Sunday, April 24, 2005

Publishers get blogs, publishers don't get blogs

The good news? The mainstream publishing industry seems to finally be noticing bloggers a little more, and are starting to publish a series of books by them. The problem? As Scott Esposito points out, most of the bloggers being picked suck, and the majority of the books being published are not much more than paper-based versions of old blog entries. And man, I can barely stand most blogs as they are, even when they're being delivered to me one tiny piece a day; why I would pay money to read a bunch of these blog entries at once in paper form is simply beyond me.

For what it's worth, I myself have been approached a total of four times over the years by various mainstream publishing companies, about doing a book version of my personal blog. Like I said, I can't see much of a point in publishing a paper version of something as naval-gazing and uninteresting as a personal journal, so have always suggested to these people that perhaps they might print one of my books that are meant to be read as books - one of my novels, perhaps, or one of my travel books. In all four cases, though, the truth quickly came out: none of these people actually considered me a good writer, or at least good enough to publish one of my books meant to be a book, but had simply heard that I have a big audience at my personal journal and wanted to find a way to quickly cash in on that notoriety. Writers who think a "blog book" will lead to more deals and opportunities in the publishing industry should be warned - it won't. At least in my experiences, editors at publishing houses are merely looking at bloggers right now as yet another disposable form of quick income, not as writers unto themselves worth publishing and reading.