Blooks – Between Angst and Opportunity

Blooker prizeBlooks are certainly coming of age (after only a few years).  We have a growing body of blooks and a few celebrity blook authors.  If you have any doubts, check out Cheryl Hagedorn’s comprehensive site, Blooking Central which analyzes published blooks to discover what makes for a blookable blog.  We have a number of success stories to capture the attention of Big Media and insprie other writers.  There is the Blooker Prize, both lauded as a visionary way to stimulate a new medium and deried as a time-wasting promotion of amateur efforts

So is the blook merely an accident in the evolution of consumer generated media, or is it really a new way to write books with staying power?  Many of the early success stories read like accidents.  But there are characteristics of the blook that make it attractive to authors, readers and publishers.  Here are a few for your consideration (and comment):

  • Serial presentation – In a go-go, not enough time for anything world, this can be a way to digest someone’s writing a bit at a time.  It’s also easier for a writer to create a work 300 or so words at a time, especially if you know there is an audience there practically from the start of the enterprise. 
  • No commitment – A blook gives readers a chance to sample the writer’s work, and if it doesn’t hold them, there is little time invested and no commitment of money.  Try before you buy is always attractive.
  • Community – A blook offers the opportunity for audience interaction, both with the author and potentially among the readers.  A sense of community and sharing adds energy to the enterprise of writing.  The author doesn’t feel so alone; the audience feels connected with something significant.  Connection builds loyalty.
  • Viral – Blooks make pieces of the book to be shareable.  The print version can be shared by reference, but its content is difficult to share directly. 
  • Measurable – Blooks are blogs; and blogs are wonderfully measurable.  An author can measure the extent and engagement of their audience and the impact of their content on that audience.  Publishers understand and love that.
  • Structure – Blogs have a structure with many similarities to books (see our earlier post Slurping a Blog into a Book).

ten provides some tips on writing a blook vs. the traditional book manuscript.  But has anyone published a formula for blooking success?  Not that I’ve discovered.  But for a little fun – with a dash of truth – check out Susi Weaser’s post The 10 Blooking Commandments on ShinyShiny.  

Interestingly, one reason I have frequently encountered as a rationale for writing a blook is the idea of preserving a blog’s content in a more permanent printed form.  Blog authors can invest a substantial amount of time in their blogging enterprise, so the idea of .  So the desire to save their work is understandable.  After all, technologies come and go, blogs go into quiet senescence as interests change, and permalinks fade into that dark abyss of the blog morgue. 

Even in our digital culture, print it seems is still the medium of choice for credibility and durability.

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