My thought is to put some of my previous blog posts into book form for those who prefer not to dig through my archives. I’d like for the comments to be included since that is where most of the value lies and I’d also like to include links to the comment author’s sites.
I know I’ll turn some of my blog posts into a book sooner rather than later, however I’ve convinced myself there must be an easier way to do it rather than cutting, pasting, and re-editing before publishing.
My search to do so has taken me on an interesting journey.
I first tried two different plugins for turning a blog into book form.
For reasons I can’t figure out, both plugins failed to work for me so my search continued.
Thanks to Rick of What’s On My PC? my first stop was
I used my green blog, input the URL and a link to the XML file into their form. The process was quick and when complete, the ebook included photos, some of the links and comments. Unfortunately, only the CommentLuv links showed up. The blog which only has a handful of posts ended up being an ebook containing 23 pages including the cover and an index. Additional formatting would be required, however with this being a free service, I thought the results were quite impressive.
My search for more information lead me down an unexpected path. What I found were sites which let us self-publish, as well as sell our end product.
The links in Matt Cutt’s “Blog to Book” post led me to these sites.
- Fast Pencil
On Fast Pencil I decided to turn my Observation Mountain blog into an ebook. Before “publishing” to draft, I deleted all spam comments, edited out approximately 30 of the 165 posts and ended up with a book which was 180 pages long. The draft which was created was perfectly formatted with each post having it’s own page(s), however no comments nor links were included.
Lulu’s site includes a short video of the services they provide for self publishers, and although I’ve watched the video, I’m not sure this is the route I want to take.
Blurb.com provides a free download of their “Blurb BookSmart” software. The software lets you create a book which can be sold on their site. After downloading and reviewing the software, it appears to be very comprehensive and helpful.
Smashwords offers numerous possibilities and from reading the review of Smashwords on his blog, George is quite pleased with their service.
Knowing things aren’t always as they seem and wanting to be cautious, I also checked the website of watchdog Clark Howard. There I found these links:
To repeat what is written in Clark Howard’s post:
Up until about 1998, the “vanity press” industry would charge people outrageous sums to publish a book. It wasn’t unusual for someone to pay $8,000 – $12,000 to these phony publishing houses.
The best advice Clark can offer is be skeptical. Use the collective wisdom of the Internet to help you steer clear of rip-off artists.
Although I haven’t found the perfect way to turn parts of my blog into an ebook, I feel I’m a few steps closer.
Have you written a book or ebook? Or are you thinking of turning your blog into a book?
What platform did you use? Or will you use?
Care to share?
P.S. For those of you who plan to either turn your blog into a book or write a book, having it proofread prior to publishing is essential. Davina is one of the best proofreaders in the field and can be found at Shades of Crimson.