Blog to Book Deals
Do blogs that become books recycle some already-blogged material? Or is the blogger expected to generate all new material for the book?
I am writing a memoir and recently decided to blog about the process of writing it. I try to keep them separate—the blog is satire about writing, the memoir is my life history w/ some serious moments. However, I'm occasionally tempted to blog about a story or idea that also would fit in nicely w/ the memoir, but I don't want any conflict for when I try to get the full-length memoir published.
I appreciate any insight!!!
You're talking about two different things. If you're writing a memoir and blogging about writing the memoir, that's not a 'blog to book deal'. A 'blog to book deal' is when a publisher contracts a book based on someone's blog content, such as the 'Julia and Julia' thing (which was then made into a movie). It sounds from your post like you plan to submit the manuscript as a manuscript.
Nothing ever seems to completely disappear from the 'net, so I would recommend that you not put anything on your blog that you even *might* want to use in your manuscript. Even if you decide not to use an anecdote in your memoir, wait until you've contracted the book and it's been through the complete editing process. After all, your editor might want you to add stuff, so you don't want to have put great wodges on your blog. (An editor might not mind reusing blogged material, but then again, they might. Why take the risk?) Save those, and then if they don't get added to the book later, you can use them as part of your PR for the book, as teasers.
I agree with Terie. You're talking about two different things, and since your intention isn't to have the blog get a book deal (which is hard, hard, hard! and good that you aren't doing that), I'd keep the memoir content off the blog. Why take the risk, indeed.
But as to the center of your question--I've had several blogs I love get turned into books, and yes, the majority of the book was content from the blog. But in every instance, it was just a super super popular blog that happened to get a book deal precisely because the content was so good and the audience had become so large. However, the blog content was always reworked to make it more book-like, and I would wager that in every single one, about 33% was totally new material.
That's not what you're doing though, sounds like, and I wouldn't advise blogging in the hopes that the blog will get a deal. It sounds like you're going about things the smartest way.
My name is PJ.
Take it off the blog.
Akin to self-publishing, blogging your "book" just means that people can get it for free. Why would the publisher want to publish something that's already out there?
I know a couple of people who got blog to book deals, but they were for quirky, humerous non-fic books. In terms of content, they contained some of the posts from the blog with a good amount of new material - after all, as some folk said upthread, why pay for it if you can get it for free.
Thank you all SO SO much for the insight.
Yes, I deliberately plan IN THEORY to have them be separate in content. But occasionally I'm tempted to use a joke, idea, thought, anecdote, or description that also fits in nicely with the memoir.
And I'm aware that my situation isn't a typical blog-to-book deal where the content theme or subject matter is the same as the book, HOWEVER, I am hoping it serves as a platform for making my story more attractive to a publisher, if the blog is successful and gets some kind of a following. I guess I am hoping the book will be "that memoir by that guy who blogged about his journey while writing it."
Anyway, it sounds like you all are pretty unanimous in saying I should stay on the conservative side and keep them as separate as possible and not use material that could be an asset for my memoir, since that is the (hopeful) money maker/priority.
Last edited by metamemoir; 01-16-2013 at 01:26 AM.