When I had the great opportunity to talk to the head of my publishing company a few weeks ago, I asked him his advice for new writers. Without missing a beat, he said "write the book."
This is easier said than done, as my mind always races ahead to the fun part, like marketing and speaking and connecting with my audience. My editor has been great at helping me rein in all thoughts about book promotion. But there was one thing that needed to get planned ahead: A panel at the annual SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas.
I don’t know about you, but I salivate at the thought of spending a few days with smart, technical, creative, musically-inclined social media maniacs. It pretty much sums up my ideal target audience.
So when given the opportunity to pitch a panel on "Blog to Book Deal: How-To" with Hugh McLeod, Kathy Sierra and Ariel Waldman, I jumped at the chance. I have been a long-time hopeless fan girl of Hugh and Kathy, and have really enjoyed getting to know Ariel’s work (Hugh introduced us).
The way the SXSW festival works is they solicit proposals for panel speakers, which the general population votes on in their "panel picker." The conference organizers take this data into consideration as they make the final conference schedule.
The blog-to-book phenomenon has really exploded in the last couple of years, with people like Penelope Trunk (Brazen Careerist), Gary Vaynerchuk (101 Wines…), Seth Godin (Small is the New Big), Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen), Andy Wibbels (Blogwild), Christian Lander (Stuff White People Like) all landing book deals.
What will the panel cover?
traditional publishing dead? Apparently not, as many bloggers are
landing book deals that extend and enhance their online work. Learn
the ins and outs from bloggers that have done it including Hugh McLeod,
Kathy Sierra, Pamela Slim and Ariel Waldman.
Key Info Covered (we will massage outline if we get in, but this is the general gist):
- What are traditional publishers looking for in blog-to-book deals?
- What are the benefits of self-publishing vs. getting a publishing house?
- How is writing a book different than writing a blog?
- How do you cull years of posts into a coherent storyline?
- What are the advantages of adding a book to your portfolio of work?
- How can a book benefit long-time blog readers?
- How should you structure a new blog if you have a book in mind?
- How can you involve your blog readers in the writing of your book?
- What comes first, platform then book deal or book deal then platform?
- How can you use your blog to market your book?
- If you’re writing a blog first, how much of the the blog should end up in the book, how much to leave out?
- How does having a blog change the traditional publishing model, for both publishers and writers?
- What if you don’t get a book deal in the end? 😉
I will be honest. I want to do this panel! It will be a blast and hopefully very useful to those in attendance.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Vote for us! Go to the Panel Picker and search on "Pamela Slim" under the "Business/Entrepreneur" (update: it is in Advertising/Marketing)category. Or go to the shortcut here. In order to vote, you must register, which just takes a minute. Feel free to add a comment with suggestions, questions, etc. There are a ton of great submissions in many categories, so if you have time, vote for others that sound good. The voting deadline is August 29.
Thanks so much for your help, and I hope to see you next year at SXSW!