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?
Are you relevant? Here's how to know: if you're absolutely certain what you offer really matters and you've won the mindshare and heartshare of your clients and potential clients, you "get" the SPUD Factor. SPUD stands for Strategic, Proactive, Universal, and Dynamic. If you aren't sure how relevant you are, or you fear becoming a SPUD Dud, this blog's for you. Find out what it takes to remain relevant in the face of change. Learn from good - and bad - examples how relevancy drives longevity.