Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can – A Blog Book

Many of the genealogy bloggers I follow print their blogs to books. I’ve been blogging for nearly six years and keep putting off printing my blog.

I have an idea of how I want the posts to come together in each book. I don’t want to do them in chronological order as posted. I know the content I’ve written will fill many books. I’d like to have all of my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts printed together. That’s a lot of writing! I know I’ll have to divide them up into several branches of the family tree.

And then there are other posts which don’t necessarily fit into the 52Ancestors category. For example, one of the categories was Old Photographs that I used for the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can series. For two years, from April 2015 to March 2017, I blogged about the collection of photographs my cousin Joe Rooney gifted me.

Last year I copied all of the posts from this series into MS Word and found I had over 250 pages of text and photos. I reduced the size of many of the photos, repositioned them, and got rid of blank space until I had about 140 pages. I added a title page, preface, table of content, and author biography.  I printed it out on DIN A4 paper and slipped the pages into plastic sleeves and placed them in a notebook.

In September I finally took the time to look into BlookUp, a French company that creates books based on favorite digital platforms or social media as well as from PDF.

I gave them access to my blog for the content to be imported to their website. I was not ready or willing to spend the time to customize the content using their tool. I wanted to quickly try out BlookUp without having to do a lot of editing.

Since I already had the Old Photographs series in MS Word I used CutePDF Writer to convert the file to a PDF.

As this was only a test I went with the smaller DIN 5A size book. After uploading the PDF, I customized the book. They offer a wide variety of cover colors and three cover styles. A title, secondary title, author, and a cover photo can be added to the front cover. The back cover can include an author’s biography and book summary as well as a photo.

My PDF was 146 pages. The cost of printing the book was calculated at €27.86 minus a special discount of 20% plus a shipping fee for a grand total of €30.39 for one copy. All orders over €100 have free shipping.

A little over a week after placing the order, the book was delivered.

I’m delighted with how the book turned out. The paper is of better quality than I expected. The photos are beautiful and clear.

A tiny error was made on the back cover. There was no indication of how many words could be used in the field for the author’s biography and the summary of the book. I realized this when I copy/pasted my entire About text from my blog into the box for the bio. As only a part of the text was showing on the preview, I rewrote a shorter biography – several times until it fit. The last sentence ended up being only partially printed. It was not meant to be there and I think I must have forgotten to save the final revision.

Since receiving my book, I’ve been playing around with BlookUp‘s “import blog” and “customize” tools. A book can be set up from date to date, by categories, and including/excluding pages. The order of posts can be changed or posts can be deleted.

I tried the first half-year of 52Ancestors posts and the result was disappointing. Lots of blank space and too large images. At the end of some of the posts is the word Save up to three times in separate lines. The posts look fine online. I think it would be too much work to tweak all of the posts for printing. Cleaning up the posts in MS Word and creating a PDF would be easier.

BlookUp will print hardback or paperback for social media and blog books but only in paperback for PDF format. If I’m going to spend the time and money to have my blog printed, I would much rather have a hardcover book. I haven’t tried getting in touch with BlookUp about having a hardcover printed and what the price difference would be.

My first blog book now sits in our living room with other treasures and memories. I’ll be looking into other companies before I make a decision on how to continue with turning my blog into books. Suggestions are always welcome.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

 

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

26 thoughts on “Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can – A Blog Book”

  1. I’m jealous…what a great idea! I have a collection of 350 Earp pics my Aunt Alyce and I were able to restore from old negatives. My Aunt sent me groups of negatives at a time. We have a custom shop in town here called “Transfer Me to DVD” and they converted and cleaned up all the negatives, and then we had digital copies made, along with paper sets made for my Aunt and my Mother. That Christmas I sent all my relatives a DVD with all the pics on them. Sometime I’ll have to write another more in depth blog about them and include some of the best pics. Awesome post! Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks great, Cathy! I think you know that I create blog books about 3-4 times a year. They are just chronological (but my blog is probably 85% chronological by family so that’s okay), and I do it so that there are hard copies available, not to create anything that is really coffee-table worthy. I do separately create hard cover books in color of my travel blogs by trip, but otherwise I do not arrange anything topically. I use BlogBooker to create PDFs of my blog and then Lulu to print them into books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t expecting coffee table worthy but hardcover would be nice. I just took a look at BlogBooker and it looks like they also create MS Word documents. This would save a lot of time as I wouldn’t have to copy/paste but could still make edits (removing signature and copyright line at end of each post). For this book I generated the table of content and included left and right page headers in Word. I’ll have a look at Lulu. Thank you, Amy.

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      1. Blogbooker allows you to import right from the blog’s export function, so it takes all the text, photos, and comments but not side bars or other menus, It creates a PDF copy with a table of contents automatically. You can always edit. Then Lulu takes the PDF to generate a book.

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  3. I’ll def check this company out if they ship to the US. I’ve been happy with blog2print that I’ve used the last few years. I also wrote a blog post on it for others and myself – it’s easily found on my page. You can only print one catagory if wanted. I printed my 52 ancestor weeks as one. They usually offer up to 39% off at various times of year. Happy you finally too the plunge. Have to save all our hard work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I tweeted my post I found BlookUp is also in the US. The cost of a blog book with 400 pages would cost over €100 at BlookUp. It looks like blog2print is also in this price category. Discounts should definitely be taken advantage of. Thank you, Jeanne.

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      1. Hi Virginia. For a while I used the Print button on my blog to save each post in PDF form. I got out of the habit somewhere along the way. I have saved using the XML file offered on the dashboard. Thank you.

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  4. Beautiful book. I’ve been delaying and delaying. I really should make some books by family, I think, so I’ll be watching as you try out the possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vera. I’ve delayed too mainly because I didn’t know there were companies in Europe for this kind of printing. I should have researched the subject when I started blogging. It’s going to be expensive to do them all at once.

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  5. I’ve been “cutting and pasting” some of my blog posts into Shutterfly which occasionally has 20 page free books (just pay postage). They are mostly prototypes for longer books I hope to do with my blog. My preferred print-on-demand site is Blurb Books which is much more text-friendly than is Shutterfly. I’ll have to try out this site you found. Thanks for the info.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sharon, for reading the comments as well. Good tips in there. I’d been saving my posts in PDF as soon as they were written and published but haven’t for quite some time. I need to get back into the habit. I’ve also saved the blog using the XML file format Amy Cohen uses to do her books.

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    1. Hello Vivian.
      George Wyte Lillie (1874-1943) was the second oldest son of Albert Spencer Lillie and Pernecia Elizabeth Glass. The brother of your father-in-law Jack Lillie. He was married three times and had three children with his first wife. The first two died in their twenties and I have not been able to locate the youngest daughter, Vella P. Lillie.

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