Blog to book stories are becoming more commonplace. We have chronicled a number of such examples, and you can find a virtual library of blog to book stories on Blooking Central. Some of these were serendipitous, but more and more writers, especially new authors, are being more intentional about converting their blogs into a printed title. There is more than one way to execute a blog to book strategy. Here is my attempt at a blook typology:
indie blook – This is the type of blook where an author independently publishes and markets a title based on their blog. Low cost self publishing and inexpensive Internet marketing techniques are making this an attractive option for new authors who are not shy about self promotion.
traditional blook – This is the form of blook that you read about in the newspapers. A publisher discovers a high traffic blog and offers the blog owner a book deal. Tjhe rationale is that the blog has an established audience and a topic in line with the publisher’s market focus.
podiobook – This is more of an audio blook. Here the author serialize his or her book into podcasts and uses a blog for audience feedback and book marketing. It is especially effective for fiction writers. Two of the best know podiobook authors are Scott Sigler and JC Hutchins.
crowdsourced blook – This is a rare blook, but every author’s dream come true. Here, the blog is so popular that a community emerges and contributes content which eventually winds up being part of the publishing or marketing strategy for a title. In other words – build a community that helps you generates content and then publish it. The best known example is Frank Warren’s Post Secret.
reverse blook – In this scenario, an author blogs the content from an existing book to build an audience for the current or a new edition. This may be a good way to revitalize a book whose sales are fading.
We believe that these – and other – blog to book strategies will replace the traditional (and mostly ineffective) approach to getting a book published which involves submitting a manuscript to agents or publishers in hopes of getting it read and eventually published. Publishing is a risky business. Of the many risks, the first and biggest is signing an unkown author who may or may not be able to attract an audience for their title. An author who has a blog with an established audience is an attractive proposition. Publishers can assess the quality and appeal of the writing. The popularity of blog posts can be measured and ranked. We can see how the audience reacts to the content long before it is edited into book form. In the case of a popular blog, the audience can be larger than the circulation of many magazines or newspapers
Blooks are not just a publishing sideshow – interesting examples of pluck and luck. They represent the future of publishing in a world of consumer generated media.
- Belle de Jour – Sex, Lies and Book Deals
- Public Secrets and Publishing Magic
- An Interview with Podcast Novel Superstar Scott Sigler
- The Case for the Inverted Blook
- The New Author Book Pitch
- Finding Book Gold in Blog Post Archives
- The Joy of Blogging – An Interview with Gluten Free Girl’s Shauna James-Ahern