Thursday, May 25, 2017

{ Blog to Book and a few other things }


Hello everyone, I sure do hope this post finds you all doing well.  :)

I am doing ok, I'm finally over the horrible cold I had but my poor boy Nick, has it now and is absolutely miserable.  He seems to be at the last day of it though, because weird enough this cold has a pattern.

Ok let me start by saying that I think I got it from my nephew because he had been sick, then passed it to my brother and then to me.  I always joke around with Colby that he is the only one who gets me sick Hahah

Anyway, it starts with the itchy throat, goes on to horrible sore throat for a day, then fever, body aches, chills, headache and the last day is coughing and itchy chest and throat.  It lasted exactly 4 days, for us all, and this the fourth for my son, so I'm hoping he is knocking the last bit off.  At least we hope.

We are officially on summer break, school year is over, my girl is graduated (I haven't forgotten that I need to do a post on that, I will do it by this weekend), I've been getting over that cold and nursing my son back to health.  It's been a much calmer, relaxed week for me, but I haven't exactly been lazy or doing nothing.  Matter of fact, the reason there have been no posts this whole week is because I've been working on my blog to book.

I promised I would tell you all about it, and so here I am :)

Before I get into it, I had actually debated doing this post now.  I was thinking that maybe I should wait until I have the actual book in hand and do it all then, but I decided that I would go ahead and tell you all about it, in case some of you want to get started on yours, and then when the book comes in, I'll do another post showing you what it looks like and what I think of the finished product.

I will start by saying that this is a lot of work, especially if you've had a blog for as long as I have, and like me, blogged a lot.  I mean, A LOT.  Folks, I was posting 2 to 3 posts a DAY.  What on earth Sandra??

I look back now and laugh, but I was so enthusiastic about the blog and life and my little kids, and it really does shine through in the posts.  What a trip it's been, I have been working on this since Monday and just finished my first book for 2006.

But, I'm sure you'll all eager to know what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it.

For a long time I've been wanting to turn my blog into books, not just for myself, but for my children as well, I think it would be fun for them to sit down and read these posts, see themselves growing up and what they did and what they liked, essentially, where they came from.

Problem was, every site I found that would do it, was so expensive.  For example, the last one I found which I thought at the time was my only choice, was going to cost me $40 for ONE MONTH.  One month?!?!?!?  I've been blogging since February of 2006.   Just think we me here....

11 years
12 months in each year
$40 per month

I would end up paying $5280.  WHAT!!!!!  Yeah that's not going to happen.

Now what if I tell you that I found a site that will do this for me, give me a Hardback Letter sized book, that will cost me less than $40, including shipping, for a whole year?????


I came upon it purely by accident.  I was searching and searching and I could not find anything that would do this for me without breaking the bank.  Right before I gave up, I decided to browse through the google search results I had gotten and go back a few pages.  And that's when I found it, a fellow blogger talking about turning her blog into a book and the place to do it.

I was so ecstatic, that I started right away.  Since Monday I have done nothing more than working on this book.  I wish I could tell you that it's quick and easy, but it's really not, it will take quite a bit of work from you, but it's worth it and you'll enjoy going through all those old posts on your blog, as much as I am enjoying reading mine.

Let me tell you how it works and give you some tips.

The company is called Lulu.  It is a self publishing website.  You'll want to sign up for a free account, then when you're done, click where it says CREATE.  Next you'll want to pick Print Book.  (You do have the choice to make eBooks as well, how cool is that?).

Next you get to pick what size book you want.  You can do paperbacks, you can do hardbacks, and it shows you the prices as well.  I went with a Professional Hardcover, Casewrap, US Letter Hardcover, 8.25X10.75in, Black and White, $11.37.

If you scroll down on that page, you can download the template for your book and just add all the content in there.  I will say that it was a bit confusing for me, there are pages that I couldn't delete, pages that just didn't look right etc.

But what I ended up doing, was downloading the template, opening it in Word, and then I did my first page.

That's what mine looks like.  From there I pretty much deleted all the other pages in the template, which were contents, acknowledgements, preface, introduction and so forth.  I don't want any of that, I want the book as simple as possible with the focus on the actual blog posts.

But, after my book title page, which is the first page, I left an empty page.  Then here comes the hard and the time consuming work.  You have to copy your blog posts, one by one, and past them into word.  It takes a LONG time.  I started Monday morning, have worked on it every spare moment I have, in between laundry and cooking and mommy responsibilities etc.

My advice:

Stick to simple common fonts such as Tahoma, Times New Roman, Arial etc.  If you use a font that is on your computer but not on the Lulu website, they will change it to a common font and it will throw your text all over the place.  After finished the book, I had to edit it 5 times, over and over.
Keep the original margins contained in the template, don't mess with those.
Use actual page breaks instead of just hitting the enter key.  (I did that the first go around and again, it threw my document into chaos and shifted pictures, text etc).

I didn't include all the tags and meme's that I had.  I didn't feel like I needed those posts in the book and besides, they were just going to take up more room.  Not to say I changed the blog content, I still went month by month and added every post in, just left out the tags and unimportant posts, like I had a few in there whenever I changed a template on the blog, just basically saying "Hey I changed my template".  I didn't need that in the book.

The good thing about doing it one by one and manually transferring, is that you can delete unnecessary pictures, or videos, shift the text around a bit to fit better and so on.

At first I was going to do a separate page with just the title of each month on it, but that would take too much room, so I chose to do it this way.  I used Century font, 48 pixels and bold.  I also made sure to start every month on a new page.

I also tried to fit as many posts as I could on a single page.  Here's an example:

Going back to the page breaks that I mentioned above, those are very important if you don't want your text to shift around and to stay as close to what you want it as possible.

Let me try and show you what I mean.  As you can see below, I ended one post on one page and begun another on the following page.  Usually I would have just hit the enter key and started the next post, but with the publishing website that doesn't work and when you upload your file, it shifts things around.  So what you want to do is make sure you are clicked right after the last word on the page, in my case where it says "I've missed those".  Make sure you click right after the period.  Then go up top to the Insert Tab, and click on Page Break.  The pointer will move to the page below.

Start your next post there.  That's it, simple.  :)

Once you're finished adding all your blog posts, go ahead and save the file.  I saved mine as Blog 2006 because that was the year I was working with.

At the Lulu website just follow the directions to make the book you decided on.  It will ask you to upload the file, which you will do.  If anything is wrong with it, it will tell you.  In my case, the first time I uploaded it mentioned the fonts and some pictures that weren't high graphics etc.  You will get a chance to download a preview which will show you exactly how the book will look.  If you're not happy with something, just go back to your original file, edit and change it, save it and then go back to the website, delete the old one you had uploaded previously and upload the new one.

I had to do this 4 times because I wasn't happy with certain things.  But once it's done, you will then get a chance to personalize your book covers, add what you want it to say, add a picture if you wish, write on the spine of the book etc.

Here's my final book for 2006.

Again, I kept mine very simple, I just want a simple white book.

There is a minimum limit of 20 pages and a maximum of 800.  With all the blogging content I had for 2006, mine came up to 580 pages and the total price $28.05.  LOVE IT!!!

That's my final product and my page.  You can set it up to just yourself, or you can open it up to the public and anyone can purchase your book.  I will be getting copies for family, of course.

All in all, with shipping it will be less than $40.  I'm so happy I found this place.  I'm planning on ordering mine tomorrow and should have it by next week, at that point I will take pictures and come back and show you all.

Sorry this post was so long, I wanted to share this with you and give you as many pointers as I can to help you.  I didn't have any help and stumbled about blindly hahaha

I am now working on my 2007 book, it's going much smoother now that I know exactly what needs to be done and how it should be formatted.

I have decided, as well, that I'm going to do a Diary of a Stay at Home Mom - Slow Cooking book with all the slow cooking posts and recipes, which are a LOT.  And I'm also going to make a Full Bellies, Happy Kids Cookbook.  My daughter has requested one for herself and I'll order a copy for myself and my son, as well as any family members that want one.  I might actually give some as gifts.

Alright, I best get on out of here.  I have to continue working on the book, I also need to make my new menu plan and grocery list.  We have a very busy day tomorrow, a therapy appointment for Jasmine, a tattoo appointment for Jasmine (yes she wants a tattoo), bank, birthday and father's day shopping, Best buy, Goodwill, Rental company to sign new lease and so forth.  It's going to be crazy busy.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday.  OH and I do realized I've missed 2 weeks of my Friday Stories, but I just haven't had a chance, and since tomorrow I'm so busy, I will pick back up next week and hopefully then be able to stay on track.  Thank you for understanding :)


  1. I'm desperate for a copy of your cookbooks. Please don't forget us, who stalk your recipes almost every day. I'm sure I'm not the only one dying to buy your cookbook. :)

    1. Awww Liz, that is so sweet :) I will certainly make the book available for you all to purchase and probably do a giveaway as well :)

  2. I cannot wait to get started. I've been wanting to do this for so long, but like you was afraid of the actual cost since my blogging goes back 10 years. Thank you so much for sharing this process!


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