Today, Jeremy Wagstaff of the Wall Street Journal who also writes a popular blog, announced Loose Wire, a printed book based on his favorite print columns and blog entries.
After reading Jeremy's announcement about the blog book, I thought of revisiting some blog publishing services that can easily help you turn your existing blogs into printed books without the need of hiring external publishers, typesetters, designers, etc. Then we'll also discuss some of the precautions you might consider before submitting your blog for printing as a book.
Self Publishing Services that convert your Blog into a Book [Hardcopy or ebook formats]
» Blog Binders - This is probably one of the easiest blog printing services around that support almost all popular blog platforms and multiple languages. Type in your blog credentials, replace the default templates and blogbinders will download the entire blog at their end. You can specify things like blog binding, cover style, titles, epilogue, etc. They charge you per page for printed version and a flat rate for a PDF version.
» Blurb Blog Book - While the service is still in closed beta, it looks very promising. They provide you with a Java based desktop software for PC or Mac where you can completely design your book layout from scratch. The software is absolutely free but you will have to pay for the printing charges.
Is there an alternative to these self publishing services ?
Here's a simple guide to create your own e-book from your blog:
1. Change the template of your blog so that it just shows the title heading, story content, inline images and the user comments.
2. Now download the entire blog to your hard drive using either wget, WinHTTrack or Teleport.
3. Pick the articles that you want to publish in your blog book and put them in a Microsoft Word or Wordpad document.
4. Submit this file to Lulu, estimate the price, and wait for your book to arrive in the next few days.
Things to consider before printing your blog book:
» If your blog has short excerpts of text but lot of links to external sites, you may want to have an e-book with live links instead of a printed book.
» Consider using CSS elements for your blog posts instead of regular h1, h2, b, i, tags. That makes it much simpler to achieve a common layout for your blog book.
» If your blog articles contain excerpts from other sites [with permission], you may have to seek repermission to print that content in a book.
» It is generally a good idea to publish a list of references, web urls, etc at the end of the blog story.