Publishers! A beginning and an end; a new ballgame to play.
As a blook writer you’ve got a few extra options open for you – blooks and blogs are essentially books within themselves, only presented online and in a different format. Being digital allows you to do different stuff with your work – you can, for instance, convert it to an e-book (either in pdf or Sophie), send it to a self publisher for on-demand publishing, or just wrapping it up and sending it through the normal channels (agent, publishing house, etc etc etc).
Let’s take a look at each of these options:
I regard this as a slight twist to the read-a-blook-on-the-internet concept – what you’re doing is basically formatting your blook content into one easily stored, easily distributed pdf file. Why would you want to do this? Hrmm, let’s see.
1. E-books can be sold. Yes, there are probably hundreds of e-book wholesalers out there who make a pretty penny selling you SEO tips or dating ‘secrets’. And I’d say this about them: they make their authors money on a monthly basis. Which is good – if you’re an internet marketer. Or if your blook is non-fiction.
2. E-books are a lot easier to distribute (and understand) then blooks. People are comfortable with the pdf file – it’s been here for ages. Offering your novel or a short story collection in this format is pretty intuitive – people understand what pdfs can and cannot do, what they are for, how they are used. And it gets your work in front of their eyeballs.
3. Publicity. I know of authors who keep a personal blog, write about lit events and readings happening around their area, and offer some of their work for free download on their site. It’s pretty amazing, really – it builds a rapport between author and reader, it allows a free sampling of his/her work, and it’s free publicity … amongst the internet savvy crowd, at least. Kenny Mah is a fine example of that. Check out his e-book, Broken Mornings, here.
Traditional Publishing Houses
You know, the ones where most of the world’s rejection slips come from. I can’t exactly tell you how you can get in on one – someone once told me perseverance is the key to everything in this world … well, rejection slips should be framed up and cherished nevertheless.
The first thing you’ll need when dealing with these publishers is an agent. How you find and get an agent is probably worth a whole series in itself, but here are a few links on the topic:
Remember: any publisher that doesn’t require you to be represented by an agent is probably a nasty can of worms, out to get your money and to waste your time. Check Writers Beware for more info on what makes a bad publisher.
For overcoming rejection slip depression, listen to I Should Be Writing.
For questions on anything regarding the field of publishing, ask Miss Snark, the literary agent who blogs. And is intimidatingly scary, if I may add.
Blooks are actually in a class of their own, with regards to on-demand publishing. Lulu and Blurb are two services that allow you to convert a blook to a paper and ink version … with no strings attached. Personally I think Lulu is better established … it is, after all, the company behind the Blooker Prize. But other than that minor PR factor Lulu has its own marketplace … a mini Amazon, if you will.
While Lulu is free, you’d need to buy an ISBN to sell your book outside of Lulu (like in Amazon or Barnes and Noble, for instance). And if you’re planning to get your book anywhere near a book and mortar store (highly unlikely, but what the heck) an ISBN would be the least of your distribution worries.
Read Erika Dreifus’s take on publishing through Lulu here.
Whether you wish to get published through blooking, or if you’re in it for the sheer joy of the writing, the Internet and the possibilities offered should be more than enough for any one writer.
It’s a whole new world here. And we’re a part of it.
On to the Conclusion!