Well, it’s happened. Incredibly true and funny (and funny ’cause it’s true!) blogsite Stuff White People Like is being turned into a book. Like, of course it is. And I’m sure it’ll be a really funny book. But here’s the thing: blogs are blogs because they’re not books, or anything else, really. They’re blogs. Blogs based on books are just risky, because it’s not a given that the material contained within a blog will be either funny or interesting in book form. I think it’s great that publishers are taking bloggers seriously and trolling the ‘sphere to find promising new writing talent, for sure, but lots of web traffic does not necessarily equal lots of book sales. Why? Because you can read blogs for free! I think the best (and most successful, although I can’t back that up) blogs-to-books stories are where the blog is a jumping off point for the book–the inspiration, the foundation, maybe a few especially favorite entries are edited/rewritten into essays–but, in the end, the book is an entirely new entity. Or so I think. I’m really not an expert. But it just seems like publishers are just optioning blogs as books nowadays because it seems like the work is already done, or nearly done, but I can’t imagine that it’s any easier to wrangle a blog between a cover than it is an unwieldy but promising manuscript. If you know better, please school me (and I mean that).
Posted on March 26, 2008 by Anna Jarzab