By Edward Nawotka
In today’s media landscape, the variety of media is becoming increasingly elastic, and what constitutes a “book” is changing. Today’s feature story discusses the launch of Just World Books, a company that repurposes blogs on pertinent international topics and publishes them as print-on-demand books. But this raises a question: what really differentiates a blog from a book? Both are typically episodic (whether that’s chapters or posts), and both have a unifying voice or vision. What differentiates them is, traditionally, the polish. A book is, ideally, a finished work, one that has been painstakingly edited and revised, to provide a consistent reading experience from start to finish. A book is “bound” — either physically or metaphorically.
A blog is expected to be something more ad-hoc and casual, something that can contain all manner of writing — from long, labored-over think-pieces to tossed-off anecdotes and ephemera.
Increasingly, as the barriers to publish either in print or online have fallen, what differentiates many books from blogs appears to be simply — for many — a matter of published format. The absolute, ivory tower authority of the book has been challenged and reduced.
Yet, this also brings up another important question: having read someone’s blog, would you then bother to buy the book based on the same blog?
Let us know what you think in the comments.