You can’t really plan for your blog to earn millions of dollars, land you a book deal, or grant you offline fame. Any blogger with the intent of taking her online content offline is kind of missing the point. Many articles (try a Google search) yield results that promise tactics for scoring that six-figure book deal.
However, some of the most popular blog-to-book deals happened by chance and without planning. Examples include “I Can Haz Cheezburger?“and “Stuff White People Like“. Tumblr blogs seem to have a marketable format, and sites like “Look at This Fucking Hipster” and “Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves” have attracted a number of books deals.
(Pictured at left: Stuff White People Like on Amazon.com)
Many of these books are photo-based, have a novel theme, and would make for good coffee table/toilet seat reading. However, why would a customer want to purchase photos aggregated in book form when the web provides an endless stream of content?
A few weeks ago, in my post “Fulfilling a Need for a Photo Book Fix“, I wrote about my experience browsing photo books at the Strand bookstore: “…nothing compares to looking at a book filled with beautiful pictures. However, I would never buy one of these books – they are generally very expensive, and I wouldn’t really revisit the book after I looked through it once. What’s the point?”
Sure, these blog-to-book creations might make fun gifts, but I really don’t understand the function of binding something that is already online. Furthermore, these blogs will probably be updated after the book is published. Posts have been added to “Stuff White People Like” since the publication of the companion book.
I think the best that any blogger can do is produce the best content possible and to monetize the blog in a tasteful way if money-making is a concern. Blogs are meant for the Internet, and they should appeal to an online audience. The more that bloggers stand up for their medium, the sooner Internet writing and content will be taken seriously as an online form.