Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, May 2, 2011

blog2book the how to post

My regular readers will know that I'd almost decided to have part of my blog printed as a Christmas gift for my sister.
I turned the idea over in my mind for a week or so...

I'd seen the Blog2Book icon on my dashboard page and ignored it for a long time, but then I thought, why not?

So I clicked on it and the "sharedbook" window opened with options for making a book out of my blog.
I'm typing this from memory, so if I make a mistake, well, that's just too bad.
You can always go there and check it out for yourself.

I read through the first page and noticed two page layout options.

Option one: COMPACT, which is the recommended option, and prints your selected posts in as few pages as possible, conserving space and costs.

Option two: SNAPSHOT, which prints the pages of your blog
exactly as they appear on your blog.

I went with the recommended Compact layout. (Because I'm a cheapskate and like to save money).

As it turns out, this was a mistake and I should have chosen the Snapshot layout. It uses more pages, so costs a bit more, but my text and photos would be just as I had them on my blog.


Since quite a few of my posted photos have descriptive text, it's important that text and photos remain together.
I'll know next time.....

After choosing your page layout, you click on "Create Your Book". Or maybe it's "Generate Book".
Then there is an option where you can print the blog as is or choose a range of pages with a beginning date and an end date.

I chose the range of pages, then waited while the site loaded all the pages within that dated range.
Totalled 407 pages at a rather large cost.
Naturally I didn't want all the posts,
just a selected few that I thought my sister would enjoy.

So from there I chose the edit pages option, a window opened with the blog pages indexed, with a check mark boxed beside each one. I went through that carefully, UNchecking each post that I didn't want included.
Finally, I had the book reduced to the 24 posts I'd chosen for my sister, J. I was relieved to find the cost well within the amount I was prepared to pay.
There are further selections to be made for the cover of the book, from hard or soft cover, cover design, (bubbles, stars, christmas, etc). in a rainbow of colour selections.
I chose the Christmas design, with a soft cover.
From that point (or earlier if you want to do things backwards), you can choose to upload one of your own photos for a front cover picture, use the same one for a back cover picture or upload a diferrent photo for the back cover, or leave the back cover plain. Or both covers plain.

My book has the same photo front and back.

Inside the book there's a dedication page where you can write your own message, but the characters are limited to a certain number, much like twitter. I wrote J a Merry Christmas message.

When you've completed your book you can, and should, preview it to make sure everything is the way you want it.

This is where I realised I should have chosen the Snapshot layout, not the Compact one. But because I'd already put in so much time unchecking all the posts I didn't want included, I really didn't want to bother deleting the whole thing and starting over.
At this late stage you can't go back and change it. Deleting and starting over is the only option.

So that's an important point.
Choose the page layout FIRST.

If your blog is all text it won't matter.
If your photos are few, or don't have descriptive text, it probably won't make much difference.

But I included a couple of posts that had quite a few photos and in my book the text is compacted with no regard as to which sentence belongs with which photo.
There's a page or two with photos grouped together, with no text at all. I'm pretty sure my sister will figure out which photo belongs with the sentence she is reading.

The book finalised, I entered payment details and delivery address.
Uh-Oh. They cannot deliver to a PO Box!
Bugger
Entered my home address details instead.

Total cost for my 24 post book was $17.05
Delivery cost is $9.50
Total $26.05
Very reasonable.

I didn't bother with express shipping,($$$$), standard is fine with me, so I expect the book to arrive close to the end of May.

I may post a photo of the book when it arrives.

If I choose to do another one next year, I'll remember:
the page layout has to be Snapshot.

9 comments:

  1. Oh wow. Exciting. I bet your sister loves it. Such a personal gift.

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  2. I hope your sister loves the book and I hope after all that hard work that you are also happy with the finished product.

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  3. EC; I hope she likes it as much as I enjoyed choosing the pages for her.

    Marie; it's been a learning curve, but I think it turned out well. It should arrive in about three weeks.

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  4. Hi River,

    This is something I was thinking of doing. I might give it a try myself.

    Let me know what you think of it.

    :0)

    Cheers

    PM

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  5. I haven't used the Blog2Book but I have done cookbooks and gifts on Blurb, they do make nice presents and people appreciate the personalisation. Not bad for the price either.

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  6. Plasman; as soon as it arrives.

    Baino; Blurb? I'd like to know more please.

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  7. Please do post about it - would love to see what a blog book from a blog I know & love looks like!!!

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  8. Yeah, we'll want to see it too!

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  9. I hope you get this comment by email as it is on an old post. It came up on google when I searched for Blog2book. I want to make one but I'm worried about the resolution of the photos for printing. Do you know what resolution they have to be? How big do you upload photos to the blog?

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