Where’s Treve 2021: The Book

My first blog entry appeared on September 18, 2015. That was a very short post about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since then I’ve been posting blog entries on a regular basis, and early on in the process I decided it would be fun to publish the blog entries in a series of books. I’m happy to announce that the blog entries for 2021 are now available in print. This volume was printed using Blurb.com. Click here to see a preview and to order a copy.

Going from a blog that is designed to be read on an electronic device to a printed book is not as straightforward as you might think. I’ll have to thank my wife Joann, for her creativity and perseverance in taking the blog entries and massaging the content into a format that works as a printed book. The blog is presented as a stream of information you can scroll down to read. The book I envisioned was a coffee table book, with the pages laid out in a landscape or horizontal format.

Here you see a clip from the bog about our recent trip to Baja, and the corresponding page from the book. Note that on the blog we have a movie that traces the route of the trip, while in the book, we have a map that corresponds to the movie.

In the blog I typically group three images together in a tiled gallery, with the text flowing above and below the images. In the book, the placement of the images and text may vary. Many of the posts include links to galleries that contain additional photos. Those links do not appear in the book.

While there are a number of resources available to convert a blog to a book, none of the available resources were suitable for our needs—at least that was our experience when we first explored the possibilities in 2015. Our goal was a coffee table book that was visually interesting and faithful to the content of the blog.

We currently lay out the book in Adobe InDesign, and publish the books with Blurb. Joann keeps up with my blog entries, so when the year ends we just basically push the button to publish. In prior years we’ve used Shutterfly for publishing the book. I like Blurb because you can download the PDF as a backup, and you can monetize the book through Blurb. I don’t imagine I’ll be selling many of the books that represent the blog. I have, however sold a few of the other books we’ve created.

It may be time to revisit some of the applications for converting a blog to a book. As I write this I see that there are a number of new applications for converting a blog to a book; some of those look promising. Stay tuned. I’ll have more about this after we take a closer look at some of the options.

Blog to Book

Not too long ago I found myself revisiting blog posts from the past year and thinking it would be fun to turn the posts into a book. To that end I asked my wife Joann if she would be interested in tackling the project. We started with a few posts from early 2018 and used those posts to put together a “proof” to see how the process would go. From there we decided to break the posts for 2018 into two volumes, each about 50 pages.

We looked at several options for creating the book and decided that Shutterfly seemed to be well suited to the task. We’ve used Blurb for past projects but the book building tools for Shutterfly are easier to use. We also looked at some of the options that let you import your blog content directly into a book, but those platforms seemed to compromise on the quality of the photos and have limited options for formatting. We wanted a book that would represent the content of the blog with high quality photos and the flexibility to deal with some complex formatting issues. Some blog posts have only one photo some have a dozen or so. Sometimes a post would just have a short paragraph and sometimes they’d ramble on.

Needless to say after two and half months of massaging text and pictures we hit the “publish” button. Two weeks later the books arrived. They are now on the coffee table, and it’s a treat so be able to pick up a book and revisit past adventures. Amsterdam, Africa, Santa Fe, Chicago, Frank Lloyd Wright, Kayaking around the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’m not sure if the books will be something the grandchildren find years from now when they’re sorting through dusty belongings, but I expect the books will outlast the bits and pixels of the blog once those have evaporated into the ether.

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