From Blog to Book: Moon over Martinborough

We’re thrilled to hear how writers on have made their publishing dreams come true. This summer, Jared Gulian snagged a book deal with Random House New Zealand for material based on his blog, Moon over Martinborough.

Over at, we talked to Jared about the process of transforming his blog into a book, building an audience using his blog, and getting the most out of the features and community at

Take a peek:

How did your book contract come about?

Blogging has helped me to learn that I don’t need to take myself so seriously — in writing as well as in life.

It started with my blog, which is about life on our tiny olive farm. My partner and I are both American city boys, and somehow we ended up living in rural New Zealand with an olive grove. I wanted to write about it, so I created a blog on in 2009.

The blog became popular and won some awards, and a regional magazine, Wairarapa Lifestyle Magazine, started publishing my posts. Eventually, it attracted national media, including Radio New Zealand and the Dominion Post. Visitors on my blog started asking where they could buy our olive oil. Although we’d never planned to have our own brand, due to the overwhelming demand we decided to launch a line of our own artisan extra virgin olive oil. We named the olive oil after my blog, Moon over Martinborough. . . .

Read the rest of Jared’s interview at

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  1. Congrats! I created a book using some of my own blog posts and invited other women bloggers I’d met through blogging to submit some posts. The result is “Tangerine Tango: Women Writers Share Slices of Life.” Published at the end of September, all proceeds will be donated to fight the genetic, neurological disorder, Huntington’s Disease. Love for you to to check it out! It was great fun working with the other bloggers and for many it’s a chance for them to appear as writers contributing to a ‘real’ book.


  2. This is so exciting and I’m so very happy for you. I have put my book aside to blog as well, but have brought it back out again. You are an inspiration. Congratulations! I look forward to reading it and I love the olive oil packaging. Many more successes to you!


  3. Thank you so much! This is very helpful. I just started writing my book today, after three months of blogging. As I had hoped, the blogging got my creative gears “unstuck” and as Jared says, it’s helping me take myself less seriously. My blog gave me the courage to write, “Chapter One.” Good luck, Jared – very encouraging and inspirting


  4. Congratulations to all authors! You are indeed an inspiration! I’ve blogged about creating eBooks using Smashwords and Kindle over at Using Createspace, it is also possible to create print versions of your books too. So many options – so little time!


  5. I wanted to be a writer until about 12 years. But there were no blogs then. Then I stopped wanting to be a writer. And blogs flooded the web. And then I thought, don’t take it seriously, start a blog. It can’t be serious. And now I see it’s getting just that. Serious. So, not to take myself seriously is, perhaps, the advice of the year! )


  6. I think the most remarkable blog-to-book story I’ve seen is iwrotethisforyou. A two-man photographer and writer team, they blogged for years and accumulated subscribers. From time to time, readers would write comments like, “Please publish.” and they always responded, “In time.” Then they hit 5000 subscribers, then they announced they are coming out with iwrotethisforyou in print. And within a week of release they were number one in Amazon. I walk around my city and there are random quotes from the book flying around and written on the most unexpected places, as part of their promo where you share your favorite passage from the blog in a public place, take a picture and blog it, and you get a free copy of the book if they like you. That’s massive advertising. And I live halfway across the world from these guys.


  7. This couldn’t get any more inspirational. I love that he was able to become so successful by writing about what he loves <3. Made my day.


  8. I love this Blog thing; I don’t get yelled at for spelling a word wrong or not putting the punctuation where it should be, the book from the blog…great idea! I am on my 2ed one. However, had to use an editor to make everything “Politically Correct” The most important part of all this is it opened up a part of me to reach into my heart and at times by-pass the head. Even if no one reads my sometimes crazy thoughts, it helps me to get to what this “LIFE” thing is all about!


  9. Great work, really inspiring stuff and thank you for sharing. I wrote an entry in my blog a while back called Moon Over Marrakesh, but it was pure coincidence!


  10. I have just started a blog using this pen name to try all sorts of things to see if I can find my muse. If I use my real name I will be limited by the constraints of my day to day existence. Fly free! I don’t have a goal to publish at this stage but your blog and the comments made will spur me on…and give me some links to blogs I would like to follow.