Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From Blog to Keepsake Book

In my publishing master's program, we talk constantly about the contrast between electronic and traditional media, including e-books, web platforms and social media. Though I’m obviously a huge fan of blogs and online publishing, even I must admit that there’s just something so special about holding a printed copy of your work, seeing your thoughts and words preserved permanently in ink and on paper.

That’s why before I left for my summer trips to California and St. Maarten a few weeks ago, I used Blogger’s SharedBook program to turn my wedding blog, Bicoastal Bride, into a keepsake book – or as it turns out, books, since my more than 400 blog posts, plus comments, ended up taking up much more space than I originally anticipated! 

Still, this online program was easy to use, and I was able to order two paperback copies – one pre-wedding volume with 343 pages and one post-wedding volume with 479 pages – for less than $100. Had I decided to splurge on hard covers or color photos, I would have paid several hundred dollars extra, and after receiving the books, I’m so glad I didn’t bother. All in all, the black-and-white paperbound copies, each about the size of a textbook, look great and are just what I wanted.

Did I really write that much?!
Customizing the covers with some of my favorite photos was fun!

Sure, the layouts, adjusted by the program to minimize the total number of pages, aren’t perfect in a few places, and some of my longer headlines are truncated, but overall, I couldn’t be happier as I flip through each volume reliving what was without a doubt the happiest and most exciting time of my life to date. Plus, the fact that this program allowed me to include reader comments, unlike some others I tested out, including BookSmart, sold me on it immediately.
So many comments! See yours? 
I’d give anything to hold in my hands a wedding diary or memory book written by my mom or grandmothers, and thanks to these books, I hope I’ll be able to share my own special moments with my children and grandchildren, long after the electronic versions have faded in the wake of new and changing technologies.

Do you keep a personal diary or hard copy of your blog? After seeing mine transformed, I'd definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to start! 

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! This is definitely something I want to do one of these days. I'll be bookmarking this post :)

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  2. I definitely need to do this for my pre and post wedding blog posts. And then another one later for pre and post baby stuff. I'm glad it turned out so well.

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  3. I'm glad you liked your experience with this program because I want to do this to, when I finally finish up with my wedding blog. :)

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  4. I've been wanting to do this forever! I'd pick and choose the posts I use (some of mine were just plain silly) but I really do need to do it. They should do some sort of giveaway or special!

    Also - I want to do this for a friend's blog about her year in India. Can you suggest a program for wordpress?

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  5. wow that is AWESOME. i'm bookmarking this post so i remember about how to get a book! so cool! i love the way you divided them too into pre and post wedding. very smart.

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  6. Hey Hannah! BookSmart is compatible! The only thing I didn't like about that service is that I couldn't find a way to include comments. But the layouts and design options were really nice!

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  7. Very cool! I didn't know blogger had a program to do this!

    I'd considered copying and pasting everything from my wedding planning blog into Indesign, but that just seemed like too much work. This is such a better option!

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  8. I have decided to get one now! I had looked at it before the wedding blogging was over and now I am sold on it. I love your purple with the nice pics. That parasol pic might be my favoirite...
    I want a blue and yellow volume with bunnies!!!

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  9. Very nice. That is so cool. I need to do the same, wonder if i'll ever get around to it, but you inspire me :)

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  10. This is the best idea ever!! And you are right, how cool for our kids to go back and read our wedding planning process! I am in love with this idea!

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  11. this is quite possibly the best idea to chronicle one's wedding journey! what a great thing to look back on :)

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  12. Went to the website straight away and it is now bookmarked! I'm thinking of maybe doing mine yearly...but we'll see. Also need to check out their shipping as I am very far away. Only thing, do you know if there is a way to get the captions for my photos in the book?

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  13. Thats such a great idea..I love it! And what great memories to pass down. I love your new blog...so happy for you on everything you are doing! <3

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  14. Love your two book covers and I'm so glad that the books turned out well! Hello from cambodia!

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  15. Hey Candice! Thanks for reading and following! :) I didn't use the caption feature on my wedding blog, so I'm not sure if they would be preserved. I kind of doubt it though, since the program re-sizes and adjusts the photo layout when making the book.

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  16. I LOOOVE this. I will def. keep this in mind when I'm done with all my recaps and stuff...I think I will def. be making books of Saying I do

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