The annual Lulu Blooker Awards were launched in 2006 to acknowledge books that had been originally created and developed on the web. Although sponsored by online publishing house Lulu, the books submitted do not have to be published by Lulu. There are three categories - non-fiction, fiction and comics - and the winner of each receives US$2500 and the overall winner a further US$7500.
Tertia Albertyn’s moving, funny memoir of her battle with infertility is one of six blooks from around the world to be shortlisted in the Blooker non-fiction category, announced on 12 March 2007. Albertyn, now a mother of twins, runs one of the top rated blogs in South Africa, www.tertia.org, which receives up to 3500 unique visitors a day.
“Being short-listed for the Blooker prize is a major honour; the other nominees on the list are giants on the international blogging scene - sites like Daily Kos attract millions of hits a week,” Albertyn told Bizcommunity.com.
“The international media have picked up quite strongly on the awards and have given it some good exposure, which is great news for me. I have already received several emails from international publishing houses expressing interest in acquiring the international rights to my book.”
Other shortlisted titles include well-known marketer Seth Godin’s Small is the New Big (Penguin), Frank Warren’s My Secret: A PostSecret Book (HarperCollins), and machine gunner Colby Buzzell’s blog of fighting in Iraq (Penguin). The full shortlist is available at http://lulublookerprize.typepad.com.
According to the Lulu Blooker organisers, the growing success of blooks is “fresh evidence that the oft-touted rumour of the death of books is greatly exaggerated”.
The inaugural Lulu Blooker winner was the memoir on love, life and calories, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (Little, Brown), about a New Yorker who tries to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s 1961 book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Powell’s blook became an international hit, selling over 100 000 copies.
“What started out as an online journal and a way of connecting with people in a similar situation to me has turned out to be more than just a hobby. Besides being tremendously rewarding as well as a creative outlet; blogging has brought me a book deal, some nice pocket money (in terms of ad revenue) and now this nomination. It really has turned out to be quite a useful hobby!” concludes Albertyn.
For more information, go to www.lulublookerprize.com.