Monday, February 23, 2009

Making your blog into a book

Natalie, I'm answering your question!

This is for anyone who has a blog. Did you know you can make your blog into a book? You can. I've done two--one for 2007 and one for 2008. (You choose which entries to use; it can be a few from a certain time period, or a whole year like mine, or longer.) Both turned out great--very sturdy and professional-looking.

The company I used is blurb. You download their booksmart software (easy), and it "slurps" your blog. You can then edit each page's layout--sometimes you might want the page to feature one large picture with your text, or make one page a photo collage, for example. There are dozens of layouts for both text and pictures. You don't have to use each and every blog entry you wrote, and you can add entries or pictures as well.

Two helpful hints:

1) You must have a gmail account. At least, that was my experience. I pounded my head into a brick wall trying to make booksmart log into blogger with my "regular" hotmail account for longer than I care to admit. (I believe this is because blogger and google/gmail are related . . . but I'm not sure.) Finally I created a gmail account and it worked just fine.

2) For the first 6 weeks of this year I got a message like "booksmart is experiencing technical difficulties and must shut down." I was so frustrated and thought there was something wrong with my computer or its capabilities. Then one day, everything worked just fine! So I guess they really *did* have technical problems. So if this happens to you, don't give up. Just try again in a few days.

When you're done editing, you can choose how you want your book printed: softcover, hardcover with dust jacket, or hardcover with image wrap. There is a price difference of course. I chose the hardcover with image wrap both times and I'm very pleased. I consider it to be our family history.

You can preview my book here and see the difference in pricing. Pricing is done per page so yours would be potentially less expensive than mine. Regardless of length, it was totally worth it.

Booksmart also allows you to create other types of books. My friend Carmen (or her sister?) made books for her parents' birthdays. Each child contributed pictures and childhood memories, which were uploaded into the software. I can imagine that they made for very special gifts.

I wouldn't have known about this either if not for a friend mentioning it on her blog, so . . . I'm passing the info on to you!


Natalie said...

Thanks for the answer. Although, I tried blurb and it said it wasn't blogger compatible. Maybe I'll just have to keep trying. How long ago did you do your last book?

Rebecca and Co. said...

I did it around the first week of Feb. Okay, one time when I went to "try" again, it only listed two places to slurp the blog from: wordpress and another one. All the other times it listed several options, including blogger. Then when I went back a week or so later, blogger was listed and it finally worked. Like I said, I tried from the end of December until the first week of February to make it all work. When I did my first book, it was in August of 2008 and the only problem I had was needing a gmail acct.

As you've probably noticed, they don't have any customer service....

My advice would be to just keep trying.

The Happy Housewife said...

My sister in law was telling me about this the other day. Definitely something I plan on looking into.

Joseph and Katie Smith said...

My sister is Betsy Fowler. She gave me your sight to look into about making my blog into a book. My question is this....I have downsized all my pics to upload onto blog faster. Will it transfer to a book okay or will I not have very good quality pics in the book from downsizing the photos?
BTW I heard about your T.P. Family Home Evening activity and saw some looked like a lot of fun! Don't you just love the way Betsy's mind works? :) I just love that girl. Anyways, I am going to give blurb a try in the very near future. I have been blogging for a year now and I want to have it in book form so bad. I used to be a big scrapbooker and this really makes it easier. Thank you for your post.
Katie Fowler Smith

Anonymous said...

mm. amazing text..