Publish your Blog as a Book with Blurb

Like others before me I finally got round to downloading the free BookSmart desktop app from the Blurb self-publishing site. As well as the usual book publishing features BookSmart is able to download your blog posts so you can publish them as a book.

BookSmart was able to easily download my blog posts. However I immediately ran into my first disappointment as with one post per page I quickly exceeded the page limit. This meant looking at multiple book volumes, and working out with some difficulty how to delete large numbers of unwanted pages. BookSmart being a Java application suffers from the usual sluggishness of that ilk.

The next big disappointment came on the realisation that all the images in my blog posts are fine for web publishing but well below the high-resolution quality needed for professional publishing. BookSmart provides mechanisms to warn you of this but it required reformatting every page with an image and choosing page templates to properly compose the images and text – a lot of work.

With embedded URLs of no use on the printed page BookSmart does automatically extract the links and include them as footnotes at the end of the post. This was a very useful feature.

Uploading the edited book was also a long and tedious process which failed a couple of times before finally completing successfully. From there the ordering process was quick and easy. I ordered a soft cover edition. To see a preview of the book click on the image below. I made no attempt to add a table of contents or index so it is just a series of blog posts.

blurbbook

The well-packed book arrived within 10 days and I am really impressed with the quality of the soft cover, the paper and the graphics although the latter are on the small side. Although they could easily do so I don’t expect anyone else to order a copy!

Now I have my blog posts for posterity. That leaves open the question of whether this book would ever be accepted as evidence for a doctorate by publication – not in my lifetime I suspect.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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