Blogging a Book

Joe Wickert, publishing executive and blogger, pointed out today that many authors and publishers are still concerned about potential cannibalization when book content is also available for free online, but that such concern is excessive. He drew on evidence from a recent NY Times article: Turning Free Web Work Into Real Book Sales.

Joe started blogging at the insistence of Shel Israel and Robert Scoble, as a condition of Wiley publishing their book Naked Conversations. That book was written on the blog of the same name (or rather, on the blog that used to bear that name).

His post was timely for me, since I intend to write a book next year, or at least, to write a book proposal in the early part of next year. It reminded me that the book should have its very own blog, and soon. The book in question will be about management, but it’ll be interesting and otherwise readable.

Also timely was an entry in the WordPress.com forum from Mark, Support Maven at Automattic. Advertising your own book is allowed at WordPress.com. It’s one of the few cases in which advertising is allowed on WordPress.com blogs. So that’s the likely site of my book blog.

Business Week: Show Me the Books

Business Week just published its Best Business Books of the Year list. I clicked on the link (the one I’ve just provided for you), expecting to be taken to a text-based page I could scan quickly.

Instead, I was taken to a slide show, and had to click through the books a page at a time. There were thumbnails at the foot of the slideshow pages, but most titles weren’t legible.

This seems like a mistmatch between content and presentation. The people most interested in business books can probably cope with text, and don’t need a slide show to tell them about books. More generally, BW Online seems over-fond of slide shows when more conventional web pages would be better.

I guess there’s always dead trees. But the print edition seems to be trying to ape the online edition, and not in a good way.

Back to the slide show: I really like the illustration for the 2007 best books list. I looked for the name of the illustrator, but did so in vain.

Lookybook: Looking at Picture Books

Now here’s a rather wonderful idea. Lookybook allows you to look at picture books in their entirety.

It’s like a test drive track for kid’s books. I expect that many of the test drives will lead to purchases, and hence that the site will make money from its affiliate programs. I don’t think that it will be seen as providing a substitute for real books, and neither do the folks behind the Lookybook. “We know that nothing will replace the magic of reading a book with your child.”

I’ve started setting up my bookshelf. I would embed a book in this post, but WordPress.com restrictions prevent me using the widget that Lookybook provides. I like a lot of things about the site, including the fact that it refers to itself as a preview rather than a beta.

Things I’d like to see added include: a wishlist feature; tagging; a blog (Lookyblog?). And more books. There are currently a couple of hundred, with plans to get that above a thousand next year. I wish a prosperous holiday season to Lookybook, and to Drawn!, where I read about Lookybook.

Blog Hero: Internet Duct Tape

Eric, purveyor of fine Internet Duct Tape, is a blogging hero. I say so because he’s knowledgeable, helpful, and writes very well.

Now that the book Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World’s Top Bloggers features Eric, his heroism becomes more official. Eric’s understandably excited post includes a link to the pdf of the chapter about him.

Congratulations, Eric!