Thursday, April 22, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Publishing a Book for my Blog

Over the past few years I’ve used and to create photo albums. Both were easy to use, both were about the same price, with similar options for how the finished product looked. After seeing the final printed versions of books, I decided to stick with Blurb. Not for any particular reason other than the Blurb book had a sewn binding, and the Shutterfly was glued. I made up a book of family photos with Shutterfly, which promptly fell apart at a family reunion after being passed around, and open and shut, and held up with “Look at this!” far more roughly than the average book probably would be treated. The Blurb bound books have stood up well over time.

One more plus for Blurb, your book resides on your own computer instead of residing in cyberspace. You can save and back up your own projects, instead of having a time limit on another company’s server. I know that once Shutterfly deletes your project, it’s gone forever. Also, Blurb allows you to sell your finished projects at their bookstore, which works out well for multiple copies of things, such as for family reunions.

I’ve tired of gluing and cutting and buying acid free materials for scrapbooks. Of course, I still do this for old photos and other ephemera, but for things already scanned, new photos from vacations, or other items already residing on my hard drive it’s hard to beat the easy to use software at these publish your own websites. The drag and drop options make it simple to easily put a book together, so simple your kids can help out. Groups can even collaborate together over the internet to put pages together or share photos.

I’ve made Mother’s Day books with generations of photos of the ladies; family tree books with charts, photos and documents; vacation books; graduation books; and a book of 30 years of photos for the Simmons College Crew Team. Then I saw recently that the Blurb software, which is called “BookSmart” can slurp your blog into a book. I was curious, so I slurped several months of posts into a book, just to see how it looked. It looked GREAT! I was so excited, and there was very little editing to do. I played a little bit with increasing the font size, and I moved around some photos, removed a few posts that I thought were boring, but otherwise the book was done! Just in time for Mother’s Day, since my mom was my first fan, and she is still my biggest fan. (Sorry, Mom, no surprises this year!)

Blurb also has a widget to put on your blog, in case you want to sell your book. I’ve placed a widget on my blog; just to see what would happen if I left it there a few weeks. Personally, I think the books are expensive, but at an OK price for a gift for someone special.

Check out my book by clicking on the image in the right column, and you can turn the pages to see the first fifteen pages. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to do your own book, or at least investigate the possible choices on line for producing a project like this. I can only comment on Shutterfly and Blurb, but some other companies you can try online are, Apple,, and

(I was not compensated in any way by or for my comments, but if they would like to pass along a coupon or two I wouldn’t object!)

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Nice review on both of them! I've been thinking about doing something to 'preserve' my blog...I'm going to be looking into both of these, and other options. Thanks Heather

  2. OK, got my attention. I also am looking for a different way to back up my blog posts, and so far, have been disappointed with several of the suggestions offered around the blogging world. I was not happy with the way some pages morfed during the process of grabbing from my blog to the "book" format.

  3. Mary and Carol, check out the book on the right column. You can open it and see how it looks (just the first 15 pages.) Carol, the slurp from your blog doesn't look exactly like the blog page if you have photos, but you can play around with the photo options to change that.

  4. Thank you for this post! I knew you could make your blog into a book but didn't know how.

    Also, I have used to make photo and story books over the last several years. I prefer them to Shutterfly. If you catch it at the right time (now and in the fall) they usually have a 40% off coupon which really helps on cost. Like Blurb, the software and resulting project file reside on your computer. Another plus.

    I'm going to check out too.

  5. Heather, thanks so much for sharing this info! I haven't done a book yet but I was leaning toward Blurb. I'm glad to know the binding is sewn, not glued, as that has been one of my main concerns. Your blog book is gorgeous, and I'm glad to know Blurb created a way to slurp it! I'm excited now to do likewise!

  6. Thank you Heather! This is good food for thought. I'm going to give this some serious consideration. Your book is really nice!

  7. I've been looking for this very type of information - thanks so much for posting this (and also to Michelle - I'll check out as well).

  8. Heather.. thanks for this post. I recently completed a small book using shutterfly, was curious about the quality on some other sites. In the past I made some snapbooks from shutterfly that I really liked. They are less books like but great quality.

  9. Been looking for something like this. Presently, I go to my library (digital printer)and print out several weeks of blog entries at a time and then bind them with a plastic comb. A coherent book from a blog is going to require some thought. I've been blogging all my family lines at once so I will have to use tags to select entries that go together and then add some transitions if that is possible. I may be wrong but I did not see any comments that were posted to you blog in your BOOK. Guess I will have give it a try to satisfy my curiosity. -Bob Kramp

  10. With out reading a lot here, I am asking questions. Sorry. I shall have to check out this blurp I suppose to learn more. I will see if I find the link in a moment. Do they send you the final copy, or is it something you assemble at home with their software. So you pick the type of paper you wish to have.
    Love it.

  11. That is really something. Will wander around your blog for a bit.