Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blog to Print I

Blogger has been running internal ads for Blog2Print, a self-pub service to which you can upload your weblog content and have it published in book form (softcover, hardcover or .pdf)

The front page features a price of $14.95 for a 20-page softcover "blog book", $24.95 for a hardcover and $7.95 for a .pdf version, the first two of which seemed a bit pricey to me. But I did want to see how the upload feature performed, so I had the site create a book from 1 year of PBW posts, 2009-2010. Which it did in about three minutes.

Once you upload your blog URL, the range of dates you want to publish, and any cover images you want to add, the site creates a virtual book for you to page through, which I thought was pretty cool, especially because I did it without registering with the site or anything. Here are some screenshots (click on any image to see larger version):

Front Cover


Interior Pages with Blog Posts


Back Cover


The price for a softcover version of 1 year of PBW blog posts (438 pages) would be $162.65 -- far too pricey for me. But I'd be fine with paying $7.95 for Blog2Print to make a downloadable .pdf of my archives, which right now I just have stored in HTML on discs (mainly because it would cost me a lot more than $7.95 in labor to convert my discs to .pdf). To save your virtual book (as well as edit it and so forth) you do have to register with the site, but all they ask for is e-mail, ID/password and your zip code.

I thought this would be great for writers who want to self-pub a book form of their blogs, but it's a vanity thing only -- you can't resell the book you create. Here's the resale no-no paragraph from the site's Terms and Conditions of Sale:

"Books purchased from SharedBook are for personal use only and are not intended for resale or commercial use. SharedBook reserves the right to audit orders, to cancel any sale based on its sole discretion, and to limit quantities purchased, as well as any other legal remedy allowed by law.

With respect to certain goods, such as cookbooks purchased from SharedBook through BigOven, these cookbooks may be subject to resale, for fundraising purposes. SharedBook shall still reserve the right to audit orders, to cancel any sale based on its sole discretion, and to limit quantities purchased, as well as any other legal remedy allowed by law."

Fair enough. To thoroughly test this service, I'm going to make a Blog2Print book of last year's posts today, buy a .pdf version and post it online as a freebie so we can see how it really works. More tomorrow on how it turns out.

2 comments:

  1. I looked at this last week and elected not to pay the $165 for a softback

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  2. Rats. It's limited to blogger / wordpress / typepad blogs. That's probably why they could get the formatting straight.

    I wonder if you can convert the pdf into another format and print it on Lulu for far cheaper?

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