Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? The question applies to blogs (free content) that will soon be turned into books (content you pay for), as well as one-night stands! An as-yet-untitled book by blogger Lizzie Skurnick, based on her Jezebel column about classic children's/young adult literature, just sold to HarperCollins. Which got us thinking: how will the most recent blog-to-book deals sell when they are turned into blogs on paper, bound between two covers? From e-mailing moms to cats doing silly things, we round up some of the recent blog-to-book deals and ask ourselves: want, or do not want?
- I Can Has Cheezburger: LOLcats, the Book
We got ahold of their proposal a couple months ago, in which the authors assured:
"We don't envision [the book] as a simple recompiling of images from the website, but rather a supplement to the site... Instead of just slapping some lolcats on a page and calling it a book, ICHC proposes a more adademic approach, hosted by Professor Happycat, [who] will show the reader the finer points of ICHC's most popular memes.
Each page will include an official lolcat definition of the meme along with pronunciation and examples of real life lolspeak situations (i.e. iz u reddy for mah lolcat book?)"
The LOLcats experience is fleeting; the site stuffed with content, and copycat sites abound. While we're glad they're not simply "slapping some LOLcats on a page," Professor Happycat seems to be explaining to the reader (see photo above) just exactly why said LOLcat memes are funny. Which is difficult, because the LOLcat experience is delightfully random—nobody's quite sure why they're funny, just that they are. Verdict: DO NOT WANT
- (Untitled): Jezebel's "Fine Lines" column about classic kid/young adult books
This blog column by Lizzie Skurnick discusses "in which we give a sentimental, sometimes-critical, far more wizened look at the children's and YA books we loved in our youth." Do not underestimate the power of teen girls, bookish girls, and women who used to be teen girls! They love this stuff. Verdict: WANT
Honestly, this self-explanatory book could go either way in terms of sales. It's the wild card of this bunch. In our opinion, the web site is just not that funny. Also, the idea has been done before with The Preppy Handbook and The Hipster Handbook. The book has been rushed to print (out in July!) so fast that it makes us suspicious. (Hey, you'd rush to print if you shelled out $350,000, too.) Verdict: DO NOT WANT
- Postcards From Yo Momma
By the Observer's Doree Shafrir and Jezebel's Jessica Grose. Um, duh. Moms being dumb on e-mail is hilarious, as is any kind of generational e-mail gaffe. It'd be harder to sell a book full of cute-kitten photos. Verdict: WANT
- Passive Aggressive Notes
A blogfull of—yep—passive-aggressive notes. Maybe if it's sold on a table at Urban Outfitters alonside those "things to do when you're stoned" and sex position joke books. But does anyone want a book full of funny pictures of notes? You can't e-mail those to your friends! Verdict: DO NOT WANT
- ONE CAVEAT: The biggest, in actual books sales-to-advance rate, failed blog-to-book of them all: The Gawker Guide to Conquering All Media
Advance: reportedly 'round $250,000
Sales: 'bout 1,000 copies
The Lesson: We thought we did everything right—instead of repackaging content from the website (Julia Allison pics), we hired a very funny comedienne, Chelsea Peretti, to write a cheeky, jokey how-to guide to "conquering" the media. Guess what? Nobody wanted. This is the one-night stand theory in action.
Anywho, if any of the above earn out, we'll take you to lunch at Balthazar!