Blogs are a fantastic, easy and popular way to document your thoughts in an easy to read and accessible way. They allow everyone to be self-expressive, creative and insightful. Bloggers are advocates, teachers, organizers, and do-oers. Perhaps you are hoping to share your expertise, or maybe you just want to share your life story with the world.
Either way, these online journals often have outstanding content that shouldn’t just be floating around in cyberspace. So, what better way to capture the content of the brilliant minds behind the writing than to make it tangible. Putting your content into a book offers many benefits to both writers and readers alike:
- It allows you to show off your work to friends and family in a way that is easy for them to look at and feel at their convenience.
- For the writer who is looking to get their content published, putting your content in a more tangible form will make it easier to pitch your ideas to a traditional publisher.
- It brings your archived posts back to life. By extracting your posts into a book and including an index, you can clearly see all the content without having to scroll back and forth.
- Your blog book is a 100 percent original depiction of you. Aside from the content itself, you can add other media that you find relevant or compelling.
First thing’s first, get organized. Before you get started with turning your blog into a book, begin by organizing your thoughts. Look at all of your posts and group them into common themes. These common themes can be grouped together to form the chapters. This will help you decide which direction you want your story to go. Some general tips on the content itself:
- Do not include content that is irrelevant to your theme.
- Look for holes in the story, you may have some content that you will need to write in order to fill in the gaps (this is a great way to get new content ideas!).
- Consider writing an introduction and conclusion in order to make sure that your story or theme makes sense.
Secondly, get proofreaders. You will want constructive feedback before you put your book into print. Find an insightful reader or three to give your blogs a good read through and confirm that the common theme you have chosen is cohesive and flows nicely.
Ready to Self-Publish
Organizing the content is probably the hardest part of the process. Now that you have decided what to include and how to structure it, it is time to put it all together. I have tried a few different self-publishers to accomplish this task, and I have found that the Blog Slurper from Blurb is an easy-to-use interface. Here are nine easy steps to make your book come to life using the Blurb Blog Slurper interface:
- Choose a size. Generally speaking, a portrait orientation usually works better for replicating the original format of the posts.
- Start up the Blurb BookSmart platform (making sure that you have the most updated version).
- Select “New Book” in the file menu and start the Blog Slurper. The Blog Slurper currently works with Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress and TypePad.
- Choose which entries and comments you want to include, sit back and let the magic happen.
- When you import your posts, you can chose whether or not you want to include links and comments. It is entirely up to you, but keep in mind that links can be very long and comments may not always be appropriate.
- Work with the images and the overall layout. If you want to include a larger picture in your hard copy, you may need to upload it from your camera or computer. The resolution of the image when imported from the web may be affected when it is stretched to fit.
- Once your content is uploaded, you can customize as much as you’d like. Some ideas of pages to add:
- Dedication page
- Contact page
- Table of contents page or index
- About the author page
Order a proof copy before you order the real thing. It is always a good idea to give the finished product a good read through before you spend the money on the real thing. Look at the content, the layout, the flow and overall appearance.
If you are happy with the proof you can order your official copies, or go back and make changes if you were not happy with the way the proof turned out. Once finished, you can also choose to publish your book to the blurb bookstore.
Get in the routine of publishing your original content whenever you feel like you have reached a good breaking point in your blog. Perhaps you want to make one every year, or depending on how often you publish new content, you can also do it every couple of months or after you have reached a new milestone.