Turning a blog into a book
Earlier this week I disappointed Life Story Blogging participants ( a three-month course I am conducting at the University of Third Age ) when I told them that publishers won’t accept their content for a book when it is already published on a blog. It won’t be considered as ‘fresh’ or ‘unpublished’ work, which is what most of the publishers are looking for when they select a manuscript.
But then there are so many writers who are publishing books based on their blogs. Some books came into being only because the blogs became immensely famous. Books like Julie and Julia and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck come to mind.
Blogging has changed the writing industry forever.
The Internet allows anyone with a computer and an internet connection to be an author. Thousands of bloggers around the world are writing their thoughts and experiences and sharing them with the world through blogs. They do not have to go through the same agony of collecting rejection slip like authors used to do before the age of the internet. Today many writers are earning their living through just blogging.
A lot of effort goes into writing good content for a blog.
Your effort doesn’t have to go wasted. Your blog is a repository of the work you did for years and chances are not all the people have read all your work. You can turn it into a book. It has been proven over time, that it doesn’t matter how easy it is to read on screen, people like the convenience and condenseness of a book.
You can select a theme from your blog and turn the relevant articles into a book.
I have several themes going on in my blog which is just eighteen months old. I have been diligently saving my articles into relevant categories. If I continue to build them the way I have so far, in not so distant future, I will have enough material for three or four books.
Alternatively, you can turn the whole blog into a book in its entirety.
That is what I intend to do with the blog I have started with my Life Story Blogging course participants to write stories from my early life. At some point, I intend to turn that whole blog into a book.
Why should you turn your blog into a book?
Because you should be paid for your work.
The internet has conditioned us to expect everything for free. Remember the days when you used to buy newspapers, magazines and books. Now everyone expects to read them for free. That is the reason so many writers continue to provide good stuff for free. But the good stuff should never be for free.
Self-publishing is the way to get paid for your work.
There are several tools available that can turn your blog into books
As I was researching it, a very timely article popped up in my inbox by Desiree Johnson, a content specialist for Bluehost (the hosting service I use for my website), listing a number of tools that can turn your blog into a book.
Here they are, as summarised by Desiree Johnson:
Into Real Pages is the easiest tool that allows you to import your blog directly to their website and create a book out of it. You can choose which type of book you want to produce. You can customize your cover and further customize your content after it has been uploaded. Prices start at $26.50 for a softcover book with forty pages.
PixxiBook provides a similar service with support for a wider range of hosting services including Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace and Wix. However, it doesn’t allow you to customize your content and cover after it has been uploaded. Their pricing starts at $40.00 for fifty pages.
BlookUp offers one of the most versatile services in terms of which content can be imported and made into a book. They support blogging standards upheld by Tumblr, WordPress, and Blogger, and they also support creating books from your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter content. Like PixxiBook, BlookUp only produces hardcover books. You can customize your cover, similar to both Into Real Pages and PixxiBook. Books created from blogs via BlookUp start at $25.00 for one hundred pages.
Into Real Pages, PixxiBook, and BlookUp all specialize in single books.
If you are looking for self-publishing your book and need multiple copies you need to look at different tools.
BlogBooker lets you import your blog, much like Into Real Pages, PixxiBook, or BlookUp, but instead of a printed book, you receive a book-format PDF. They allow you to import content from Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Ghost, Medium, TypePad, and Twitter. Pricing starts at $18.90 for four unlimited-length BlogBooks.
48 Hour Books prints books in bulk. While you cannot import your blog directly to 48 Hour Books, you can import a PDF. 48 Hour Books provides an enormous amount of options that extend well beyond paperback versus hardback. Pricing starts at $13.70 per book for basic paperbacks of fifty pages, and there is a minimum order of ten books. You can also purchase an ISBN and barcode from 48 Hour Books for $125.00 each (paperback, hardback, ePub, etc.).
BookBaby is a managed service that offers whatever you might need to become a published author. Their services include (but are not limited to) editing, professional cover design, ISBN’s and barcodes, and even Facebook and Instagram Ads optimized for authors. BookBaby provides all these services and more in a package called “Complete Self-Publishing Package.” This services package contains everything you will need to do if you decide to self-publish including twenty-five custom-printed books, direct-to-reader sales, and worldwide distribution. Pricing for BookBaby’s Complete Self-Publishing Package starts at $1,699.00 (keep in mind that all prices are in US dollars).
Here you go, something to keep in mind when you are ready to publish your work. Keep in mind you need to proofread your final version before turning it into a printed version. It might be a good idea to engage a professional proofreader if you intend to sell it.
Whether you are looking to turn your blog into a book for a coffee table conversation piece or as a record for your family history or you want to become the next bestselling author there are tremendous resources readily available to do just that.