Now it can be told: In some ways the most frustrating thing about the deal I signed in August to write a guide to blogging for professionals was that I wasn’t permitted to discuss the project here in my blog-about-blogging.
This was probably a good business decision for my publisher, as they did not want to tip their hand to their competitors and they were not 100% sure about going through the with the project anyway. In fact, when they met a few weeks ago to decide whether to “reapprove” the project, they decided not to.
They gave me the option of leaving the book on hold for a few months to see whether the market picks up (the bookscan numbers for other blog books just weren’t looking all that good) or to execute the cancelation, permitting me to keep the advance money already tendered and retain rights to the material I’d written (the first nine chapters out of a prospective fifteen).
So now, at last, just when the year is winding down and I’m a tad burned out on blogging, I can finally discuss the project in public while I decide how to repurpose the material I wrote.
When I get a chance, I’ll probably post the book proposal, both to make the case of the kind of book I was trying to do and to advertise the property to other prospective publishers. I am actually in the process of discussing a slightly different take on the same material with another publisher, so it’s not so far-fetched to think that this content might see the light of day in dead-tree form eventually.
Failing that, my agent will shop it to online courseware companies. If that goes nowhere, then I have the option of self-publishing the material (the choices are print-on-demand or e-publishing, and I’d probably go for the latter as the overhead is much less) and conceivably giving it away for free via the web.
Perhaps if people find value in the first 2/3rds of the book, I will feel motivated to finish it, even if there is no third-party publisher willing to underwrite the effort. We’ll see.
At least now I can discuss it without violating a business agreement.