Monday, May 4, 2009

Blog Today, Book Tomorrow

A new (literary?) genre is on the rise: the book of blogs. As far as I know, there has yet to be a catchy/catch-all name for this new genre. But with the exploding popularity of this kind of book, there will no doubt be one soon.

The idea of taking pieces of writing not previously in book form and then printing them, binding them and assigning them an ISBN number is not a totally new phenomenon. Newspaper columns, for instance, have always been great fodder for book deals (and as proof we can even go back as far as the early 18th century when Addison & Steele's The Spectator appeared in volume form around 1714). What is new is where the material for this new genre is coming from.

Countless blogs are getting book deals these days. One blog, Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves, was approached by publishers and literary agents alike after only a week in the blogosphere. Other popular blogs-turned-books include Stuff White People Like and I Can Has Cheezburger which have sold over 1 million copies combined!

One blog in particular, Postcards From Yo Momma, stands out as a solid example of how (and why) certain blogs become books. In April 2009, Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home was published by Hyperion. The blog's creators-turned-editors Jessica Grose and Doree Shafrir are not surprised by it's success. As they say on their blog's site, they knew they'd tapped into something original, fun, and immensly popular from day one:

"It all started so innocently: a G-chat conversation in which we were discussing the emails our moms send us. “I’m sending you a hilarious email my mom just sent,” typed Jessica, “because I think you will like it.” “Ooh yay,” Doree wrote back. “I love hilarious mom emails.”

That's it. The birth of a blog. And then a book.

And, apparently, a book trailer? That's a new one for me.

Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home from Postcards From Yo Momma on Vimeo.