At The recent London Bloggers Meetup, we were lucky enough to be given a talk by Floyd Smith, who gave us advice on getting our blogs published as books.
You can see the full deck below.
The talk got me thinking and during the presentation, Floyd said two things that got me thinking. The first was that books are essentially a forever-lasting memorial of an idea or a snapshot in time – does this mean then, that the physicality of a book is now ethereal whereas blogs are now physical things that used to be ethereal?
Ethereality is defined as: Characterised by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible.
Yes a book is tangible, but only to those people who’s hands it is in – otherwise it is just another process/product/space that is, until the point where you actually hold the book, imagined. This is of course the same for a blog. However, a book, particularly a topic driven one, is insubstantial in so much so that as soon as it is published, it is already old news, it is a record of a snapshot of the past. A blog is an ever evolving form that is re-freshed as soon as a new post is published, which makes it, unlike a book, timely and therefore substantial.
Secondly, Floyd mentioned that not only do you have to have great compelling content, sometimes the timing just needs to coincide with an event which puts your blog or blog topic in the spotlight – so does getting that book deal mean that you have to network and meet as many people as possible who may be involved with publishing to make sure you are at the forefront of their minds?
Possibly. I think that like any industry, you need a stroke of luck and to know the right people, but this may mean that content is substituted for a chance meeting. If you are the person is being met, does this then diminish the credibility of your content? And if you are not getting that face to face interaction, does that mean that your content is of a lesser quality?
Not at all. The quality of your content is decided by your readers, not by the publishing agent you happen to have luckily met. So, in that case, why not publish an e-book, a collection of your better articles along the theme of one topic, make it free, and let others spread the word about your work, rather than introducing a barrier that is the primary concern of a book, the price.
How much can you make from your first book? A few thousand pounds if you’re lucky, Floyd said. You may make nothing from releasing an e-book, but there will be an opportunity for more people to read it.