The Definition Of Blook


A blook is a book with content that was developed in a significant way from material originally presented on a blog, webcomic or other website. This material includes the website’s characters, themes, ideas or outline that ends up getting published as a printed book. [Note: book in this instance means hardcopy, dead tree variety, three copies of which must be submitted for the Blooker Prize competition.]

As those of you who have been reading Novelr would know such a definition isn’t used in this blog. When I say blooks, I mean this: (taken from Wikipedia)

With the advent of the blog people started to publish books serialized on their blogs. Chapters are published one by one as blog posts, and readers can then subscribe to the blook via an RSS feed, tag it and comment on it.

Cheryl then continues by saying a blook can only be a blook if it is in dead tree form (and inspired from, or with content taken from a blog). She closes on a rather authoritative tone:

Less than a month ago Reuters reported that blook was “among the most annoying words that have been spawned by the Internet.” So include it or not, love it or not, use it correctly. Please.

This view of what is (and isn’t) a blook irks me. Lulu has every right to define a blook to suit its Blooker competition – but by and large the Blooker does not have the influence (yet) into defining what is and isn’t a blook.

So who defines what a blook is? The answer is deceptively simple: us. The way blook authors (and readers) use or regard the usage of the word blook helps shape its meaning. For instance in Novelr I’ve been pretty liberal with the usage of the word blook – to me a blook can be either:

  • A book (or work of fiction, such as a novel) that is serialised in blog form
  • A book published (in dead tree form) that is inspired by a blog.

lifehacker_the_book_cover_1.jpgThat is to say I regard Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day as a blook, and Lifehacker itself as a blog.

James at Progression also has a post on what is (and isn’t) blog fiction – but blog fiction is a term that is perhaps more suited than blook for what I’m trying to cover in Novelr.

Nevertheless I have used blook (not only because it’s easier to identify with, but also because it’s just so horrid to readers), and it’s going to stick. I may have made some mistakes in calling blog fiction blooks (The City Desk is an example) – but I’ll seek to remedy that.

Blook authors, readers, interested publishers? Onward.

Possibly Related Posts:

Category: Writing Web Fiction
  • Lee

    Though I don’t much like the word ‘blook’, I’m certainly not going to let a commercial organisation like Lulu dictate my definition and usage of a term.

    Frankly, people can call my novels what they like, so long as they’re open-minded enough to be prepared to read them.

    This all reminds me about the discussions regarding comics/graphic novels.

  • ming


  • Eli James

    @Lee, there’s a debate raging about comics and graphic novels? Never … knew … that.

    @ming, :)

  • Michael Josefowicz

    Just my two cents….

    In the real world of the writer or the reader, the name you call the object doesn’t matter.

    I have to admit that I while I am a reader, I’m not a writer or a publisher. Actually I spent most of my life as printer. Then a college instructor. Now a consultant.

    What’s interesting to me is trying to think through how the change in the process of publishing this thing we mostly call a book has actually changed the nature of the thing itself.

    For Baby Boomers like me, a “book” implies all kinds of things about authority, accuracy and authorship.

    Is this still true for Generation Google? What will be true for the Generation right after them?

    IMHO, lots of books have always been bullshit. The real difference now is that it’s much possible to find the interesting ones.

    I like blook only because it implies a process. And, after taking a little flak on other previous uses of blook, I’m trying out bluuk to capture a more abbreviated faux book process.

    Things like Political Tell All Autobiographies written to win a campaign or to get that next big gig.

  • CrazyDreamer

    I’m changing my website link for this comment to point to my own thoughts on the matter. Mind you, I’m more interested in a given source being consistent and understandable in its definitions than in it having the “correct” definitions.

  • Michael.Josefowicz

    Works for me.

  • CrazyDreamer

    Having read your references and asked for further input from them if they’ve written anything more on the subject (or just want to critique my definitions), I’m suspecting that the second article that I write for my own website will be an update on the first and introduce at least one new headache.

    And yet, somehow, this just makes me love academia all the more.

  • Eli James

    @CrazyDreamer: I’ll be watching out for it.