Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blog to Book

I cannot say I've been picked up by an agent or publisher to convert this blog into a book. I've not even been picked up by printed compilations of blog posts! My only claim to literary fame was being mentioned as a favourite in a forum at last year's Cheltenham Literary Festival by Tom Reynold's of the blog Random Acts of Reality and author of Blood, Sweat and Tea (sure my hits soared for a couple of weeks but descended again - and even you haven't linked to me Tom, you git! Don't you like me any more?)

I am now reading Waiter Rant - Behind the Scenes of Eating Out by A. Waiter, a New York waiter who started blogging his job experiences and was picked up to put the blog into paper form. As said, I have previously read and written about Tom Reynold's Blood, Sweat and Tea derived from his blog recounting his work in the London Ambulance Service (both the blog and the book are marvellous!). There are several other books out there derived from blogs.

Reading Waiter Rant got me thinking about what makes a blog into a good book.

There must be many factors but one of the major ones must be to not follow the maxim "We reserve the right to go off subject and write about what the fuck we want."

I enjoy NHS Blog Doctor and Dr Rant, the Whites in NZ, Lucia and others but I don't think we'll ever make it to paper. I am too diverse ... writing about Linux, BBC iPlayer hacks at the same time as Kezia's blood-counts and the state of the UK National Health Service does not make a book. Drs Crippen and Rant are so focussed on the politics of the UK NHS their paper versions would probably not sell outside of the UK medical professsion. The Whites in NZ recount personal daily life with a daughter with leukaemia and rarely venture further afield - of little interest unless you are a personal friend or going through the same shit.

Obviously, the life of a sex-worker, a Delta Airlines stewardess sacked for posting mildly provocative photos of herself in Delta uniform, and Shawn Atwood's experiences in Joe Arpaio's Arkansas prisons (he's stilll working on the book but has got an agent) make interesting reading ...

... but a mixture of leukaemia, IT hacking and random observations just ain't going to make it.

We were outted (with agreement) for a good cause by photo-journalist Caroline Irby as to our geographical locations last year. A good (git) of a friend gave my boss the url of this blog so, although I still feel I cannot talk about work and my employer, I can at least talk about where we live.

Cited links on right.

P.S. As a complete aside, some two years ago Xena of turned me onto DJ Carlitos' weekly world music radio show on WRIR. Each 2 hr+ show is a free downloadable in no DRM mp3 format.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the mention!

Yes, I also don't think the way our blog is right now would make a good book and I guess that's really all it was intended for was to inform our overseas friends and family about our journey and I guess have somewhere where Bianca could go back and read all about her life with leukemia.

However over time I have gathered a number of people who are all reading our blog, many who aren't relatives or close friends and definitely some who are not actually going through the same journey as us. So I'm not quite sure what their motives are for reading our blog (I think it might be interesting to actually find out).

The closest I got to being published is - this is one of our main newspapers in Wellington (one of the cities here in New Zealand) and they publish our blog the way it is.

And we've been in the paper a number of times, but not because of our blog, but because of Bianca with her leukemia and the hassles at Wellington hospital.

We've had a writer show interest in Bianca's leukemia treatment and some of the photos that we have on our blog and she became interested because of some of the entries where I have leukemia treatment information. I understand this book will have a leukemia focus - will give details once I know more.

I have a few other blogs that I am playing around with that does not have a leukemia focus at all, but at this point, nothing spectacular.

Lea White