropping by!

  • Reply Serena {Pretty Fluffy} May 30, 2011 at 6:17 am

    Dear Holly – no need to thank us, thank YOU for your wonderful blog and even more so thank you for your inspiring words and your generous spirit. I truly believe that your success will continue to grow because you keep on giving so much back to everyone else. There are so many kind, wonderful and generous people in the blogging world, but you really are a standout in inspiring so many people to achieve more in the blogging community and beyond. You deserve every happiness! :)

    • Reply decor8 May 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

      @Serena – Your words really made my day, Thank you so much…

  • Reply TJ May 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Holly, thank you for this post! I’m here in Germany too and I had no idea about The Creative Connection conference. I lived in the twin cities for 10 years before Deutschland, so now I’m going to try coordinate being “home” in order to get to the St. Paul Crowne Plaza!! It’s totally crazy.

    I’m so happy for you with all your book success and your upcoming tour. You’re an amazing inspiration. Best wishes from Ochsenfurt, tj

  • Reply TJ May 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    PS – I’m sorry about that link in there. I allowed a blogger to use some images from my German “Hang Haus” tour on her Sunday Spaces feature and now strange things are happening when I am commenting out here. I’m embarrassed! I don’t know anything about comLuv or what that even is (groan). Please excuse that!! Liebe gruesse aus Ochsenfurt, tj

  • Reply Shannon Fricke June 1, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I love this story – as it reminds me of my experience when I was trying to get my books published. Back in 2004 – here in Australia – interior decorating books published in Australia, by Australians was unheard of. There weren’t many (if any) around – and us Australian decorator devotees would have to survive on imports (few and far between I must say) from the US and UK. I approached many publishers in Australia with my book proposal – to hear a resound NO, NO, NO from them all. There just wasn’t the belief that Australians were interested in reading decorating books, let alone, decorating books that were written and photographed in Australia. I really didn’t ever think that I anyone would be interested in publishing my book idea after having so many doors close in this way. Just when I was about to give up, I was approached by the only Australian publisher (Murdoch Books) who could see value in the genre at that time and who hadn’t been approached by my then, literary agent. They believed there was room in the market for an Australian written and photographed interiors book – and with that, my dream of writing a book was realized. The books sold well here and have been translated into five languages! Three books and a few years later, the interior decorating genre is alive and kicking in this country (and the world) with so many gorgeous Australian interior decorating books being sold globally… I put the success of the books down to good luck, good timing and never giving up on the dream. And with that, I’m in the throes of writing my fourth book on the subject. Thank goodness for a few visionary people who value the home and understand the power that a thoughtfully decorated space can give to our spirits and our souls…

  • Reply Betty Riordan October 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    This is a wonderful blog about launching your book. I wrote a children’s history book and was published in the fall of 2008. I’m continuing gathering ideas. I am very insecure about it being my first book. It is a 12 chapter book of historical moments in a fantasy genre for children ages 7-11 years of age. I want so much to learn to not be so insecure about it being my first book. I have had 1 book signing at my home with family and friends and had 50 people in attendance for it. I had been an event planner for over 15 years and was very comfortable about being around the public. But, somehow this is a stumbling block for me. I’m working on my next children’s book about The Presidents and First Ladies. I’m grateful for the tips you have shared on your blog. Thank you.

  • Reply R. Joyce January 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration. I recently started my blog. Inspiration like this keeps me going, even when it seems like I will never reach my goals Dare to dream

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