Issues? What Issues?

Issues? What Issues?

Here begins a new era in publishing. It’s not a new idea but it’s a pearler! We’ve read books of letters and collated newspaper or magazine columns before – two of my faves, Marieke Hardy’s You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead and Benjamin Law’s The Family Law are just two of that ilk to be recently released. And now? It’s straight from blog to book.

Because, did you know? Apparently, the Internet, the blogosphere and increasingly popular e-books, apps and readers are threatening the print industry! I know. Obviously, that’s not quite true, not when blogs are becoming books. And it was always going to happen. Everybody’s doing it.  Everyone’s a blogger! My sister recently signed a book deal for her gorgeous blog (dressmemory.com) and when I have some more interesting/gorgeous things to blog about, I’ll be able to pitch a book too! (The theatre is SO niche it’s perhaps a little too niche, you know?! Hmmm…).

This blog-turned-book – Issues? What Issues? – is special for me because it comes from the heads and hearts of two local gal pals, Alli and Genine (alliandgenine.com). The book professes to be, like the blog, “The real, raw and honest ramblings of a couple of thirty-somethings…” And that is precisely what it is. Some of the issues get a closer look than others. It’s hard to delve deep in around 600 words.

The issues range from mother fail to the loss of romance in marriage, to shoe size, spendthrift vs shopaholic and the infamous Wigglegate saga. Don’t worry; they’re all listed on the Contents pages so you can find your faves. Some stories are LOL funny, like Genine’s letter to Alli’s son Hudson, requesting a night out on the grog with his mummy (PLEASE) just like they used to have, while other anecdotes are more serious and sometimes really, awfully, terribly, horribly sad.

The thing this little book doesn’t do is go there. If you’re a crier, like Alli, it’s actually safe to read Issues in public because you might not shed more than a tear at even the saddest stories. It’s a safe, introductory collection of stories familiar to all of us (most of the stories will be familiar to followers of the blog). It’s a mixed bag of (often embarrassing) situations. If it hasn’t happened to me, I know somebody to whom it has happened. There’s literally something for everyone. But I get the distinct feeling that the advice has been to save something for the next book. That would certainly be my advice too and I have no doubt that there will be, after this lovely, light little introduction to the world of Alli & Genine, more. Much, much more! Certainly, what I’d like to see is MORE. MORE RAW.


The influence Alli & Genine have had across social media circles in a very short time is impressive. These girls work hard and it shows (you do know they’re running two gorgeous magazines too, don’t you?! Check out Profile Magazine.). Their influence, via the blog and their regular engagement with other blogs of a similar nature, has already stretched far and wide, reaching mums and single girls (and even the guys) on Facebook and Twitter who enjoy a bit of banter about all sorts of issues. This is the secret to their early success. Alli & Genine are not limited to talking about their own issues but have opened the floodgates, in typical talk show style, to women everywhere; women who feel compelled to share their own issues and weigh in on everybody else’s. In this way, Alli & Genine have become excellent hostesses (they’re even hosting a champagne and lingerie party for fans and friends! IRL!), inviting their followers to invest personally and then (and this is the important part), showing their gratitude to readers for being part of the exchange. It’s the extra effort that is getting the attention they need to stand out in a market that is arguably on the verge of becoming flooded by beauty and fashion bloggers, mummy bloggers and mumpreneurs. Their niche approach (“I have issues but don’t we all? Yes! Let’s share them!”), is gold. The level of engagement is precisely what social media has taught us over the last few years and it’s precisely the sort of personal connection and interaction the blogosphere thrives on.

Alli & Genine’s next step seems obvious: a national book tour. And why not? It’s all part of a cunning plan. These ladies are not randomly entering the writing and speaking industry; they are setting out to conquer it! I don’t doubt that they will do just that and I look forward to seeing the sequel to Issues? What Issues? and the inevitable talk show, talk-back radio program and podcasts, TV sitcom, films and fast food chain merch (Oh boy! Happy Meal toys for mums?!), all in a matter of a few months. Look out world, these sassy women have ISSUES!


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