From Blog to Book

Joshua Kurlantzick talks about how blogs are impacting the marketing and publishing of new books in his article for the NYT "A New Forum (Blogging) Inspires the Old (Books)."

During the last year many Web logs, or blogs, have focused on the war in Iraq and the presidential campaign, and as these blogs gained a wider audience some publishers started paying attention to them. Sometimes publishers are interested in publishing elements of the blogs in book form; mostly they simply enjoy the blogger’s writing and want to publish a novel or nonfiction book by the blogger, usually on a topic unrelated to the blog. […] All this has begun to stimulate even more interest among editors and agents. For instance, Kate Lee, an assistant at International Creative Management talent agency in New York, has become a kind of one-woman blog boutique, surfing for the best writers online and suggesting they work with her to develop and sell a book.

Lee was mentioned in The New Yorker‘s Talk of the Town in May.

“Most writers are not getting published in magazines or literary journals,” Lee said the other day, clicking through her Internet Explorer favorites in her cluttered cubicle at the I.C.M. office on West Fifty-seventh Street. “For some more unconventional voices, for people that don’t have connections, blogs can be an entryway into the game.”

Gawker got some mileage out of the mini-trend back then.

It’s the most retarded shell game on earth — and the most technophobic, ass-backwards, financially-dumb-headed industry in the world. Our prediction: first blogger book: $140K advance. Second blogger book: $700K advance. Third blogger book: $15K advance. None earn out, the shark gets jumped, and then it’s contract publishing gigs for all, and some God-awful ghost-writing gigs, which results in yet more bitter alcoholic blather on weblogs.

(GameChanger gently chides me for quoting from The New York Times, but, yes, my hometown newspaper is part of my regular reading. Thanks, GC, for mentioning this blog.)

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