Step by Step Guide to Printing your Blog Book

 howto

Creating a book from your blog can be done in minutes, following these simple steps. But before you get started, you will want to double check that your blog articles are ready.

Prepare your Blog for Book Printing

Remember, while a blog can be updated dynamically, your book will be unchangeable once printed. So it is important that you check and proof read your blog articles before printing.

Proofreading

Take a fresh and critical look at your content.
Take a fresh and critical look at your content.

Often, having a second person proof read the article or rereading the article some time after writing will give a fresh view. Some points to check:

  1. Correct typos or grammatical errors. Pay attention to the spellchecker or grammar checker if you have one (highly recommended).

  2. Check the title. Does it correctly convey the contents and stand independently of other articles?

  3. Check the date and by-line.

  4. Check that hyperlink text makes sense by itself. In a book you can’t click the links!

Text

PixxiBook can create books with text, images or a mixture of text and images. It is more suited to long-form blog articles as each post starts on a new page. If the posts are very short, then there will be a lot of unused white space and the result will be both unsightly and more expensive.

Images and Photos

Captioning

Captioning a picture in Wordpress.
Captioning a picture in Wordpress.

Images and photos add depth and colour to an article. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Whereas the web layout is typically linear with pictures inline with the text, in a book layout, the picture is often placed near, but not inline with, the text. This allows the pictures to have more room as well as allow the reader to read the text uninterrupted. To help the reader make the link between the text and the picture it is important that pictures are properly captioned.

A picture caption should:

  1. Link the picture to the text via common words or subjects.

  2. Be brief - just a sentence. Or two at most.

  3. Be semantically associated to the picture - by entering it as a caption in your blog editor. If you caption by just adding line of text above or below the picture, the caption will be treated as normal text and kept with the rest of the text. It will look a bit lonely.

Resolution

Remember that print is 4 to 8 times higher resolution than the average browser display so make sure that your photos are available in high resolution. The service will scan your blog to find the highest resolution variant of a photo if available. You should aim to have all photos be at least 1000 pixels wide, preferably 2500. Low resolution photos may appear blurry, less crisp , or blocky in the final print. If all of your photos are low resolution, consider choosing a smaller book format or updating the photos.

Video

Currently video content is not included. If a post is primarily a video post, consider excluding it from the book.

Public Access

PixxiBook will only index and publish articles that are publicly viewable. Make sure that none of the articles you wish to include are marked as private and that they do not require special passwords or codes to access.

In addition, if your blog is hosted by Wordpress and you are using the Feedburner RSS plugin, please disable it - it is out of date and makes the blog difficult for PixxiBook to index.

Create Your Book with PixxiBook

1. Start the Book

On the PixxiBook website, enter your blog’s URL address and click on the button “Make it So!”. A dialog will be show progress as PixxiBook indexes all of the articles in your blog. This may take several minutes if you have a thousand articles or your blog host is not very fast. For most blogs it will be much faster.

Once indexing has completed, click “Continue” to continue!

2. Pick your Posts

Immediately, PixxiBook will begin building your book, including all of the articles it can find. This is probably not what you want so the Pick Posts dialog is automatically shown. You may came back to it later by clicking the “Pick Posts” button.

Here, you can filter your articles to winnow them down to exactly the ones you want in the book.

First narrow by date range. Select the start and end dates you are interested in.

Next narrow by category. Most blog hosts allow articles to be tagged by arbitrary categories. If you have used these, then you can use the Include and Exclude category lists to select your articles. First all of the articles that match the Include set are included except for all of the articles that also match the Exclude set. Note: you can select multiple categories inside each of the Include and Exclude lists.

Finally, if you wish to fine tune the selection further, you can add or remove individual articles from the final selection.

Click “Done” to update the selection and let PixxiBook focus on building with only the articles you want.

3. Customise your Cover

While the rest of the book is layed out according to the Pixxis’ good taste, the cover is the place where you can make customisations. Click the “Customise Cover” button to begin customising.

Here you can choose the colours, modify the title, subtitle, and author, as well as write small blurbs to be included on the front and back covers as well as on the title page. The title and author you specify here will also be printed on the book spine (unless it is too long).

Once done, click “Done” and the PixxiBook will render you a new preview of the cover.

4. Preview the Pages

As the book is being rendered, you can page through the preview using the buttons, arrow keys, or by clicking on the pages.

At each page, verify that the layout and content are acceptable. While the best effort is made to present your content as accurately as possible, be aware that:

  1. overly long captions may be truncated

  2. some photos may be lightly cropped to fit

  3. original formatting (eg: fonts and justification) is respected if it is explicitly set in the content which may have a different appearance in a book.

Print the Book of your Blog!