The word “blook” is a contraction of “blog book.” It is a book created when an authro uses his / her blog as the basis to build an audience and ultimately publish a title. Traditional publishers have begun mining the blogosphere for new writers. From all over the world, more evidence is accumulating that blog to book can be a winning strategy for authors. Here are a few samples for your consideration.
For instance, consider this story from BBC News about Anya Peters – a woman who was homeless and lived in her car for nine months. She started a blog in 2006 called the Wandering Scribe. In the summer of 2005, financial and emotional difficulties left Peters living in her car. In February 2006 she began writing her blog . A month later she was featured in a New York Times article. This in turn was picked up by other media and more attention followed. A literary agent who read about her soon had Peters signed up to a book deal with HarperCollins. Her book is “Abandoned: The true story of a girl who didn’t belong.”
The Seattle Times featured a story “Blog to Book deal for two food writers” about two women – Shauna James and Clotilde Dusoulier – in opposite parts of the world who were passionate about food and blogged about it. James is a teacher and a gourmet cook who resides in Seattle. Her blog is glutenfreegirl.com. Her blog receives about 60,000 – 80,000 hits per month. Last August, James signed a book deal with Wiley & Sons to write a food memoir about her transition from eating the prepackaged food she grew up with to becoming a gourmet when she went gluten-free. The book, “Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back … And How You Can Too” will headline Wiley’s book list for the fall. Dusoulier grew up in Paris, then transplanted to Silicon Valley where she worked as a software engineer. Her blog,Chocolateandzucchini.com is a recounting of Dusoulier’s life in Paris and an international success. After just 3 ½ years, it receives an astonishing 4.9 million hits a month and was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal as one of the world’s top-five food blogs. She recently publshed her first cookbook, “Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen,” with Broadway Books and has another due out in 2008.
Another story of blog to book success was reported by London’s Daily Telegraph in an aritcle “Petite Anglaise moves from Blog to Book.” It features Catherine Sanderson who wrote a blog known Petite Anglaise – a kind of online diary of her life. She gained fame after being fired for writing a blog on her life as a “Bridget Jones in Paris.” She is finalizing her first book in a publishing deal with Penguin worth almost £500,000 (approximately $1 million). She could earn even more from film rights after the book appears early next year.
A South African publisher, Oshun, published its first title adapted from a blog. The publisher gives a good account of the thinking that led them to the decision to publish. The blog – at http://www.tertia.org is authored by Tertia Albertyn and is focused on South African issues. It is one of the top blogs in the country, counting 3,000 unique visitors per day. The book that resulted from the blog was “So Close.”
In most of these cases, the author’s story is as intersting as the blooks they created.