Updated on 08.01.14

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Book Deal Edition

Trent Hamm

Big news: I have a book deal.

I signed the papers last Friday and shipped them off to my publisher. The book project itself is just about perfect for what I want to do right now, particularly as a first book – very nice price point (it will have a price a bit lower than you might expect to make it accessible to all), a focus and a style that I’m very comfortable and happy with, and a publisher that’s really involved with the process and very interested in a follow-up book if this one gets finished well.

Right now, I have a chapter written and a very detailed (10-15 pages) outline of the remainder of the book, which is due in a strong first draft format on July 1. We’re both hoping to have the book on bookshelves well before Christmas, likely in October or November.

This means two things when it comes to The Simple Dollar. First, my cooking blog will have to be postponed a bit. I was basically ready to launch it on May 1, but this book deal (and another writing opportunity I hope to announce soon) means I have a pretty sharp deadline and I need to focus my writing energy on that.

Second, and perhaps more interesting, is that I’m seeding this site with “supplemental” articles that relate to the book itself (I’ve actually been doing this for a while). Basically, they’re expansions on particular ideas from the book – sort of like sidebars for specific ideas that deserve more depth but would derail the rather tight focus of the book. When the book nears publication, I’ll collect all of these into one giant collection of links so that readers can visit one URL and see all of the supplemental material.

Intrigued? I hope so. My plan is to announce the book in great detail at about the time it pops up for preorder on Amazon, and I’ll make a fairly big splash with it – it’ll be in conjunction with a slight redesign so that the book will be noticed by anyone who visits The Simple Dollar. I’ll also be making available some opportunities for signed copies, though I’ve not figured out quite how I’ll do that yet – I may work out an arrangement with a local bookstore to handle that mess.

If you’re curious… just be patient. The book, by all accounts, should be out by the end of the year.

Now, for some personal finance articles.

Is It Smart to Trade Time for Money? Only when you’re certain about the value of your time. Most people have little grasp on what the true value of their time is, something I talk about regularly on The Simple Dollar. (@ dumb little man)

Money Lessons Learned Through Square Foot Gardening We have a large garden ourselves and I often find myself deep in introspection while out in the garden. (@ frugal dad)

Teenager on a Budget This is a really interesting series about a mother attempting to teach her teenage son about budgeting, particularly food budgeting. The entry I’ve linked to is rather amusing. (@ debt free revolution)

You Paid $9.60 a Gallon for What? The embedded video is a bit over the top, but the point is right – bottled water is drastically overpriced for what you get compared to what you get out of the tap. (@ poorer than you)

Recession and the State of Our Economy: A Visual Primer This is an excellent visual guide on basic economics and the meaning of a recession. (@ the digerati life)

50 Tips to Help Establish Your Emergency Fund Excellent tips all around. (@ consumerism commentary)

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  1. savingforoz says:

    Way to go, Trent! That’s marvellous news. Well done to you for getting your writing career well under way.

  2. Congrats Trent!
    Look forward to reading it when it comes out.


  3. Lynnae says:

    Congratulations on the book deal! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

  4. Michael says:

    Congratulations! I hope it sells very well.

  5. Tori says:

    Wow! Mazel tov!

  6. Sean says:

    Congratulations Trent! Will you be posting on how you actually got a book deal? What steps did you take for those of us with hopes to someday write a book as well?


  7. Erica says:

    Oh, man, Trent – I am so happy for you, and incredibly proud (which sounds weird to say – I don’t know you well enough to really feel entitled to pride on your behalf). But still, if anybody deserves a book deal, it’s you. You work so hard, and your writing is so well-done – just congratulations.

    And I can’t wait to purchase your book. :)

  8. reulte says:


  9. Congratulations, Trent! This is a big deal!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Wow! Congrats!
    I look forward to hearing more about this!

  11. Frugal Dad says:

    Trent, thanks for including my square foot gardening article. Congratulations on the book deal! This is great news! I know I’ll be first in line at the pre-order to get a copy.

    If you get a few “author copies” I imagine a Simple Dollar giveaway might be a fun way to pass around a few autographed copies. It would also create quite a stir in the blogging world which might help generate additional interest (not that you will need much help there). Keep us posted.

  12. Jim ~ mydebtblog.com says:

    Way to go! Sounds like your new writing gig is taking off very well. I’m curious about the book now and will have to pick it up when it comes out.

  13. Allie says:

    Congrats! I can’t wait to read it!

  14. Andy says:

    Congratulations! I am very happy for you, although sad news about the cooking blog for now. But still, this is huge. Way to go.

  15. margo says:


  16. Steph says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait until it comes out! You’re such a good writer!

  17. Lisa says:

    YAY! I am so happy for you! Congrats!

  18. J. says:

    I’ll be ordering it as soon as pre-order starts!

  19. clevelis says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! You’re really raising the bar. As a member of the Simple Dollar “community”, how can we not feel motivated to seek after our dreams. :o) Can’t wait until your book! Considering the vast array of posts, I can’t imagine you not having a follow up book. woohoo! Go Trent!

  20. cendare says:

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of (well-deserved) congratulations. It’s so cool! Can’t wait to see the book.

  21. Kacie says:

    That’s wonderful news! Congratulations

  22. Laura says:

    I knew it would happen sooner or later! Congrats!!

  23. Wendy says:

    Wow, Trent, it is very exciting to see your career changes paying off so noticeably! I am looking into career changes for some time down the road (when I eventually get back into the career mindset after my baby comes next month).

    It is very encouraging to see all the forethought and planning you have put into writing before taking the leap to make writing your full time pursuit, and then to learn about your continued success. Thank you!

  24. Fred from Brazil says:

    Great news, Trent! Best of luck for you!!

  25. Mike says:

    It’s great to see some good coming back to you after all the good you’ve passed on to your readers. Congrats!

  26. Fran says:

    Two words: WOO HOO!!! I wish I could come up with something more articulate, but the heartfelt sincerity should make up for it. :)

  27. Natasha says:

    Congratulations, Trent! Are you allowed to say whom the deal is with?

  28. Eden says:

    WOO HOO!!! Congratulations!!!

  29. Louie says:

    Trent, CONGRATS!
    that is excellent news, very excited for you. You have got to go on a tour and sign my book. Or come to Miami University and talk to all of us about whatever you want to talk about :-D

  30. Bill says:

    Best wishes Trent! I really admire your strenuous pursuit of your goals.

  31. !wanda says:

    Congrats! A book out by the end of the year, wow, that seems very fast.

  32. !wanda says:

    Oh, and as my friend who wrote a book found out, the invited speaker racket is pretty lucrative for published authors.

  33. Wow, congratulations Trent! I can’t wait to hold a copy of your book in my very own hands!

    (And thanks for the link, of course!)

  34. Gayle says:

    Congratulations, Trent! Who’s your publisher? (I work for an independent publisher and do freelance editing/proofing, so I’m curious.)

    One approach to signed copies is to use signed bookplates instead. I’ve seen more and more booksellers and distribution houses move in this direction, though as a consumer, I still much prefer the actual signed copies.

  35. Incredible! I’ve been a reader for quite a long time and am happy that you’re getting such a great opportunity. Best wishes–savor the moment!

  36. Cheryl says:

    Congrats! That is so awesome. I can’t wait to read it!

  37. MN Scout says:

    Awesome!! I’ll definately pick up a copy. Your blog has inspired me in wonderful ways. I’m taking a lot out of it that will be useful information as I graduate from college and move into the working world.

  38. Tyler says:

    Congrats Trent! As one of your original readers starting in Jan of 06, I’ve seen this blog grow. It’s the quality of articles you deliver that keep your site up and hopping. I hope your book has the same success as your site.

  39. Sheila says:


    Of course, I’m bummed about the delay of the food blog…..

  40. The Weakonomist says:

    Good job man. How about an audio version for audible.com (recently bought by amazon)? I’m sure your fans would love to hear Trent as much as they love to read him.

  41. Aryn says:

    Congrats, Trent. That’s fantastic news!

  42. Brandon says:

    Congrats! That is wonderful news!! I look forward to the book around the holidays

  43. Ro says:

    Congratulations, Trent!

  44. Kate says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy you’ve accomplished this goal!

  45. Shevy says:

    Mazel Tov! This is great. It’s too bad the food blog will be delayed but that’s just to be expected when the book will bring in more money.

    I also like the idea of a giveaway of a few signed advance copies on the site.

  46. Melissa says:

    Congratulations! I really enjoy your writing and look forward to more!

  47. @!wanda: That IS very fast–I work for a major commercial publisher, and we turn books around in 9-15 months typically. We CAN do it faster, but we usually don’t.

    To Trent: Another congratulations here! I look forward to reading about the process from the author’s point of view. :)

  48. Mister E says:

    Congrats, this is a big step!

  49. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    The book is already partially completed and is fairly short in length – don’t expect a tome like The Complete Tightwad Gazette.

  50. Bonnie says:

    Hi Trent,
    I am a long-time reader of your excellent, helpful blog and am very happy you are getting this opportunity. Way to go!

  51. Green Grant says:

    Fantastic news on the book deal.

    I’m wondering, since you have mentioned an interest in environmental topics, if the book will be available in electronic format? Or does the content already available on this website make that point moot?

    Also, will the paper book be manufactured with recycled materials?

  52. Congratulations! Fill us in on the details soon…
    Trent, don’t be so sure. Once it’s formatted and completed, it might be longer than you first expected.

    When my book came out it took three years of sitting around in the publisher’s office! I’m a bit envious :- )

  53. KJ says:

    whoot whoot!

    i second the recycled materials request.

  54. Greener Pastures: Responsible Personal Finance says:

    Just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS! You must be very proud. I’ll be looking for more about the book-


  55. Big congrats on the book deal :) and neat idea about seeding supplemental articles on the blog. Will you be handing out review copies?

    Also, thanks for the link to my “teenager on a food budget” experiment. It’s definitely a work in progress.

  56. paidtwice says:


  57. Dorian Wales says:

    Congratulations. Every amateur blogger’s dream.

  58. teelag says:

    Congrats on the book…can’t wait to read it!

    Thanks so much for such an excellent blog. I visit daily, and it keeps me “in check” when I wander from my frugal ways. :-)

  59. Lindsay says:

    I can’t wait for your book! You must be so proud. Great to see you move from full time office job, to at home writer, now soon published!!

  60. Sarah says:

    Congrats, Trent!

  61. BigMike says:

    Way to go Man!

    Have you been asked to do a podcast?

    Later Dude!

  62. KoryO says:

    Great news! Looking forward to the book!

  63. Liz says:

    Congratulations. It is nice to see good things happen to good people. I am looking forward to your cooking blog, too, though : )
    I just wanted to mention something to you–someone had written asking about your favorite movies. My husband really opened up a world to me by showing me cultural materials from outside the US. I recommend that you try out some foreign films. Give “Nine Queens”, a funny, fast Argentinian suspense movie a try. Or just substitute a foreign film in once a month. You don’t always realize as an American how narrow our horizons can be. It just seems like you are expanding your horizons so much, and this is just a suggestion for something that will add to your life even more.
    Best wishes

  64. kazari says:


    As an avid food blogger myself, I was wondering what had happened to that side project…

  65. Congratulations!!!!

  66. Anthony says:

    Congrats, man. I don’t usually leave comments but I just wanted to say wtg and I’ll buy your book (I suspect it won’t contain a lot more than you’ve already written about here but it’ll make a nice Xmas gift after I read it, lol).

  67. FrugalGirl says:

    Woo-hoo!! Congratulations, Trent. This is terrific news, and well-deserved.

  68. tambo says:

    Congrats, Trent!

    So, are you going to tell us who bought your book?

  69. Sara A. says:

    Congrats. Have you read any of Dan Poynter’s info on publishing/book industry? He has a lot of good primers, although a lot of his content is only available by purchasing it.


  70. Andrew says:

    Way to go, buddy!!! I shall order the first edition as soon as it drops on Amazon!!!

  71. Jonathan says:


  72. Joe says:

    That is so great – finally a reward for your hard work and sticking to your principles! Yours was the first blog that really pulled me into the blogosphere to show me the great writing out there.

    From your writing, I really got into blogging and I decided to go through Dave Ramsey’s FPU class. I only have one debt left (stinkin’ school loan).

    Look forward to seeing the book on your site.

  73. fathersez says:


    I commented on your post on “everything you need to know about pf on the back of business cards” would become recommended reading for all pf practitioners and bloggers.

    And I am sure your book will be.

  74. Lenore says:

    Trent, it’s a delight to see you making your dreams come true! You’re an inspiration to every would-be author and frugalitarian. Oprah has often noted that success stems from leaping into work you love, but even she might be amazed how soon and squarely you landed after quitting a stable job. If you end up on her show someday, at least we’ll know your book has “A Million Little Pieces” of truth and sound advice. Best wishes and WAY TO GO!!!

  75. Kandace says:

    Congrats! I’ve been a reader for several months and enjoy every post. Now I look forward to the book. Glad all your hard work, planning, and tenacity has paid off.

  76. Congratulations! I’ve been reading The Simple Dollar for a few weeks now, and you’ve given me plenty of sound advice and inspiration. Best of luck with the book deal.

  77. M3 says:

    Fantastic new! Congratulations!

  78. WendyB says:

    Congratulations on your fantastic accomplishment. I’m sure it is a very satisfying thing for you.

  79. CheapGirl says:

    Great news!! It’s so good to see someone kicking the daily grind & doing what they really want.

    Since your blog is about general personal finance, how about some posts on how you got the book deal & business in general?

  80. Anthony says:

    Awesome, Trent! I plan on forgoing your usual “get it from the library, it’s free that way” advice and flat out buying the thing sight unseen.

  81. Daisy says:

    I agree with Anthony.

    Congratulations on taking more steps related to your dream as a writer. :)

  82. Patrick says:

    Congratulations, Trent. Achieving your goal of being a published author is truly something special. I wish you the best.

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