Okay, so it’s only a blog but you know the time and the effort you put into it and you don’t want to lose the body of work held within your sites’ pages. Perhaps you have been travelling and your travel photos along with commentary are held here. Perhaps you have recorded the skies on a Friday for a number of years and just want to be able to sit and marvel at the differences in those cloud patterns. For most of you it is probably not a book that you want to sell to the public but one for yourself or perhaps a present for a friend. If this is the case then there is a really easy way to do just that. Pixxibook.
Pixxibook makes it easy. All you have to do is specify your blog name and then which blog posts from …..to with whatever tag or ones to exclude and pixxibook does the rest. It does mean you can’t format it yourself and move post c to in front of post a but it does create a lovely book. All that is left then is to choose the colour of the book and what you want on the front cover and spine. Pay your money and in a short time your book will be delivered to your door. Mine have always come sooner than the time they have given me for delivery.
I learnt a lot with the first one I published. It was posts I had made in 2013 excluding all the skywatch, memoir, flash fiction and my petmoir series. I realised from the preview that I needed to do a little work myself. In those early days I linked many sites that were doing a similar item or challenge to mine and some of these took up a page in the pixxibook. I went through and removed them all. I also looked at my titles which I had also acknowledged the challenge and removed as many as I saw. I missed a couple from both the first and second book.
Another small problem was formatting. It is essential that each photograph in a gallery is captioned and avoid using the gallery caption. It will appear as an orphan in the book. For poetry the formatting may pose a real problem as for this poem below. The only way to get around this that I can think of is to photograph the poem and put it in as a photo. The formatting you can’t control so where on your blog you might have photo with words under it followed by another photograph the print version may be all paragraphs together and the photos separate to it. These means you need to caption your photos as they will not necessarily be together with the text.
The second book was a travel book – my trip to Egypt. Again I discovered some pitfalls. As I was doing many challenges at the time it was natural that some of these featured photographs from Egypt that I wanted in the book. They were however not in the chronological order that we had visited various sites so it made it a little jumbled for my liking.
In the future I will think carefully about all posts before I make them if it is going into a chronological book. I did however find out another way around this in the third book I made. I changed the date of publishing. This was a little time consuming but worth it.
By the third book I’d worked out the errors and worked out ways to overcome them (apart from one). This book was a little different. My brother and I did it jointly – him from Switzerland and me from Australia. Due to the lockdowns, the inability to enter Australia and my mother’s age we were finding that she was losing her place in the world and who was in her world so we decided that we would write her a book that explained who everyone was, what their relationship to her was and be full of photographs of her interacting with these people. We were going to give it to her for Christmas but luckily I sensed I should give it to her earlier. I gave it to her two weeks before she died and she got so much joy out of it I am so glad that I did. Had I waited until Christmas she wouldn’t have had that pleasure.
The only error in this book that I have come across was the images on the front cover. The feature picture is my aunt and uncle rather than my mother. I’m sure there is a way around this. I could have easily changed it to a single picture which I could choose but I did like the collage and let it go. I didn’t feel as I had the time to play around moving posts (I’d already done that). This one I also removed the blog’s title and just had the book title on the front as well as on the spine.
We used a private blog site to create this book making it limited to public but not available to search engines when we were ready to hand it over to pixxibooks. I returned it to private after they had finished with it. They were great. I returned it to private too early and the publisher emailed me and told me that as soon as he had finished he would let me know. He did in a very short time frame. We initially posted the chapters as we finished them but it meant I had to change the date of publication to get the order we wanted so we eventually kept them all as drafts and then posted in the order we wanted them. We created title page and chapter page. The copyright page is prepared by pixxibooks.
I have found pixxibooks to be an ideal way to publish my blog posts both for myself and as a gift. Apart from the small traps I have found in the early books I feel I have now perfected the technique and my fourth book – Friday skies will soon be published once I can decrease it to 300 pages. I’m glad I have found a way of preserving my blog posts with minimal effort. Is it expensive? That of course is relative to your own circumstances and although I don’t think it super cheap I also don’t see it as expensive. Compared to other photo books I have created of trips this was by far the easiest, gave more flexibility with photos and text and the end product is a quality book that I am proud of.
Have you tried pixxibooks? Have you come across any other issues that can be corrected before submission? Have you found another blog publisher? Would love to hear about your experiences.