NYT article on bloggers getting book contracts. What is interesting is that the article shows that publishers have begun to actively search out bloggers and commission them to do books. Everyone from Belle d’Jour, a high class British call-girl blogger, to Julie Powell, a Queens secretary who blogged about trying to make every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” during the course of a year, to Gordon Atkinson, a minister and blogger known as Real Live Preacher, are being handed book contracts.
Kate Lee, an assistant at International Creative Management talent agency in New York, has become a kind of one-woman blog boutique, surfing for the best writers online and suggesting they work with her to develop and sell a book….
Ms. Lee now represents Elizabeth Spiers, who founded Gawker.com, the media- and entertainment-oriented blog, and is now writing a satirical novel about Wall Street. Ms. Lee also represents, among others, Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and political blogger known as Instapundit.
Several factors make bloggers’ books attractive to agents and editors. “Word-of-mouth buzz is much more valuable than paid advertising,” Ms. Lee said. “I think if there’s a reason people come to your site, there’s a built-in audience.”
Publishers were always happy to have authors who already have a platform, said Mr. Hornfischer, who also has started contacting other bloggers he enjoys. That built-in blog audience is growing; because the Web has no boundaries, it is international. The Perseus Development Corporation, a research-and-development firm that studies online trends, estimates there will be roughly 10 million hosted Web logs by the end of the year. Nearly 90 percent of blogs, Perseus says, are created by people under 30.
I wonder if this phenomenon will one day extend to academics, with search committees scanning academic blogs for professorial talent!!