Monday, March 12, 2007

The Lulu Blooker Prize

Lulu is a print-on-demand publisher that has assumed a pretty active role in the comics and online communities, and which established the Lulu Blooker Prize to recognize books that started out as blogs or web-based content ("blog" + "book" = "blook"). Although the prize is sponsored by Lulu, nominees don't have to be published by them. Their big winner last year was Julie Powell's very popular Julie & Julia.

The Blooker is awarded in three categories: fiction, non-fiction, and comics. There is prize money involved. Early this morning, the Blooker organizers announced the short list of nominees in each category and, well, I probably wouldn't be writing about it if Mom's Cancer weren't one of them. This is a really nice recognition that I appreciate very much.

The judges are writer/teacher/journalist Paul Jones, Arianna Huffington, the aforementioned Julie Powell, philosopher/writer Rohit Gupta, and journalist Nick Cohen. After I talk my publisher into sending them enough books for everybody to read without sharing ("Hey Arianna, hand that over, it's my turn!"), the judges will think it over and announce the three category winners and one grand prize winner on May 14.

My fellow nominees in the Comics category are Zach Miller for The Definition of Awesome: Another Joe and Monkey Collection, and Pete Abrams for Born of Nifty: Sluggy Freelance Megatome 01. I confess I'm completely ignorant of "Joe and Monkey." However, "Sluggy Freelance" is a genuine Webcomic success story and pioneer, a real model for creators trying to figure out how to build an audience and maybe earn a few bucks with Web-based content. ("Joe and Monkey" may be all those things, too; I just don't know about it.)

A measure of Pete Abrams's success? One gracious mention on his site less than 12 hours ago has brought more visitors to my site and blog than I'd normally get in about two weeks. Now that's an audience! Thanks for the hits, Pete, and good luck to you. Same to Zach.

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