Blog-to-Book, Hybrid Genre(s)
I think the writing Jodi has been doing lately is outstanding, and just now in a comment I told her I could imagine her as one of those people who gets a book deal from his or her blog. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to post for a while now about the book-deal-from-blog phenomenon; I'm interested in several aspects of it. I want to:
- Compile a list of bloggers who have gotten book deals
- Think about what kinds of writing these bloggers are doing, what these blogs have in common (for example, the writing on all these blogs is acutely personal)
- Keep track of what the generic conventions are: What will the book-from-blog hybrid form look like?* Of course specific books will vary, but for the most part, will they be epistolary memoirs? How will they be arranged? Will they keep reverse chronological order (a blog expectation), or invert to chronological order for continuity (a print memoir expectation)? Or will the blog posts be used as raw material, with the intention that the end product will be a seamless narrative? How will the generic expectations merge to create a hybrid? Will one or the other -- blog or book -- prevail? What will happen to the comments readers leave? Will the blog be taken down after the book is released?
I know these questions aren't new, that plenty of other people are wondering the same thing and have probably already written about it. If you know of such writing and can point me to it, please do so in the comments. Also, here is a list of blogs I know of that are going to be released as books, or already have been. If you know of more, please alert me to them.
- The Julie/Julia Project, book here
- Where is Raed? (Salam Pax), book here
- Baghdad Burning -- looks like the blog is still up. Actually, there's an excerpt of the book in the most recent issue of Ms., and it looks like they've kept the post format; the excerpt consisted of dated entries ending with "Posted by River @ [time]." Must buy that book.
- The rumor is apocryphal, so I don't want to say for sure, but I heard that Ginmar's blog might become a book. (She's in the U.S. military and was stationed in Iraq for a long time, but is back now. Great writing there.)
- UPDATE -- found some more: Diary of a London Call Girl
- Wil Wheaton (his writing speaks for itself, and his weblog was what got his writing noticed, so I'm counting him here, but his celebrity prior to starting the blog certainly helped)
- Mimi Smartypants, book here
* I want to be clear about my terms here: I don't mean to suggest that "book" is a genre. "Memoir" might be a genre, but I consider "book" a form and a technology, much like "blog."
UPDATE: Should have done the Amazon searching first. Looks like in every case, the weblogs have stayed up after the publication of the book.