Caroline McCarthy of CNET posted this article today about the blog-to-book phenomenon. While she points out several noteworthy blog-to-book disappointments, I can't help but wonder about the successful ones she didn't mention. Her article focuses on highly visible trade titles and perhaps the hit rate is less there than in my world of mostly technology-oriented books. Nevertheless, we're thrilled with the success of several of our blog-to-book titles including Naked Conversations, Lifehacker (which is currently in its second edition, Upgrade Your Life) and our most recent offering, ProBlogger.
Having seen a few of these work so well it's clear author platform is vital, but there is at least one other key ingredient required as well: the reader's hunger for something beyond the blog. Think about your top 10 favorite blogs. After reading their latest posts how many times have you wished for something more, not just the next series of posts? How many times did you leave that site or RSS feed and think, "gee, I wish that blogger would come out with a book"? If you're like me your answer is "rarely."
Most of the blogs I read on a regular basis leave me quite satisfied and I rarely find myself wishing for more. Additionally, I generally love the short bursts of content each blog offers and probably wouldn't have the same reaction if the material was presented in chapter-length pieces instead. IMHO, that's the main reason why it's hard for some of these wildly successful blogs to cross over into the bookosphere.