Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog To Book

I've been asked to share some tips about how to turn your blog into a book, using Blurb.

First off, if you go to blurb, you first have to download their software.  It's free.  Once the "booksmart" is installed on your computer, you can begin to "slurp" your blog posts into the booksmart program.  It's easy to follow the directions that they have.

Once all the pictures and posts are in your booksmart program, you begin to go through it, page by page, and formatting it to your liking.  You can re-size pictures.  Change layouts.  Delete text.  Add text.  Whatever you want.

When your entire book is the way you want it, then you slurp it back to blurb, and they print it off!

A few tips:  You can make your books whatever size you want. They have plenty of options.  I make my blog books all the same size: 8x10

You can choose to have a slipcover over your hardbound books, or you can have softcovers.  You can choose an image wrap option, which is where the cover pictures and text are printed directly onto your hardbound book.  The first blog book I made, I had a slipcover, or a dust jacket, as they called them in the 1980's (Back to the Future Reference) and the second book I made with the image wrap.  I love the image wrap.  If I could persuade you at all, it would be to have image wrap.

I don't make title pages or table of contents.  I just go right into my blog posts.  That being said, it is your book, so do what you want.  If you want to add 10 pages of pictures, before you even get to your first post,  then you can do it.  It's your book!

Every page is editable.  I encourage you to click on the edit button, and resize your pictures, change things up a bit, make it look pretty.  Don't make every single page look the same.  Well, I mean, you could, but it's fun to have variety.
 However, too much variety, could be awkward.  Don't play with the fonts and sizing and colors too much.  It will look crazy.  Stick with a font size and a font design throughout the book.  That's my recommendation, anyway.

Sometimes pictures aren't good enough quality, for the size of the picture box.  If you don't want a tiny picture, sometimes just uploading the picture again (through the Get Pictures button) from your picture folder on your computer will make the quality good enough to size it bigger!

For the cover, you have lots of options.  I like using the one with six pictures.  It allows me to use lots of fun pictures from throughout the year.  Here's a picture of the front and the back of my 2009 book.
 When you slurp your book, it will format every single page the same.  It's up to you to go through and change it up.  There are tons of page options under "picture layouts" and "text layouts" and you can even make your own pages, and save them to use as often as you want throughout the book.

Hope this helps you out a bit.  I love having my blog in print.


runningfan said...

I just got my 2010 blog book in the mail. I love it, too! I use the image-wrap cover, but use one picture for the front and one for the back. It's so cool! I use a few methods that are different than yours, but the result is the same!

Megan Fletcher said...

thanks for the great info. I have been wanting to use blurb and print my blog, but I wanted to "see" one they way it actually came out. Yours looks great! The tips were helpful. Do you happen to know a rough estimate on cost since you've done several?

shaina said...

Megan, my blog books are at least 400 pages, full of pictures that are great quality. I pay about 85 dollars for my books, and it's worth every penny.

When you buy it, it takes about 4 days to get it too. So quick!

Karen and Matt said...

Thanks for posting shaina! =)

Julie said...

Thank you for the tips, Shaina! Wow- 400 pages?? Mine was somewhere around 150 and it included half of 2009 as well as 2010. You must be more faithful about blog writing than me. :) Your book looks great- can't wait to get mine!

Team Sax said...

Just started downloading our blog posts! I think it will be great to have and look back at our lives before and after Karl.