Move over, New York Times bestseller list.
Millions of people across the globe turn to WordPress to build their websites and blogs, and we’re proud to say WordPress is home to many bestselling writers and winners of prestigious literary awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize. In other words, we have our own bestseller list!
Take a look at the bestsellers and award winners who use WordPress — and be sure to scroll down to read about the notable works and WordPress-powered websites of twelve authors we’ve handpicked from this impressive list:
Released this month, Attenberg’s third novel, The Middlesteins, is a story of marriage, new and old love, family, and our culture’s obsession with food. In addition to her novels, Attenberg has contributed both fiction and nonfiction to many outlets, from the New York Times and Salon to The Awl and numerous anthologies and zines. We love that she took all of the photographs on her site (except the one of herself!).
We’re thrilled that Atwood, one of the most honored authors of our time, has a blog hosted on WordPress.com. (Hooray for the Pilcrow theme!) As you scroll through her posts, you’ll find a surprising mix of content: notes on publishing conferences, poetry, ideas, and even galleries of personal photographs. Just like her active Twitter handle, the blog adds an extra dimension to the author’s public persona.
Winner of the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Zoo City — and shortlisted for various other awards — Beukes is a South African novelist, comics writer, and screenwriter (she’s currently adapting Zoo City into a screenplay). We dig the simple yet modern design, with a splash of yellow: it’s bold, fresh, and inviting.
We love poking around on the pages of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon’s website. On the About page, you get lost in an entertaining timeline of his youth, educational and romantic pursuits, and other morsels of information, and the Uncollected section is an archive of literary introductions, political pieces, and other essays you’ve probably never read.
Clean and elegant, Diaz’s website reminds us of his simple book covers — bold black type and abstract imagery against a plain, light-colored background — suggesting the power of his words. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008 for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Diaz maintains a minimal site, though keeps his interviews and publishing news section up to date.
No stranger to prestigious awards, author Anthony Doerr has won four O. Henry Prizes for his short fiction, and has received two Pushcart Prizes, the Rome Prize, and numerous other awards and fellowships. Essays and science columns can also be found, respectively, at The Morning News and the Boston Globe. We enjoy the variety of writing on his site and especially like his ever-changing footers devoted to biological classification. (Take a peek — you’re guaranteed to learn something new.)
“The rules of reality can be bent. It just requires thinking in different terms.” You’ll find this advice on the blog of Tim Ferriss, a business innovator and bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, a guide to lifestyle design. His blog, ranked number one among the top 150 management and leadership blogs and shortlisted by Inc. Magazine, is regularly updated with a mix of inspirational and practical content and out-of-the-box thinking.
For 42 weeks, Hillenbrand’s first book, Seabiscuit, stayed at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Unbroken, a World War II biography of Louis Zamperini, has spent nearly 100 weeks — and counting — on the list. On her website, you can listen to an audio excerpt, read about Unbroken‘s characters, and read discussion questions.
British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie is the author of 11 novels, including Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses; his books have been translated into over 40 languages. The featured slider on the home page highlights some of his work, and the imagery evokes his magical realism style and themes of East and West. His newest book, Joseph Anton: A Memoir, was released last month.
A WordPress.com VIP blog since October 2008, Whatever is science fiction author and online writer John Scalzi’s long-running blog, which was created in September 1998. It’s one of the most visited personal blogs on the web, and is generally updated daily (and sometimes more than once a day, which we love!). Here, you’ll find anything and everything, from books and politics to technology and photography (his outdoor shots of Ohio are lovely).
Skloot’s first book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were cultured to create an immortal cell line for medical research without her knowledge. An important piece of nonfiction on ethics, science, and reporting, it was named by more than 60 critics as one of the best books of 2010 and is required reading at many schools and universities. Her site has teaching resources, a HeLa Forum to engage the conversation between the scientific community and the public, and other extras like videos.
Gene Luen Yang
We love the color and energy of Gene Luen Yang’s site, which complements his comics and graphic novels. In 1996, he began self-publishing his own comics under Humble Comics, and ten years later published American Born Chinese, which became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award. Yang is an advocate for using comics and graphic novels in the classroom, and we like reading about his projects and efforts that promote this education.
Feeling inspired by this crop of literary powerhouses? Here’s a tip for November: participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and write a 50,000-word novel by November 30. Learn more on the NaNoWriMo website.