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How to Turn your Blog into a Book

Posted By Darren Rowse 20th of January 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Gina Trapani is putting together a series of posts that needs I’m putting in the ‘special’ and ‘file for future use’ categories.

It’s called Turn Your Blog Into a Book and so far she’s written part 1 and part 2 (I’m not sure if there will be more).

The first part covers some of the ‘before you start writing’ phase including talking about ‘the blog’ (what sort of blogs work best), ‘the agent’ and ‘the proposal’.

The second part is a great insight into how she actually converted ‘the blog’ into ‘the book’ by ‘getting organized’ (using DEVONthink Pro), ‘getting motivated’ and ‘getting done’.

If only she covered ‘finding the time’! :-)

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I’m actually following this process with my own blog, hoping to seek the personal finance book market. It is a LOT of work, but there’s potential for a very nice reward at the end of the rainbow. If you’re already maxing yourself out on your current blog(s), hold off for a while before even starting on it.

  2. Thanks for those links, that is a really interesting concept and I can easily see how writing good quality content for your blog can be the stepping stone into a book.

    Lately I’ve been reading a book on the ins/outs of becoming a self-publisher so this comes at a great time.

  3. Darren,

    That has always puzzled me how someone would do that. It almost seems like you would have to write the book starting with the ending first and work you way towards the beginning because of how blogs posts. (Latest articles first). Granted I am sure there are ways around that… you can save all the content in individual drafts, edit the time stamp, etc…

    This might be a silly question, and I guess in many ways I can answer this question myself…. but I am still curious to discover the responses from others here.

    If an author wants to write an Online book. Why would it be, or not be, better is use a blog format compared to simply using static HTML pages generated from a program such as FrontPage?

    To answer the question myself. I would imagine that there are SEO benefits in using a blog and some automatic features that might makes things easier. But what is the best way to tackle the organizational publishing issue? Because by default it seems that would have to publish the book backwards in order to have the beginning of the book listed on the top.

    Sorry for the stupid question! lol

    – Garry

  4. I covered something along these lines back in December about a service call Blurb that seems to do all the hard work for you. However the service seems a little expensive, you can read my little blurb about blurb at http://www.blogbullet.com/2006/12/06/turn-your-blog-into-a-book/

  5. When is the problogger book going to be available for purchase? :)

  6. Yeah nice!
    Another nice thing if you dont know how to publish your book is to self-publish it at cafepress.com they sell it for you with on-demand manufacturation.


  7. I have been working away on exactly this. Although there are many words that you have already written it is still a much bigger job than one might expect. I dumped all of my blog posts into a text file, set up chapters, and then copied and pasted into the chapters. This should make a great book right? Well actually no, after I did this my interenal editor started updating all of that great content to make it better and I am still at it weeks later and no closer to the end.

    I believe that the book idea is best for marketing to a market that is not online so that you can push offline methods for you previously only online content.

    Darren I will buy your book the day it comes out. I looked at Gina’s book table of contents online and the Lifehacker book looks like it is a fantastic book. Can’t wait to read it in print.

  8. lulu.com & blurb.com have the same kind of “publish to order” method as cafepress. These are both more focused on books than cafepress.com

  9. I am planning to convert the earthquake related blog to a book. It would be in pdf version, initially.

  10. We used lulu.com to self publish my husband’s children’s book and have been very pleased with the quality of the print job and binding on both the soft- and hard-cover editions. We’ve only had one dud come back that was printed last-to-first page which they replaced right away.

    If you already have your content ready in PDF format I highly recomend giving it a try. There are no set-up fees as with the “vanity presses” we explored years ago — way nicer to be dealing with an out of pocket expense of under $25 to get started rather than the $1500!

    We also provide the book free to browse online since he is not a known author (yet!).

    Funny thing is I learned about Lulu.com at the Blogher conference this past summer. Thier sample books were incredible!

  11. Wow–thanks for the links to Gina’s posts.

    After reading her advice, I would imagine that a person’s blog would benefit immensely even if they ended up not turning it into a book. I mean in terms of quality writing and being focussed and just putting more care than usual into the crafting of posts. It’s sort of writing with a long term goal in mind instead of taking things day-by-day.

    I like the idea of a blog being a work of art and having a comprehensive usefulness and beauty to it. Can’t wait for your book Darren. :-)

  12. I wrote a book based on my retrothing.com as a way of keeping myself motivated in the early days of my blog. It worked really well because I turned most of the topics I covered into blog posts (and vice-versa). In all, it took about four months to craft a 220 page book in late evenings.

    Mine was self-produced, using Ingram/Lightning Source as the manufacturer and distributor (so the title appears at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and various other retailers). I heartily recommend the process and the reward of holding the finished product in your hand (check out http://www.essentialretro.com to see mine!)

  13. Thank goodness for the direction that I find here. I really want to tackle this project for myself – successfully. Very successfully; thank you again!

  14. what a great idea. ive only really just got started, but eventually, i believe the options on this type of thing are limitless…

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