Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book Him, Momm-o

It is once again that time of year when I need to collect the blog postings of yester-year and create the hard-copy version of Views to save for posterity. The first year I attempted this effort, it was a long and painful process of trial-and-error. Last year I had it down to a science, although it was certainly time-consuming to manually cut and paste each entry's text and accompanying photos in backwards chronological order. Alas, I still yearn for access to the Blogger database to make this an easier activity.

This year, I took the easy way out. I used the new service Blog2Print, which apparently does have access to the Blogger database.

They automate the process and in a few short minutes have a previewable book of your blog. You can customize the cover and some basic layout and text, as well as the postings the book will contain, but your options pretty much end there.

Unfortunately, it isn't cheap to actually get a hard or soft cover version of your blog. You pay by the page, and since their template automatically includes a non-deletable table of contents (mine ran 10 pages!) and some other auto-text it could cost a pretty penny for those bloggers that are more prolific. Also, if it matters to you, all books are 8.5x11 (I had been creating 8.5x5.5 which was more "book" and less "report" size).

I ended up paying around $7 (using a handy-dandy 15% off coupon code: bloggerb2p) to get a pdf of my book as opposed to a hard copy. Since I have access to Adobe Acrobat at work, I was able to pretty significantly edit my book - removing the ToC, adding in a background on every page (which were just a standard, boring white before), and moving some things around.

Alas, once I removed the ToC I had to go in and edit the text to remove the page numbers, which were now both inaccurate and useless. I also removed the annoying text at the end of each entry that said who posted the entry (cuz it was me every time!) and when. It took up space and was unnecessary for me.

I am pretty happy with how it came out and I was able to create my book in a couple of hours instead of over several weeks. I will take it to FedExOffice (formerly known as Kinkos) to get it spiral-bound, which should cost me under $10. It is not the ideal solution, but it was a time-saver. If you decide to go this route and have questions, let me know. I am not an expert, but I play one on the Internet.


Lori said...

Ha! I tried doing that with mine and it said: This book exceeds our maximum size for a single volume. Please contact Customer Service to help... Oh well, I still really like the option. Maybe I will try it in volumes.

Wenderina said...

I keep forgetting to bring mine in to show you. Since mine was a gift, I had no idea of the cost...but I love the bound book end result - even with the huge TOC. Mine allowed for "the first 300 entries" - I wonder how many more I've had?

A's Mom said...

I probably should start doing this too.