Well, we did it. With mere minutes to spare, and with no time to format a contents page… but we did it. In seven days flat, from start to finish.
This afternoon, I received some fantastic news. The book’s publishers, Lulu.com, have very kindly offered to donate their share of the profits to Comic Relief. Lulu, I kiss you.
To order your copy, all you have to do is click on the following VERY IMPORTANT URL:
This will take you directly to Lulu’s ordering page for the book.
The cover price is £8.96, of which
£3.63 £4.64 will go to Comic Relief once external manufacturing costs have been deducted.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: our list of esteemed contributors. We decided to settle on exactly one hundred of you… and, in strict order of appearance, these are they.
1. An Unreliable Witness
2. Emma Kennedy
3. Oh, quelle surprise, Princess Pushy has gone and stuck herself at the front…
6. Petite Anglaise
7. Sally Morten
8. Richard Herring
9. Edvard Moonke
10. The Overnight Editor
12. Chase me, ladies, I’m in the cavalry
13. Tim Worstall
15. Diamond Geezer
16. The Bedside Crow
17. Smaller Than Life
18. The Web of Evil
19. Drifting in and out of consciousness
21. Jamie4U – yeah Gay Pride and all that shit!
22. bob’s yer uncle
24. Argy Bargey
25. A Free Man In Preston
26. This Is This
27. JonnyB’s Private Secret Diary
28. (Contains Mild Peril)
29. Real E Fun
30. Tokyo Girl Down Under
32. [from fuck-up to] fab!*
33. Tired Dad
35. The H factor
36. Confessions of a Psychotherapist
37. Betty’s Utility Room
38. NHS Blog Doctor
39. Naked Blog
40. Mommy Has a Headache
41. Random Burblings
42. Momentary lapses of insanity…
45. This Is The Goo I’ve Got
48. Kaliyuga Kronicles
49. Grantham New Town
50. Tippler Does Brussels
52. Doctor Oddverse’s Different Dictionary
54. Andrew Collins: Where Did It All Go Right?
56. Deacon Barry
57. Chicken Yoghurt
58. The Fishwhacker Swindle?
59. The World of Yaxlich
60. My Blog Ate My Homework
62. Living for Disco
63. Everything Is Electric
66. I am livid
67. Office Space
68. Boob Pencil
69. Diary of a Goldfish
70. My Boyfriend Is A Twat
71. Chocs Away, Old Girl!
72. What I Wrote
73. DramaQueen, Fag-Hag, JAP
74. Blue Cat
75. Reluctant Nomad
76. The Cartoon Blog
77. Swish Cottage (closed)
78. David Belbin
79. The Singing Librarian Talks (or Writes…)
80. Invading Holland
82. John Soanes
83. 1000 Shades of Grey
84. What’s New, Pussycat?
85. Tranniefesto: A Crossdressing Adventure
86. Struggling Author
87. Other Men’s Flowers
88. The Big Side Order
89. Neil Writes the Blog
90. Beyond The White Cliffs
91. Girl with a One-track Mind
92. Just A Blog
93. An Observant and Desperately Ironic Teenage Perspective
94. meish dot org
95. Tales from the Canalside
96. Speaking as a Parent
97. Keir Royale
98. A Sideways Look At Womanhood
99. Mitzi (URL withheld)
100. The Albert Tatlock Persuasion
Before we go any further, I have a few people to thank.
Lest you think otherwise, this has been far from a one-man show. I have enjoyed the services of a crack editorial team, who have spent many hours helping me select the 100 entries, and generally pitching in with advice, support and encouragement: Anna, Jack, Peter and Petite. Scaryduck has given much helpful advice, and is responsible for the domain name. Anna (again) and Deborah have helped with the proofreading. Peter (again) wrote the blurb for the back cover. Dymbel and Siobhan, professionals both, have advised me with the layout. My darling K has been the very soul of patience, and has been on hand with glasses of red wine at strategic moments. And can I just thank Anna a third time? She has been in on the idea right from the very start, within minutes of the thought popping into my head on Wednesday afternoon. Without Anna, I doubt that this project would have happened.
VERY SPECIAL THANKS to the hugely talented Lucy Pepper, for the stunning cover art.
And last but not least, a big THANK YOU to the literally HUNDREDS of you who have submitted entries, and pimped the project on your own sites.
For my part, this has been the most mammoth undertaking of my entire life. Seriously. Since Sunday afternoon, I have literally done nothing else but work, eat, sleep, go to the loo, and put the hours in on this project, until 2am every night. (OK, I took half an hour off for lunch on Monday. But it felt weird, and wrong.) I have read over 300 submissions. I have received and processed well in excess of 1500 e-mails. I have learnt a vast amount in a very short space of time. It has been stressful, but also hugely, HUGELY enjoyable. Even tonight, I was beavering away right up until the deadline; believe it or not, the book only “went to press” with 45 minutes to spare.
I tell you what, as well. Make no mistake: this is one absolute BELTER of a book: a showcase of British Blogging at its finest. Most of the entries, and indeed many of the submissions which didn’t make it to press, have made me laugh out loud. Sometimes, I have been in stitches. Yes, that might have been simple hysteria. But never has hysteria felt so sweet.
A word on the editing process. In certain cases, I have had no option but to tinker with your words; sometimes to make a piece fit neatly on the page, without awkward overspills, and sometimes just to make your words look better in print. Grammar, punctuation, stylistic tickles, that sort of thing. But rest assured that I haven’t done anything which would compromise your own individual voices. If you’re anything like me, who is still fairly new to the freelancing game, you won’t even notice what I’ve done. Blog posts are often immediate, chatty, full of asides, bashed out in snatched moments during the day. The demands of the printed page are subtly different. It goes with the territory, darlings. (Ooh, hark at her, Miss High And Mighty Editor all of a sudden, who does she think she is… )
And now to the next stage of the project.
PLEASE, PLEASE, pimp this baby HARD. We need the sales. Lots and lots of them. Link to the book from your blogs. Copy and re-use the cover art (450 pixels at the top of the post, and a sidebar-friendly 200 at the bottom), or grab it off Flickr. Get your friends, family and colleagues to buy it. Digg, Redddit, del.icio.us, all that guff: USE THEM. Badger your local media: come on, it’s a story. Work every contact and connection you have. This book needs to be the biggest story in blogland. Christ, I’m turning into Bob Geldof.
Here, have a press release. Scaryduck wrote this. Use it.
Bloggers publish book for Comic Relief.
100 bloggers have published a book to raise funds of the BBC’s Comic Relief appeal on Friday 16th March.
‘Shaggy Blog Stories’ features hilarious contributions from Richard Herring of ‘Fist of Fun’ fame, BBC 6Music presenter Andrew Collins, comedian Emma Kennedy, and James Henry, scriptwriter from Channel Four’s ‘The Green Wing’.
Authors Abby Lee, David Belbin, Catherine Sanderson and The Guardian’s Anna Pickard have also contributed pieces to the book.
The vast majority of contributions, however, are the work of many of the lesser known and unfamiliar heroes of British blogging; going under pen names such as Diamond Geezer, Scaryduck, Pandemian and Unreliable Witness.
Also contributing to ‘Shaggy Blog Stories’, and hoping to raise funds for the Comic Relief Appeal is local writer INSERT YOUR NAME, LOCALITY AND BLOG DETAILS HERE.
The book is the idea of blogger Mike Atkinson who writes the ‘Troubled Diva’ weblog. ‘Shaggy Blog Stories’ features comic writing from not only the cream of British blogging, but also the best up-and-coming and undiscovered writers publishing their work on their own websites.
Giving himself a “ridiculously short” seven days from idea to finished product, Atkinson admitted that he was overwhelmed with the response, which gleaned over 300 submissions for publication.
With a pool of talented writers, and the latest publishing-on-demand technology, Shaggy Blog Stories bypasses the usual snail-paced publishing industry, and offers a mail order service to customers who will receive their finished copy within days of placing their order, and only a couple of weeks after the original idea.
“Blogging creates complex, worldwide networks of friendship and contacts on the internet”, says journalist Alistair Coleman, one of Shaggy Blog Stories’ contributors. “By creating a buzz about this book, we can reach out to hundreds, thousands of readers who’d be willing to part with a few quid for this very good cause. Mike’s got some excellent writers on board here whose work deserves a wider audience. Everybody wins.”
For details of how to order the book, visit http://www.shaggyblogstories.co.uk.
For the background story on the creation of Shaggy Blog Stories, take a look at http://www.troubled-diva.com.
After days of surfing on nervous energy, I suddenly feel very tired. Back to the office tomorrow. It’s been a blast, hasn’t it?
The VIRTUAL LAUNCH PARTY is now in full swing in the comments box. It’s an all-dayer, so don’t worry, we’re well stocked.