Blog posts come and go quickly, which is one of the joys but also one of the frustrations of the trade.
Over time, you can publish thousands of posts that are several hundred words long each, which will quickly add up to millions of words.
The problem for most bloggers is how to better preserve and monetize all of this work?
Well, San Francisco-based ebook publisher Hyperink has come up with an option. This week, it is introducing a concept it calls “blog books,” which are short (10-12,000 word) compilations of a blogger’s best, say, 25 posts on a topic.
Inkling, which is the leader in reinventing textbooks as collaborative learning environments, has expanded its offerings well beyond the formal educational market by bringing consumer-friendly titles such as The Professional Chef, from The Culinary Institute of America, to the iPad.
Despite a price tag of $50, the Pro Chef app quickly shot up to the second-most downloaded app in the iTunes store during the week after its appearance and the top-selling lifestyle app.
Back in 2008, when Mark Coker launched Smashwords as a self-publishing platform for independent authors of ebooks, he knew that self-publishing “was widely seen as the option as last resort for failed authors.”
That was then.
When I caught up with him by phone yesterday, Coker stated, “I think that self-publishing is actually becoming the option of first resort for authors now.”
Though they may only account for a single-digit portion of the overall book market at present, sales of ebooks are soaring globally and will probably reach $12.7 billion (16.1 percent of all book sales), according to Outsell, by 2013.
And since Amazon has established that there is a “long tail” for physical books, that should logically be even more true for ebooks.
Sometimes it's scary to ponder the fact that, at least on Amazon.com, eBooks surpassed the sales of physical books this year. Not to mention how many people I notice staring down at their ereaders on the way to work. But San Francisco, as always, is a city full of dichotomies, where the newest waves of technology and innovation clash with tradition all the time.