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

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!

Gee lilacs are pretty

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 Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. 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?!?

Decorate #2: Wall Street Journal Bestseller List!

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.

 

8 Pages in Red magazine!!! 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).]

Posted in Books + Magazines on May 25, 2011

5 Artists That You Should Check Out

Hello and happy Friday! Earlier today I posted a book review on Real Simple for Pulled, A Catalog of Screen Printing by Mike Perry so feel free to hop over there and read it… but this post isn’t a repeat of that, rather it’s to meant to share 5 of the 40+ artists in Perry’s book that I really liked. We each have our own definition of what beauty is so something I love may not be your personal favorite but at least check these creative folks out below and see what you think. In fact, I’d love to really see what you think – so if any of these artists click with you, let me know and tell me why. Okay, let’s get started! :)

First up is Ashkahn Shahparnia – his work is bold, colorful and awesome and I love his shop. And yes, that is an illustration of blogger Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan who founded the web’s first, largest and most popular design blog, Apartment Therapy that all other design bloggers sorta laud as the god of blogging. That snazzy illustration appeared in ReadyMade magazine who just so happens to always have the best illustrations, don’t you think?

Next is Brooklyn’s own Jim Datz, I love his city posters. Great stuff. The London one is funny, spiffy, and I like the colors. I also love the little black cab with the man riding in the back reading his newspaper (an actual newspaper, remember those?) with his giant mustache. I’m happy to see the mouth of the cab driver completely shut because most cabbies I’ve had in the past several months wouldn’t stop talking about god, politics, religion and terrorism. Yeah, I always seem to get the best cab drivers (not). At least this little guy with the fancy stache can read his paper in peace.

Rachel Domm, whom you may know from some of her awesome work for jumbo clients like J.Crew is also in Perry’s new book. She has a store, too. I like that subtle pink Forever & Ever poster.

Next up is Andrew Holder and really, what’s not to love about his work? So strong and clean. Peacocks, bear, deer, raindrops, pine trees. He does them all so very well and his color mixes are phenomenal. Swoon.

And last, but not least because Perry’s book has tons more artists to browse, is Hannah Waldron. She has a bigcartel store too. I like her work because it’s intricate while feeling casual and that’s hard to pull off. I can’t explain what it is but I love the Rain Day poster. It’s sweet but I’m not really sure what it’s all about. When I first saw it I thought it was like another way to say Sick Day, like a Rain Day would be a day when you are just blue and not really ill, sorta depressed and sad and needing a warm bed, a hug and a vodka martini. :) I  really don’t know what a Rain Day is, do you? But I like the swirly letters, the color, the spacing and just the vibe those two little words put off.

Also in this book is the work of Steven Harrington (not shown above) who I think is pretty darn special. I own a limited edition print of his, two actually, and really like the colors and shapes he uses. I love the work he did for Target – I’m so inspired by this video. Can you imagine being an artist and seeing your work displayed like that?

Do you have any favorites from the PULLED book?

(images: linked to their sources above.)

 

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines on May 20, 2011

Inspired By StyleCookie

When Anke and Sanne, two stylists and a photographers from The Netherlands, wrote to me about StyleCookie I knew I had to share their new e-zine with you. They launched StyleCookie (yes it is also one word, it is considered trendy in the Netherlands and Germany to combine two English words into one it seems) as an inspiring space online in the form of an e-zine and a blog about decoration and inspiring products for the home that changes biweekly.

StyleCookie

Their latest theme is Paper, in Dutch it’s called “Papier en Vliegwerk”. Since mother’s day is coming up, they created a delightful mother and daughter theme woven into their 8 pages to inspire women everywhere. They have lots of products made from paper and also some DIY decoration ideas to make at home. Here are some images that Anke and Sanne sent to me to share on decor8, I hope that you feel inspired after seeing them and that you check out their site for more beautiful things to feast on.

StyleCookie

StyleCookie

StyleCookie

StyleCookie

StyleCookie

Don’t you just love the Dutch! I do, I’m such a fan of everything they do with interiors – products, displays, books, magazines, all of it is amazing. I’m constantly in awe by their eye and talent for thinking out of the box. I remember when I attended Dutch Design Week in 2006 on assignment for Domino magazine, it was my first time at the Design Academy Eindhoven and I was completely blown away by the talent. I remember walking through the exhibit halls looking at the products each student designed feeling absolutely stunned by everything. I remember talking to a student who said that the current goal of young Dutch designers was to reinterpret “grandmother’s things” into modern wares for modern times without losing their sense of place and culture. You really can see this as a theme in many designs coming out of The Netherlands and I love it. The nod to history is respectful, but the need to update is vital.

I’ll be back on Monday, so have a lovely weekend friends and meet me back here then for another week of decor8ing fun!
Also, a big thanks to InStyle magazine (US) for the very special mention about me and my new book. I really appreciate the huge press love! :)

(images: stylecookie)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 29, 2011

Matthew Mead Summer Issue

Hello lovely friends, I’m on a roll with posts today so you’ll have to forgive me… :) I thought that since I am a contributor to the Matthew Mead Summer Issue that I’d help him spread the word and yes, I know that I already shared a huge sneak peek of the issue with you already (here)… But because I’ve already seen the entire spread of stories and noticed that everything is so nicely done that I think you may enjoy a few more glimpses of what he has in store for you with his second issue. As I told you already, Leslie Shewring and I teamed up to produce a 3 page story about creativity that you will find in this issue which is quite a delight for us to have our first collaboration in print. We hope that you like our story!

matthew mead mag

To purchase Matthew Mead Summer, please click here.

Congrats Matthew to another winning issue!

(image: matthew mead)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 29, 2011

Books:

Available now on Amazon

Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)