Have you written a series of blogs which you would like to turn into a book? If you’ve been blogging for a while you probably have enough material for a book. However, unless you simply want to present an unedited collection of blogs, you will have to do a bit more work to create a book from your blogs which is up to publishing standards.
Even if you aren’t thinking about approaching a publisher with your book, it is still a good idea to turn your blogs into a manuscript that you can be proud of and which family and friends or a wider audience will want to read.
There are a number of online resources which enable you create a book in eBook or printed format with just a few clicks (see Using an online service to create a book from your blogs below) but if you want to have more control over the content of your book you will need to take a different (manual) approach.
As an experienced blogger you will know that blogs are succinct, pertinent, engaging, interesting, useful, readable and are just as long as they need to be to get the message across. Because blogs are by nature stand-alone pieces, they don’t necessarily lend themselves to being lumped together randomly in a book without some planning and organising so here are 8 tips on how to go about transforming your blogs into a book.
1 Decide what your book is going to be about
This may seem obvious but if you have written blogs on a range of topics you will need to decide which subjects/topics you want to include. This will determine the content your book and which blogs you choose to include.
2 Create a list of contents
To make your book into something more than just a haphazard collection of blogs, you need to come up with with a plan and a list of contents. Your contents list should include a list of main chapter headings and sub headings around the topic you have chosen. It can then act as a road map which will guide through the process of choosing the relevant blogs. You may find that some blogs just don’t fit into your plan even though they come under the right topic/heading, so discard these and just work with the ones which are a good fit.
3 Put all of your blogs in one document
Once you know which blogs you want to include, copy and paste the text of each blog into a word-processing document – this will become the first draft of your manuscript.
4 Fill in any gaps
Now you have a list of contents, you may find that there are gaps for which you don’t have any published blogs so you will need to write these from scratch. As a blogger you have probably built up an audience and so posting new content while you work on your manuscript is a good way to keep your audience engaged. They may even want to purchase your book if you plan to sell it.
5 Edit and revise your manuscript
Your manuscript is the first draft of you book and like all first drafts it will need some editing, revising and polishing before it is ready for print. With all of your blog text now in one document you can start putting your blogs under the appropriate headings and sub headings and then check whether there are any changes your want to make to the text. This will include checking that the blogs flow well as a longer narrative.
6 Writing an introduction and conclusion
Although you’ve established the main content of your book by selecting your blogs, a book should also have a introduction and a conclusion and so you will need to write these as well.
7 The final draft
When you have completed the final draft of your story, do a final review and edit. Because it is hard to spot your own mistakes and to be critical of your own work why not ask someone else to review it as well. You don’t necessarily need an experienced writer. A willing family member or friend would be ideal.
8 Design a cover for your book
Many people are attracted to a book by its cover, so if you are hoping to sell your book it is worth getting a good cover. If you are not an experienced cover designer then look for a professional cover designer. Although this does require some additional investment, if you do a search online you will almost certainly be able to find someone within your budget. For example, check out freelancer sites such as Upwork, Freelancer and DesignCrowd.
Converting your blogs using a WordPress plugin
There are some WordPress plugins which enable you to automate the process of creating a book from your blogs. For example, Anthologize is a free plugin which allows you to export your blogs and then choose the page size, text size and font you want to use for your blog text. You can also include additional information such as author name and copyright details. However, you will not be able to edit your blogs once they have been exported to Anthologize. When you export your blogs you can choose from a variety of publishing file formats including PDF and EPUB (one of the most popular file formats for eBook readers). If you don’t have the time or the inclination to create a manuscript manually, then Anthologize is a good alternative way to create a book from your blogs.
Using an online service to create a book from your blogs
There are also a number of online services which give you the opportunity to create a book from your blogs.
Blog2Print provides a quick, easy and affordable way to make a printed blog book. After uploading your blogs from WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or TypePad your book will be ready to view in just a few minutes. You can also add extra text and photos.
BlogBooker enables you to turn your blogs into a DOCX or PDF document which you can print yourself or you can use their blog to book service.
With Blog to Book you can convert the blog pages you have created in WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace (in fact almost any blog platform) into your own print-ready layouts. Visit Blog to Book to find out more.
With Into Real Pages you can create a high-quality hard- or soft-cover blogbook in a choice of three formats. Into Real Pages also provides 15 different design themes to choose from, ranging from colourful ornamented themes to minimal themes. You can also design your own book cover, add quotes, text and full-page photos and you can edit your blogs and create chapters.
Need more help?
If you would like more advice to help you create a book from your blogs then check out How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir? Nina is a best-selling author, speaker, blogger and blog-to-book coach. She is also the founder of National Book Blogging Month.