WordPress.com Blogger Scores Book Deal for “You Are Not So Smart”

According to David McRaney, “You may think that you’re a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is. But you’re as deluded as the rest of us, and that’s OK, because it keeps you sane.”

David is a journalist and the creator of the WordPress.com blog You Are Not So Smart, which was recently expanded into a book, You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself, published this October.

“This is an amazing and revolutionary time for writers,” David says. “The barriers to entry are so low, and the platforms like WordPress.com are so well made, anyone with a voice can start shouting and be heard. Instead of writing a book and hoping a publisher won’t throw it into the slush pile, writers can start a blog and build a fan base. They can prove to publishers there is a market for their work and their voice.”

About the Book

“You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self delusion. One topic at a time, it explores how silly and irrational we all are through the lens of fascinating psychological studies,” David says. “For example, you may think that you see everything going on before your eyes, but you are only aware of a small amount of the total information your eyes take in, and even less is processed by your conscious mind and remembered.”

Ironically, a bout of irrational thinking is exactly what helped David to land the book deal:

“I got into a heated online argument with two friends over which was better, the PS3 or the Xbox 360. The argument went on for days, and I think we all crossed the line, insulting each other and getting legitimately angry – and we’re friends in real life!

I thought it would make a great blog post, so I researched why I was so brand loyal and silly. That became my post on brand loyalty and fanboyism, which I published that post at about the same time an iPhone prototype was stolen. With the buzz around fanboyism at an all-time high, someone at Gizmodo saw my post and asked if they could republish it with links back. I agreed, and all of a sudden my hits went through the roof. I kept writing and posting and soon emails arrived from the publishing world asking if I was interested in turning the blog into a book. I said hell yes.”

Learn more about David and You Are Not So Smart by checking out our interview with the author.

Congratulations on your new book, David!


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Erica

137 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Makeup Dr. Shari

    It’s so wonderful that someone who is writing about something they feel passionate about led to bigger and better things. Good for him!

  2. Sarahsomewhere

    Good on you, original idea, look forward to reading anything that opens my mind. Good luck!

  3. doctorwhofan98

    That’s brilliant! Congratulations!

  4. নিশাচর

    Great !!

  5. Mos Jones

    This is an awesome story that inspires me to keep blogging and keep working.

  6. Natasha McNeely

    That is amazing! Congratulations!

  7. Mikalee Byerman

    Incredibly inspiring! I know many of us are armchair authors (just waiting to be discovered…myself included). Way to show how a good blog can turn into a future bestseller!

    Now if anyone knows anyone wanting to publish a sarcastic, fun divorce memoir, please send them to my blog! ;)

    And congrats, David!

  8. shaveart

    I am an Artist Writer and thrilled to be with WordPress and shouting at the world all about my art and my life! Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and comments on my work! I think we are all pretty smart just to be here!

  9. msane14

    This is an inspiring story indeed.

  10. Island Heat Products

    :-)

  11. fahrusha

    Congratulations to this blogger! I hope that more authors get recognized and published. Thanks WordPress!

  12. Jan Hamlett

    Congratulations! This is encouraging news.

  13. Joanna

    How interesting. I’ll have too add this to my list of books to read! Thanks!

  14. World View de Mama

    Congratulations on your book deal and for your blogging sucess.

  15. shane peltzer

    That is a great thing to share with all! :D

  16. Fraha

    That is awesome! Congratulations! Hopefully your friendships are still in tact though ;) I guess certain people are placed in our lives for a reason..so maybe these friends were placed in your life for that exact argument that led to greater things..Good luck!

  17. garlicfriesandbaseball

    It’s great to see fellow bloggers having success in the very tough book publishing market. I hope this becomes a ground-breaker for the rest of us who are struggling to crack the elitist industry of “previous published authors”.

  18. treacycolbert

    Wonderful! Congratulations! Will look forward to reading this book.

  19. cuhome

    BIG CONGRATULATIONS !!!!

  20. christopherreel

    Only if we all were so lucky. Congratulation

  21. Rebecca MacKinnon

    Thanks for sharing! By the way I’ve built the website for my forthcoming book on WordPress.com and it’s working really well for me. http://consentofthenetworked.com. I love WordPress.

  22. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Congratulations!

  23. LadyJsVoice

    That’s Great! :) Congrats on your book deal and your blogging success.

  24. dturney

    What wonderful news! The book sounds interesting. Bet its sprinkled with welcomed humor!

  25. DatabaseBen

    I find the story interesting. However, I am unclear as to how WordPress is a viable method to launch book deals. As i understand the scenario, the information being used for the book was and is still freely available on the authors WordPress Blog. So, how can any books be sold for profit if the information is available for free? So is the author going to shut down the blog and direct visitors to the online bookstore?

    • garlicfriesandbaseball

      This reminds me of “Julie and Julia” which was made into a movie from Julie’s blogs. The blogs continue to get an amazing amount of hits. Whether or not it was made into a book I’m not aware. I had my blog converted to a book and it’s not selling well. Whether or not it’s related to the blog or whether they can read it for free I don’t know, Maybe it’s just not a good book, though I’m getting some good reviews. Either way you raise some valid concerns.

  26. World of Elegance

    Great publication, dear Erica! We hope to be able to purchase and enjoy that new book here in South America an Brazil! Greetings to you!

  27. wordsfallfrommyeyes

    That’s just fantastic!!! :) I am very happy for you, and inspired because my blog is chapter by chapter from day one. I don’t know how you got a publisher’s attention though – I’d love to know that, if you have time. But I agree with you the barriers are lowered, to being seen by publishers/realised that you are worthy of words… by your fan base.

    Just huge congrats :)

  28. wordsfallfrommyeyes

    Oops! I just read the blue shaded paragraph! That’s how it happened. Bloody fantastic! :) AND OOPS # 2 I just read the words above ‘please do not use these comments for asking questions…” So forget all my comment & reduce it to….

    congrats!

  29. speakofmarriage

    Fantastic! Loved the incredibly stupid ways we, not so smart folks, land the most respectable jobs! (I’m waiting for my real dumb-luck moment! Hey, that’s how she married me.) :-). Congrats!

  30. michaelbellor

    Nice job. Hopefully more books will come from later blog posts.

  31. orples

    Congrats on your book David. I just launched a children’s book myself, which I hope will take off with flying colors. I look forward to checking your book out when time and money allow . . . it looks like something I’d really enjoy. Good Luck!

  32. realbear

    You have admirable talent for writing, and backing up your statements with sources of information. Keep the words flowing. America needs to see and hear the fire crackling in your belly!

  33. claudiajustsaying

    Congratulations, I feel happy for you. I’m new to blogging, and a writer that WordPress has given wings.

  34. nerodian

    ok iam lovin this humor me with this keep up the good work

  35. lyndanielson

    Erica, you are so smart! Congratulations to you.
    You’ve helped me to “rethink” my blog, thanks!
    Lyn

  36. skipper12383

    Congratulations!

  37. vietiep

    I cant understand it although I like it!

  38. Jerry V. Dollar, Author, Humorist, Observer of the Human Condition

    Congratulations, that is fantastic news!

    I share your experience, having transformed my WordPress blog “Authorisinthehouse” into the book, “A Dollar’s Worth; Around the World in Eighty Blogs!” I self-published on Lulu, but the book is available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and IPad.

    Keep up the great work!

    Jerry

  39. joshuadavid1121

    Congrats David,

    To see someone that got a start and really was able to obtain a quality group of dedicated followers through blogging it really gives all of us hope that someday that email will come for us maybe, good luck, I hope you have continued success and i’m sure the rest of the community is behind you as well….from one blogger to another keep up the good work!!

  40. Team Oyeniyi

    Congratulations! Let’s hope I am next on the list! :)

  41. chepeyja

    Simply stated, its a great thing to do…….brilliant…….bravo……may you continue inspiring others……..

    chepeyja

  42. Eric

    Very inspiring!

  43. John zhao

    Congrats. David really writes a wonderful blog. I love to post on wordpress.com :)

  44. ruizsainz

    Congratulations, David! You have genius and originality. You are also unselfish. This is what makes WordPress and you great! Congratulations, once again!

    May The Lord bless!

    And blessed be The Most Holy Ever Virgin Mary Mother of God!

  45. Brenda L. Hardy

    Congrats and the best of luck to all of us bloggers!!!!

  46. Anna

    It’s so great to hear about people’s success, especially when they started from little ol’ WordPress! :D I almost can’t believe I use the same platform alongside some extremely talented individuals from all over the world.

    And so congratulations to Mr. McRaney- I wish him the best of luck!

  47. Patrice Ayme

    Fine, and a hope. The subject matter is of importance. But the hope will get even stronger if book deals go to the deepest and most innovative thinking. That would be the real turn for the best. Getting out of the black hole of irreversible superficiality, and into the heaven of cultural depth.
    PA

  48. Zellie M. Quinn

    Just as interesting as your post on brand loyalty, would have been a transcript of your heated, insulting, crossing the line conversation with your friends! JK. Congratulations.

  49. fluffymocchi

    Awww congratulations. this is really inspiring.

  50. baahduodu

    Interesting!
    Congrats !

  51. Chandra B.

    And I always thought I’m losing around because I’m always a right-brained with Bipolar.

  52. vikas sharma (touch the sky before you drop)

    Congratulations…!!

  53. irenacollection

    Congrats! You are an great writer. I have only started my own blog and I find it hard to write so I have to say it again YOU are indeed an GREAT writer :) Keep up the good work!

  54. Couch Sports Expert

    Good to see GREAT THINGS happening for people strictly through time, dedication, creativity, and hard work. I hope to hear more stories like this in the near future.

  55. Jennifer Avventura

    Fantastic! Congratulations!

  56. etomczyk

    You’re living my dream! Congrats

  57. adlcalal

    Congrats! I am new to blogging and even still trying to get going, I love all the wonderful blogs and it is great to see this happen.

  58. billycstephens

    This is really inspiring. I just started a WordPress blog on sports and music and have had a blast doing it, but getting readership is a bit tricky. This is a helpful post. Great work!

  59. Joanna Aislinn

    Kudos and many sales to you!

  60. simonhamer

    I think I’ve always been partially deluded. However, it appears we have a pandemic of delusion. The article is an accurate take on society as a whole. Namely the celebrity culture in which mostly nothing of real value is created or delivered. Add to that the financial instruments created and used to rob normal people of their money, and you have a delusional culture as a whole. I think I’ll continue to be deluded though, as facing up to reality could be a horrendous task. I’ve not even mentioned politics, thankfully I will refrain from doing so, enough said.

  61. Ms. Sarcasm USA

    Congratulations and much success =)

  62. edmontonstop

    awesome book. congrats.

  63. celiafurtado

    very good, congratulations.

  64. witnessthefire

    WOOP. WOOP. Well Done x

  65. americalee77

    He got it. Have an original idea and then go with it, and you just never know… Gives me hope :) Congratulations!

  66. Junior

    Congratulations on your book deal and for your blogging sucess.

  67. nilarabi

    This book is very good. I am motivated by your book

  68. patrizh

    What a beautiful blog

  69. GolfForCouples

    are we able to get this book in Australia ?

  70. thoughtsandrainstorms

    Congratulations! So inspirational for all of us!

  71. Goss Coaching

    Love it! Be authentic and open and write about what makes you passionate. Way to go, David!

  72. ladyserenity92

    Another Rags-to-riches story made thanks to writing! Way to go, bro! The pen and paper are the most powerful forces in the world! I’m next!

  73. Vicky B.

    Congratulations David! This is great motivation for us!

  74. Chinaz Love

    congrats!

  75. akashchakrawarti

    Very Nice :)

  76. Phil's Lounge

    Congratulations! :-)

  77. aleety

    Awesome

  78. River

    Congratulations! This is inspiring, and it shows that with a little hard work and perseverance, dreams can come true. Like joshuadavid1121 said, “it really gives all of us hope that someday that email will come for us”. So congrats, and thanks for giving the rest of us hope.

  79. willieparker

    There are 6.9 billion people on this planet. 1 billion speak and read English very well. So, why can’t the book be sold to .1 billion people.

  80. phenomemanon

    That’s so exciting! Congratulations!

  81. spaceshipsoverglasgow

    Congratulations! Must say, I love the cover design. God, graphic artists are clever.

  82. keyjeabjeab

    I was just told that the complaints continue. I hope that this book would sell well, of course.

  83. Janae's Fallgirl Shepherd

    Sounds pretty interesting!

  84. dmyoungquist66

    Congrats. It ought to be interesting to see if an extended blog will make a hit in print form.

  85. Bryan Mcwilliam

    That’s tremendous news!

    Congrats to him!

  86. Cristina Luisa

    Congratulations to David McRaney! It’s good to know that fellow wordpress bloggers are getting successful in the “real world” of publishing. :) Seems like a fun, witty book.

  87. underwhelmer

    Congrats…

    Is it bad that I’m wary of anybody with too many Facebook friends too?

  88. Cherie

    That is great to hear! Congrats…

  89. faithmccord

    Sounds like an interesting read – - – yes our own little world (that of the individual) is a very subjective place.
    This is one of the things I love about the ‘net – that creative people are able to showcase their work for free or very little.
    I find WordPress one of the better blogs :)

    Faith McCord (indie writer)

  90. MsSopia

    Congratulations, David. You’re living every bloggers’ dream.

  91. $MooTHNEsS

    good

  92. imatchadvocate

    This is an eye opener for writer in an age of increasing mass media dynaminism of emerging daily creation.

  93. Magnet for Foolishness

    Congrats to Mr. McRaney. I wanna be just like him when I grow up ;)

  94. Victor Tookes

    Big things can happen to wordpress bloggers! Good luck with your book!

  95. thedarkestskin

    Thats so unbelievable. Congratulations!

  96. Cinema Profound

    What an inspiring story. I love that a mere blog landed someone a publishing deal. This gives the rest of us a candle to place in the window. Nicely written, by the way.

  97. Corz Galore

    Oh Man, that is awesome. Definitely inspires me.

  98. twistnpout

    exciting news. inspiring and encouraging.
    Congrats.

  99. acckkii

    Great! it’s just beginning, when someone says “I don’t know or I’m not too smart”, this shows the one is too smart.

  100. mipcaps

    that’s very nice! thumbs up for this blog! ^_^

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