Monday, September 14, 2009

Blogging Creates Careers Even in a Bleak Economy

Book publishers told author Gwen Cooper that her idea to write a book about her blind cat, Homer, and how he changed her life was not distinguished enough. That all changed when she posted a blog about the cat entitled "Night of the Hunter" on Open Salon.
http://opensalon.com/blog/gwen_cooper/2008/10/01/night_of_the_hunter

One week later, Cooper had a firm offer for a book deal from Random House. The book, titled "Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline or How I Learned About Love and Life from a Blind Wonder Cat," was released today, just ten months later.

Open Salon is the popular subsite of Salon.com, the web's award-winning news and entertainment site. Open Salon offers writers and photographers a home for their work, with a built-in audience of over 5 million readers. While anyone can post on Open Salon, two Salon editors review and promote the very best content as "Editor's Picks" on the front page Salon. As a result, exceptional content receives widespread visibility and readership, leading to recognition and sometimes even book contracts.

"My blog post, ‘Night of the Hunter,' was promoted on Open Salon as an Editor's Pick, and from there it went viral with a speed and scope that even those of us who believed in Homer's Odyssey were unprepared for," said Cooper. "It turned up on Fark.com, Digg, Reddit, Propeller, pet websites, ‘women's stories' websites, and more blogs than I could keep track of. It was mentioned in a Columbia Journalism Review article about the ‘gripping reads' that could be found on Open Salon. I'm thankful to Open Salon and to the endlessly optimistic fellow bloggers who were so integral in getting us to this point."

To read Gwen Cooper's latest Open Salon post about her new book, go to:

http://open.salon.com/blog/gwen_cooper/2009/08/24/the_day_that_is_the_day

Homer's Odyssey isn't the first book deal to result from a Salon blog. Julie Powell, author of bestseller Julie and Julia landed her book deal after blogging about her experience cooking Julia Child's recipes on an early Salon blog program which became the prototype of Open Salon. The book became a blockbuster movie, now playing in theaters.

"When we opened up our first Open Salon beta to the public last August, we were blown away by the quality of the writing we attracted almost immediately," said Joan Walsh, Salon's editor-in-chief. "Gwen's post was a standout and we are so pleased that Salon was the forum that landed her the book deal.

"We offer our congratulations to both Gwen Cooper and Julie Powell. It's hard to turn your vision into a book or movie, and we are proud of providing the platform for two great writers to reach the world with their talent."

To read more about what Joan Walsh has to say about Open Salon, go to:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh/salon/2009/08/25/gwen/index.html

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