Exploiting the Blog-to-Book Bubble: A Guide

Two blogs, Texts From Last Night and Look at this Fucking Hipster, scored contracts at Penguin's Gotham Books imprint in the past week, the latest in an endless series of such deals. Shouldn't you get a piece of the action?

It's not like there's any shame in aiming for a book deal right when you start your blog. As the New York Observer puts it:

These days it seems more and more like people start goofy Web sites practically counting on seeing their stuff between two covers.

If someone's going pay $20 for a bound collection of stale weblog posts, they might as well be yours. Here are some tips for living what seems like the new American Dream:

1. Focus on a hot technology like Twitter or iPhone apps - nothing scares the publishing industry more than a platform that basically makes it irrelevant.

2. Intimidate this shit out of people with your sheer Internet randomness. This worked well for "I Can Has Cheeseburger" and "Chuck Norris Facts," two websites old people do not understand at all.

3. Racial commentary. (Well, it worked for that site about white people — Park Slope's Blognigger still seems to be waiting on his book deal.)

4. Be this guy. (You're next, Bonerparty. The world is watching.)

5. Three words: Stalk Patrick Mulligan: The editor who acquired "Texts" for Gotham, Patrick Mulligan, is like the Ari Gold of Tumblr-to-book deals, responsible for more of these deals than almost anyone else out there: Chuck Norris Facts, I Can Haz Cheezburger, Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle and GraphJam.com the novels are all his doing.

Words of Wisdom from Patrick:

"Not all websites make great books," Mr. Mulligan said in an email. "You have to be confident that you can curate the material in such a way that it still hits its audience while also taking advantage of the book medium. For the books that I've worked on… my aim is that the person in the bookstore who picks up a copy will fall in love with the material the same way as someone who stumbles onto the website."

See you in hell Mulligan.