Frequently Asked Questions


Blog Fetching

Which blog hosts are supported?

We currently support Wordpress (including third-party hosts and self-hosted using the wordpress.org distribution), Blogger (sometimes refered to as Blogspot), Squarespace (v7 only, the current version), Wix and Tumblr. Together these cover approximately 75% of all blogs.

Unsupported blog hosts may work to different degrees. Sometimes older posts will not be found or the content may be incomplete. We are always working to improve compatibility and welcome feedback!

Why can’t it find any posts for my Squarespace blog?

Make sure you point the indexer at your blog which may be on a sub-path of your site, eg: http://myblog.squarespace.com/blog. Unfortunately, not all Squarespace sites have a blog, or have more than one, and the blog is not always at the root location.

What about Squarespace v5?

Squarespace has defaulted to v7 since 2014 so most recent blogs should be using it. If you are still on v5, consider upgrading to v7. Squarespace have a useful guide to upgrading.

Can I include my “pages”?

At the moment, we don’t index non-post pages of your blog such as your "About Me" page or similar. If you want these in the book, we recommend that you cut and paste it into a new post (at least temporarily) and set the publish date so that it comes at the beginning or end of the book.

My blog content has changed, how do I refresh my book preview?

In the “My Books” page, next to your book listing you can select "Refresh from Blog" from the Actions drop down list. This will initiate re-indexing of your blog and incorporation of new posts and changed content into your book.

If you have introduced new posts, then you should view your book, select “Pick Posts” and check that your new posts are included in the current selection. Once you have completed Pick Posts, the preview will update with your new posts.

For updated posts, the preview will rebuild automatically.


Layout

Can I edit my text or photos?

Sorry - in order to keep the process simple and quick we do not support any editing of the text and photos or any control over the layout of each page. Our aim is to do a good job of this, automatically - if we fall short, please let us know and we will do our best to improve our system’s handling of your blog.

To edit your text or photos, we encourage you to make these edits in your blog and then Refresh your book preview from the blog. See refreshing your book from your blog for more details.

Why are my photo captions are not with the photos?

We can only detect photo captions that are marked as such in the blog. When editing a blog post, select the photo and then “add caption…” (or similar, depending on your blog). This will ensure that the caption text is correctly associated with the photo and it will be kept with the photo in the layout. If your photo description is just text in the main body that happens to follow the photo then we are unable to distinguish it and extract it from the main text.

How can I reduce the number of pages?

The automated layout system gives no control over the layout so the only way forward is to either reduce the page count by excluding certain posts or to split the book into multiple volumes.

To reduce the number of posts included in the book, use the “Pick Posts” dialog to narrow the date range, narrow the included categories or to exclude individual posts.

To create multiple volumes, see below.

How can I create multiple volumes?

If your book has more than the maximum number of pages (300), you will be offered a “Split Saga” option to automatically split the book into multiple volumes. You should make sure that your book covers that time period and cetgories you want before splitting it. The automatic volumizer will split the book into volumes each with approximately the same number of pages. It will offer to add the Volume label to the Title or Author field.

Alternatively, you can split the volumes manually:first create your first volume, narrowing the number of posts as above, say to a specific date range. When you are happy with the volume, go to the “My Books” page and select the “Duplicate” action for the book. This will create a new project that is exactly the same. Open this new book and then set a new date range and check that it is still less than 300 pages.

When creating multiple volumes, you should will want to add the volume information to the Title, Subtitle or even Author field (eg: “Volume 1” or “2018” or “France”). We recommend making it part of the Title or Author field as these will also show on the spine.

In addition, when deciding on where to split into multiple volumes, consider how the pages will balance between the volumes. Having similar page counts in each volume will mean they are the same thickness and will look nice together on a shelf.

What does the spine look like?

There is no preview for the spine but you can see some examples in the Book Format Overview. The Spine will have the Title in large font and the author in a smaller italic font. If the Title or Author are too long to fit, then just the Title is shown. If the Title is still very long then a smaller font will be used. Thinner books will of course have a thinner spine so a smaller font is used. Note that the SubTitle is not present on the spine.


Cover

How can I change the cover image?

Click the “Customise Covers” button to open the Customise Covers dialog. Here you can enter the URL of your image in the "Custom Image" field. It will take the place of the default mosaic of images so landscape or square format will work best. Make sure it is a good quality, high resolution image.

To find the URL of an image, use your browser to locate the desired image on your blog (or elsewhere on the web). It must be publicly accessible without the need for any password. Click through the image until you come to the highest resolution (largest!) version of the photo that you have. Right click on the image and select “Copy image address” and paste this URL into the “Custom Image” field. Click "Done" and wait for the cover preview to refresh.

If you don’t want any cover image, set the “Custom Image” field to none.

How can I add formating or images to the blurbs?

The Front, Title-Page and Back Blurbs support a subset of html. In the "Customise Covers" dialog you can enter (well-formed) html directly into the blurb fields. For example “My year in <b>Spain</b>” will have Spain in bold.

Are the photos ever cropped?

Sometimes, some photos may be cropped a small amount where it is necesary for them to fit neatly in the page layout. For example, if a photo is a good candidate to be used as a full-page image then it will be positioned to fill the page completely even if this means cutting off small parts of the image from the sides or bottom. This generally gives a better result than if the photo were printed smaller with black bars around it to fill the gaps. If the photo is too different from the page’s aspect ratio, then the photo is not cropped and bars are used anyway.

Sometimes, we may also crop an image to be slightly smaller so that we can fit more text on the page. This is only done where there is a small amount of text left on the last page of an article with a lot of white space. Squeezing this text back onto the other article pages removes this whitespace and also saves a page making the book cheaper!

In addition, note that where there is limited space, very long photo captions may also be truncated to approximately 20 words. The missing parts of the caption will be replaced with an ellipsis…


Troubleshooting

Why is my book building slowly?

We run our service on a world-class computing infrastructure with lightning speed and connectivity. It is possible that our servers are overloaded by the number of customers but we are quick to scale if this becomes apparent.

More likely, it is your blog host that is the bottleneck. We have seen this on several occasions, particularly with self-hosted blogs. We do need to download a lot of content from your blog and some servers are slow or have rate limits. Sorry, you may need to get a coffee and come back.

I have other questions!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions - we don’t bite and are pretty responsive. If we get asked the same question frequently enough - we will add it here. Or improve our service!

Print the Book of your Blog!