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January 03, 2009

Blog to Book - 2008 (in progress...)

At the end of each year, we convert our blog to a family album so, if you don't see new posts on the blog for a while, it's because I've locked myself in my home office with several cases of Five Hour Energy, a double ended candle, and a big bottle of Excedrin.

Blurb books-000001 

We use www.blurb.com for our books and print them in the largest size (13 by 11) so we can enjoy each big beautiful photograph.  Even though the books often exceed 200 pages, the price is hard to beat at about .50 cents per page.   

If you want to attempt a project like this, I recommend that you start now.  It's January so that's a good time to start something, right?

I started my 2008 book in January of 2008 and kept it updated all year long.  I got a little bit behind after Thanksgiving but I only have to catch up with just a bit over a month of photos.   Even so, that's going to take me several days and another few days to proof the entire book from start to finish and tweak it a bit and finally upload it to Blurb. 

The software is free and it makes the task pretty easy.  They have many sizes to choose from and a wonderful selection of page formats for mixing photos with text.   You can even import your entire blog into their software (to save all that typing!) but I recommend that you copy your book after you import it and immediately break it into individual years by removing the pages that don't correspond to the particular year you're working on.  This makes the project much more manageable and much less overwhelming.    Also, pick your book size carefully because you can't change it without starting over.  Finally - and most importantly - plan to replace each of your blog photos with the beautiful high resolution original photos you have on your computer.  Trust me, you won't be happy with the size of the photo you have uploaded to your blog.  Really.... why go to all this trouble and end up with a 3 inch photo to look at?

Why the effort?  We Book our Blog for several reasons:  First of all, we don't print many of our digital photos so this gets our pictures out of our computer and into our hands.  Next, we worry that we'll lose irreplaceable photos if our computer crashes.  And, lastly, anything we print using Blurb is retained forever on their servers so we can always go back and print another copy if there's a theft or a fire and our books are lost or destroyed.  The peace of mind is worth all the considerable effort of creating these spectacular books.  Oh, and our kids LOVE to look at them!  Since they're in almost all of these books (and on nearly every page!), they think these are books about THEM.  Okay, they're right but I'm okay with that!  :)

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