biz ladiesLife & Business

from blog to book: alt summit panel via twitter

by Grace Bonney

If there’s one thing I learned at Alt Summit this year, it’s that I can still constantly be amazed by technology and all the ways it makes information more easily available. Along with Julia Rothman, Amy Butler, Kate Woodrow of Chronicle Books and Lia Ronnen of Artisan Books, I spoke on a panel about turning your blog (or other creative project) into a book at this year’s conference. We felt strongly that this panel should deliver as much practical, honest and forthright information as possible, so we jammed as many facts and tips into that hour session as possible. I was so pleased with the turnout and response to the panel, but was bummed that we couldn’t share the advice and conversation that followed with everyone. But thanks to the magic of Twitter, Chronicle books created a very easy to follow Twitter timeline of the panel, our advice and people’s responses to it. They even organized it by chapter- it’s fantastic. So if you’re interested in checking out our panel from start to finish, please click here to read through the real-time slides and audience reaction/participation. Thanks again to all my amazing panel-mates for their advice and to everyone who joined us for the discussion. xo, grace

Photo by Justin Hackworth

Three of my favorite tweets are below. We worked so hard on this panel and I am so thrilled that people enjoyed it.

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  • I wasn’t at Alt unfortunately but was following along on Twitter. Your panel was incredibly helpful because of the honesty and real life experiences you all shared. Many people have misconceptions about what it takes to write a book and how awesome their lives will be once they get published. I think the most helpful was hearing about how the advance system works, an eye opener for sure!

  • I wish I was there! I’m thrilled that I have a book already, now I’m doing a blog — a bit backwards it seems these days. I would love to be there next year and have you give a panel about improving your blog and promoting your book. I love how you are so sincere in your posts. Thanks for sharing all your great advice. I hope to meet you one of these days soon!

    My best, Joanne

  • I was so disappointed to miss this panel! It was packed, so I went to a different one. Thank you so much for posting the Twitter feed. I can’t wait to read about your experiences- such a talented and inspiring group of ladies!

  • I’ll definitely be watching this presentation. I’m also reading your book right now. You are so inspiring and deserve all the success you’ve achieved.

  • Grace, your hard work paid off! Hands down one of the top two panels at the conference. Thanks for being so open with the information and providing tons of takeaways/nuggets. Well done.

  • awesome! thank you so much for providing this. i was at alt but was at another panel and i was disappointed to miss this one. really great advice!

  • Love this post. My biggest dream is to author a book. Used to fiction but now I’m venturing down the path of non-fiction. Love Chronicle Books and for you for sharing this information!

  • Thanks for sharing, Grace. I had so much fun doing this panel with you, Julia, Amy, and Lia.

    I hope everyone who came or followed along on Twitter got a better sense for the publishing landscape and how to turn your blog or ideas into a book. It is a lot of hard work (as Grace knows so very well), but incredibly rewarding. I’m always looking for smart new ideas to publish at Chronicle, so keep those pitches coming! And if anyone has any follow-up questions I didn’t get to answer in the panel, you can find me on Twitter.

  • I attended Alt (and your panel) and I thought it was one of the panels panels of the conference. I agree with the tweet above, suggesting that it was worth the price of admission alone. All of you were strong speakers, and I really appreciated how frankly (and from the heart) you all shared your expertise and experiences. It was really wonderful to finally meet you in person. Next time you find yourself in the Sunset, let me know! :)

  • I’ve told everyone that has asked me about my highlights from Alt about this session! So refreshing to have my expectations exceeded. Thanks again to all the panelists and their candor. Kudos!

  • Grace, I REALLY appreciate this post! And so bummed I missed your ladie’s panel. I bet it was fantastic! My goal for 2012 is to finish my 3 children’s book drafts and send them off to Chronicle! There is always the fear in the back of my head lurking that says “people won’t like what I have to offer” and so I have to remind myself that whether it is true or not, the only way to know is by submitting. Alt, was such a great experience in seeing positive and truly happy women living out their dreams. I hope to achieve that as well…. :]

  • Grace, your book is fantastic, I have been looking at it almost daily since I’ve purchased it. One small complaint would be that the book itself was printed in China. It’s always a shame when business services are performed overseas when American printers can often offer similar services and prices and badly need your business. Another bothersome fact of the Chinese printing industry is lack of regulation with much of the industry not abiding by any ecologically friendly standards, unlike the regulations we have here in the US. On your next book (I hope!) please consider pursuing an American printing option!

  • Thanks so much for sharing this – I was so bummed that I missed Alt but this is great! Definitely want to start writing a book this year, so this super helpful

  • Reflecting on my second year at Alt, I was amazed at the level of social interaction between the audience and “the world out there” who hanks to such diligent reporters were able to heed your panel’s words of wisdom. Following the Storify collections of tweets is such a great way to relive the conference all over again. I may not have to even take my Moleskin next year. My only regret is that I didn’t get an instagram shot of your hot, studded booties. Hope you’ll attend again next year.

  • This coverage was very interesting. I really appreciate the candor and honesty of the participants -it’s opened my eyes to the realities of selling books. Interesting that blog readers don’t buy books -this one does!! I love my Design Sponge at Home book!