"I had no idea when I started my little blog just how many memories I would find recorded on that little space of the internet. From the mundane, to the crazy, to the all out fun, Mama & Jack holds our lives together, one day at a time," Year One jacket cover.
The first two years of MMJ are finally in book form, and as promised, I will give you the lowdown on making your blog into a book via Blurb .
The first year was relatively easy. The blog was small then, each entry was usually just a photo and a small photo caption.
They uploaded pretty quickly, there wasn't a ton of reformatting, and the photos are large enough to enjoy. The first book was about $70, and took me just a few hours to make.
The second year was a whole 'nother can of worms. Maybe it's best to try and do a pros and cons list? We'll start with the cons then.
* My blog was too big to upload the second year all at once. That meant uploading it in different portions, trying to sort out what pages went where, what pictures went with what entries, etc. It takes a LOT of time. (I would guess 40+ hours.)
* The reformatting is extremely tedious. The blog doesn't just upload like it looks on the blog. You have to reformat all the dates (and remove all the time stamps), resize every photo, and move each entry title to a different place.
* If an entry is going to require more than 1 book page, there is a lot of awkward moving around of text and pages to get it to work properly.
* The blog was big, so the pictures had to be small to fit them all in there, and even then they didn't all make it into the book. I think that takes away from the feel of the blog as it becomes the book.
* The new Blurb software crashes constantly. Frustrating.
* There seems to be no easy way to spellcheck?
* I would consider it expensive. The second year was closer to $90.
* While you are working, your working copy is stored on your own computer. Blue screen of death in the middle means all that work is lost.
* I was so frustrated by all the formatting stuff that I didn't spend a lot of time making it look "pretty". Yes, it is all the content of MMJ, but it lacks that comforting yellow background, pretty fonts and welcoming headers. I wish it *felt* more like MMJ.
Alright then, on with the Pros.
* There is a hard copy back up for the blog. No more worrying that all those years of chronicling Jack's growing up will be lost forever.
* Jack and I can sit and really enjoy it together.
* I really enjoyed digging deep in MMJ. Rereading the stories, seeing the pictures, this blog is a nice place for me to be.
* If you happen to have family that is invested in your blog, they can buy their own copies through Blurb.
* There seem to be plenty of customization choices, if you can sort them out. (I was simply too frustrated to care.)
What I will do differently with Year 3:
Get an early start. Technically I could upload a month at a time, and not have so much work to do at once.
Spend more time trying to figure out their software.
Decide what to do about the cover issue. I wish I had gone with a prettier cover on the first two, but now I am torn about changing it for the third volume vs. just keeping it consistent.
Did I miss anything? Ask away if you need to. Or let me know if you have made a blurb book of your own, I would love to see others!