Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wife in the Money

Wife in the North has only been blogging for a few weeks, but she's already got a £70,000 book deal. And it's front page news HERE in the Sunday Times.
Last week, after whirlwind approaches from an agent and a publisher, she
[Judith O'Reilly] signed a deal to turn the blog, which has become a
surprise hit in Britain and America, into a book to be published by Viking
Penguin. Her publisher believes the theme of a former career woman following a
dream to bring up a young family in rural surroundings will tap into the
zeitgeist of the postBridget Jones generation. O’Reilly’s wry, poignant
descriptions of her life have met sudden success because of stylish writing and
the power of having the right connections in cyberspace. Like the pop singer
Lily Allen, who came to prominence through her site on MySpace, O’Reilly found
an audience on the internet before breaking into the traditional media. “It’s
amazing, it’s all happened so fast,” said O’Reilly, who had not had any paid
work for months after moving north from London. In mid-January her blog was
mentioned on the website of Tom Watson, the MP and regular blogger, whom she had asked for advice. The next day Iain Dale, the political commentator and another
prolific blogger, linked Wife in the North on his site. That in turn led Andrew
Sullivan, the American writer and Sunday Times columnist, to note its quality.
US readers soon logged on in droves. Within days Patrick Walsh, a British
literary agent and publisher, had seen the potential and began working on a
deal. “I’ve done other blogs,” said Walsh, “but what’s so refreshing is that it
isn’t about sex or celebrity; it’s wry, humorous and honest.” O’Reilly, 42, left
her previous job as education correspondent of The Sunday Times and moved to
Northumberland because her husband Alastair loved the area and wanted to bring
up their family away from east London.

Well it's nice to have played a small part in Judith's success. Now, where are all those literary agents beating a path to my door? Silence...

UPDATE: The Sunday Times leader article is also about blogging. Read it HERE. I don't think I have been mentioned in an editorial before!


Anonymous said...

What a suprise I wouldn't have guessed it ,fancy getting a book deal ,check out what people have already said about this story in you archive's and I think you will find book's were mentioned and don't acted suprised Iain.

Guido 2.0 said...

I don't think I have been mentioned in an editorial before!

Keep it up... you'll get there with winning moves like this.

jailhouselawyer said...

I am not surprised that she has been snapped up by a literary agent and publisher. I checked the site out after you mentioned it, and found it a breath of fresh air as opposed to the shit emanating from the likes of The Hitch. I suspect it will eventually be made into a film. Even though it is clearly a different style of blog compared to Guido's, I am glad that she has stolen the show.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how long it will be until verity shows up with an apposite comment or three

Anonymous said...

Hmm...I still think they are missing a trick with 'Winchester Whisperer', but then she is rather erudite for the 'masses'..the old adage about no one going bankrupt underestimating the taste of the public is very true in publishing.

p.s. we still love you Iain !

The Daily Pundit said...

The blogosphere moves in mysterious ways.

Anonymous said...

It must be really difficult to get a book deal if you have Iain Dale as a fan and you used to work as an education reporter for the Sunday Times.

And having worked for the Sunday Times must have had no impact upon this smallest of small stories appearing on the front page of the main 'quality' sunday newspaper!!!

Anonymous said...

Godamnit, you've had us linked for at least 12 hours and I haven't heard from a single publishing house.

I'm going to check my spambox.

Bryan Appleyard said...

I can do this stuff:

Little Black Sambo said...

Wry wry wry.

Anonymous said...

Wry, spry, dry

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Call me cynical but I smell a rate...sort of like Sandi Tong and Lilly Allen.

Anonymous said...

Sigh, why, why, why?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:05 a.m. - Well, I would have raced in earlier, but my post didn't get posted. Iain said the Comments on Blogger hadn't been dependable today.

Doubtless you recall my mentioning from Day One that the lady was obviously trying to parlay her very ordinary life into a book or TV series. It was obvious to everyone except good-natured,trusting Iain that, "coping" with "wry humour", with those strange surroundings and weird humans in the north, she felt her unexceptional life merited a wider audience.

I think she may find she is mistaken. For a start, I have a feeling that all the other millions of wives in the north, for example, may fail to see the manufactured exasperation and "wry humour" she describes at having to share their geography and park next to them at Tesco.

What a horrible snob the woman is.

wife in the north said...

Hi I have to say that one of the best things about today were the e-mails I had from other mothers offering me haggis balls for the book launch and chocolate chip cookies the next time I am feeling blue. That is worth more than any publisher's cheque.(They are really good haggis balls.)
In any event, I am contemplating handing over the book deal to Brian Appleyard because he does me better than I do.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Verity. You said it all for me.

Newmania said...

I have also recieved considerable wife in the North correspondence. I think she`s quite good but it is all a bit arch and she really is a god awful snob

Still her book can hardly be worse than the Rachle drivel which many alare alrady bracing themselves to ignore.

Could anything be worse,and she will not mend her ways vby disappearing to a small uninhabited island . I can think of many of just the right size.

Anonymous said...

Oh a book deal. How wonderful. Must offer my congratulations. 70k sounds a bit measly though... How much did Plunkett get for writing that unreadable rubbish? Is this sex discrim by publishers?

We should be told.

Anonymous said...

I loved her witty well-written blog up to now but that was before I realised she's a friend of Tom Watson.

Sir-C4' said...

Good for her, now if only I could get a deal for my autobiography "Defiant Against All Odds" and my series of action-adventure-supranatural pro-wrestling sagas...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yes, Newmania. Arch and knowing. Not to say patronising.

Anonymous said...

Tim Worstall tells how fast it all happened. Absolutely miraculous. Umm. Could it have been the other way round? You know, first a chat with a publisher about a book of a blog as her other free-lance work is supposedly drying up and then writing a blog? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Helen - gosh, what a suspicious mind you have! Your theory sounds about right. "Let's run it up the blogpole and see if anyone salutes".

I don't know that the pensées of one more middle class housewife who thinks her life is of wider interest will catch the public imagination, although other Home Counties middle class housewives who also think the north is a dangerous, rather comical foreign country might buy it. No one bought David Blunkett's book. No one bought Cherie Blair's book about living in Downing St.