3/26/2006

Blook 'em, Dano. Are you making money from your blog? Here's a fast, easy way. Well, we had to know it was coming... and now it has arrived. Bloggers are producing their entries in book form - called blooks - and the publishing industry is paying attention. Forget months, even years, of trying to find an agent. Scrap the notion that you have to have an expensive PR firm ready to pitch your latest tome to book reviewers and journalists. Bloggers have a distinct advantage over traditional authors: 1) many already have a dedicated following of readers; and 2) their blog provides the perfect free forum for letting people know about their blook. And what would a new genre be without an award to go with it? Already, there's a literary award designed specifically for blooks. It's called the Lulu Blooker Prize (a Raleigh NC-based self publishing service cleverly named the award after the famous Bristish Booker Prize). Some 16 blooks not associated in any way with Lulu have been selected as candidates for the inaugural awards, which will be announced on Monday, April 3. The one that seems to be getting the most hype is Julie and Julia, based on a popular blog about a woman who attempts in one year to cook every Julia Childs recipe. Little, Brown published the book just a few months ago and already it has sold over 100,000 copies, thanks in part to enthusiastic supporters of Julie's blog. Meanwhile, Lulu even has a place on its web site that provides a way for bloggers to instantly publish their own blook, with Lulu keeping 20 percent. Here's what you can expect next: tons of bloggers will start publishing blooks in part so they can lay claim to being a "published author." And why not? Authors of e-books have done this for years and legitimately so. A book doesn't need to have a designer book jacket and shelf space to make it valuable. The point is that this new blook phenomenon is going to eventually have a significant impact on the publishing business. I think we'll see a shift away from books that make it to the shelves just because they are associated with a celebrity in some way. Moreover, look for Amazon and similar sites to find ways to work with bloggers to make their blooks even more accessible and profitable. Expect companies to start releasing blooks about their own best practices as a passive revenue stream. The possibilities are practically endless. So why are you still reading this blog? Shouldn't you be starting your own or at least thinking about how to make money off your own blook?

9 Comments:

At March 30, 2006 3:11 AM, Anonymous sebastians said...

but why are you still writing this blog instead of writing your blook? ;-)

 
At March 30, 2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Ken Leebow said...

Blogs are a great way for established authors to extend their reach. I've written 20 books . . . a blog allows me to instantly publish and promote my speaking engagements, books and more.

So, it works in reverse as well.

www.Leebow.com

 
At March 30, 2006 11:22 AM, Blogger Marilynn Mobley said...

Ken, you make an excellent point. Blogs are a great way for authors to promote all kinds of books, whether blooks or traditional published works. Absolutely, go for it! Authors should look for every way possible to make their work available to the masses.

 
At March 30, 2006 11:55 AM, Blogger christinemm said...

Love your post and I am very interested in this whole topic of turning what we've written in our blogs into books.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to stop seeing trash books published just because a celebrity was the author. As a consumer I don't buy those books as I am often disappointed and don't want to support the publisher who published it just because they thought we consumers would want to read what a celebrity wrote.

I am getting interested in how on-demand printing can or will affect the publishing industry, can or will that lead to more unknown authors being published, with less of a risk being tied up in printing costs, inventory, etc.?

Something I am trying to look into more is publishing eBooks, small non-fiction books written on very specific issues that a customer would be willing to spend $2-3 to purchase.

The area that I am most interested in writing about seems very cheap to me, to not want to spend money to buy books on topics, and I live in an affluent area! It seems to me that people are getting more and more hooked on getting information for free via the internet, websites, chat lists, and yes, on blogs.

 
At March 30, 2006 11:59 AM, Blogger christinemm said...

One comment on Lulu, word out in the homeschooling chat lists is that ordering from Lulu is risky. I have read of the site being bad to order from, meaning hard to navigate, orders are not confirmed, and other 'customer service' and 'order fulfillment' issues. Sometimes there is no communication about the status of the order, and sometimes the orders take many, many weeks to arrive.

That is all I know about Lulu!

 
At March 30, 2006 7:08 PM, Blogger PR Machine said...

I would like to interview you for a book I'm writing called "Life After the Press Release".

 
At March 30, 2006 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I love to write in my blog but had no idea I could turn it into a book. I can't wait to do this!

Official Work At Home Resource
http://www.officialwah.com

 
At April 01, 2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Marilynn Mobley said...

PR Machine - call me. I'll gladly talk with you about your book. My number is 404-262-3000. Thanks.

 
At April 01, 2006 1:13 PM, Blogger Marilynn Mobley said...

Christine - I'd encourage you not to equate dollars with subject matter. Affluency really has very little to do with whether someone will buy an e-book. People buy e-books because they want and need the information quickly. That's why e-books and blooks will continue to rise in popularity. People want information NOW.

I have a friend who has published dozens of e-books and traditional books. He sells them on his web site and sees little difference in the price people will pay for a "real" hard copy book vs. what they pay for his e-book.

It's all about value. Provide it and they will come.

 

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