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blook

noun [countable]

a book based on material from a weblog

'There aren't any blook stores yet. Nor is there a New York Review of Blooks. But the blook – a book by a blogger – is a growing presence in the publishing biz.'

U.S. News & World Report 4th March 2006

a growing number of bloggers are seeing themselves as budding authors, using the medium to write blog books, or blooks, which they can pay to have printed

Many recent neologisms have emerged from the comparison between the real and online world. For instance, we now talk about e-tailers as opposed to bricks-and-mortar retailers, or face-to-face as opposed to virtual sales. The transition from printed to electronic page has been one such area, turning diaries into blogs (weblogs) and magazines into webzines. And now, in what seems a bizarre twist, we've come full circle, as blogs, commentaries originating firmly in the virtual world, are becoming blooks, texts made of real bits of paper that you can hold in your hand.

Latest estimates say that there are more than 60 million blogs worldwide, and though many simply consist of the daily observations of ordinary people, a growing number of bloggers are seeing themselves as budding authors, using the medium to write blog books, or blooks, which they can pay to have printed.

Among the most popular blooks to emerge so far is Egg Bacon Chips & Beans – 50 Great Cafes And The Stuff That Makes Them Great, by Russell Davies (HarperCollins, October 2005). Based on Davies's blog eggbaconchipsandbeans, this guide to the UK's best 50 "greasy spoon" cafés has become a cult book, and is among those blooks competing for the recently unveiled Blooker Prize, an award for bloggers turned bookwriters whose name bears a tongue-in-cheek resemblance to the prestigious Booker Prize. The first Blooker Prize winner will be announced on 3rd April 2006. The prize's founder, American multimillionaire Bob Young, argues that whereas the Booker is often perceived as highbrow and removed from the ordinary reader, the Blooker taps into a growth area in popular culture. Many bloggers with a passion for a particular subject and an accessible writing style have won a regular and appreciative audience, creating the potential for blooks to become increasingly popular in the future.

Background – blook

Blook is a blend of the words blog and book, a combination first coined in 2002 by American journalist Jeff Jarvis. Jarvis invented the term when popular Hollywood blogger Tony Pierce held a competition to name his first printed book based on blog material.

The term blook is also sometimes used to describe a book which is serialised on a weblog, with chapters published one by one as separate blog posts.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 20th March 2006.

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