7 Questions to Ask When Converting Your Blog to a Print Book

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blog to book

After writing a technology blog for a UK-based magazine for about three years and notching up hundreds of blog entries, I approached the magazine editor and suggested this interesting collection of articles was worthy of a book.

He immediately began asking questions, including, “Why on earth might anyone be interested in a series of blog posts collected together into a book?” He was also concerned about the complexities of publishing, but having already published with Lulu, I knew this was the least of our worries – I published the book in 2009.

Can anyone turn his or her blog into a book?

In theory yes, but there are some questions worth considering before you initiate that big WordPress download.

Is there an audience for the book?

You don’t need to do a lot of market research on this. You can publish with Lulu even if you anticipate a limited or specialized audience.

How much effort is required?

If you are doing this because you want to see your name on the spine of a book, you should consider that selecting your best posts and formatting them for the printed page will be quite a bit of work.

Will your blog work as a book?

The blog I converted to book format was mainly journalism and commentary, so I could easily imagine it on the printed page. On the other hand, turning your years of Tumblr posts into a book may be a futile exercise – and may even infringe copyright unless you personally own every image you shared. Remember, your posts may work well in the context of a blog where you might feature video clips, Instagram photos and other media that looks great when viewed on an iPad, but is not going to translate to the printed page.

Are the blog posts relevant now and in the future?

Blog content almost always features a date-stamp, which can translate to book content in an epistolary format – dated blogs in sequence – but there is an important time distinction between blogs and books.

Blogs are written and published in the now, usually referencing the exact time they were written. As time goes on, new posts may update or supersede earlier ones. As such, some of your blog entries will be completely unsuitable for use in a book because they are comments on a moment, rather than less time-bound thoughts or comments.

A book needs to be planned with a much longer shelf life than an individual blog post. When you publish a book, it is published at a moment in time and cannot be quickly updated except through new editions. In general, book content needs to be planned so that it will not become quickly dated.

Will the structure of my blog translate to a book?

It is worth viewing your blog in the round. You may have a hundred thousand words of great content, but you may end up stripping away half of that content to preserve your best posts. It is worth thinking about whether you want a literal version of your blogs in book format or whether you can do more with the text when planning how it might be read on the page. For example, you may be able to connect several blogs together and present them as longer essays.

Why should I do it?

If you are already blogging then you are a writer. Many writers have used short publications that were eventually collected together into a longer book format – The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens is one of the most famous examples. In fact, there is little to distinguish the way Dickens wrote then from a blogger today who releases short articles then collects them together into a longer book.

Posterity is as good a reason as any to take a close look at your blog to see if it might be worth publishing as a book. Even if your blog posts are individual and cannot be collected together into a coherent story, there may still be value in collecting them together. In my case, my articles from 2006-2009 that went into my “book-of-the-blog” have now been deleted from the magazine website. Now my book is the only place where they continue to live!


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Mark Hillary

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Mark Hillary is a British author, blogger and advisor on technology and globalization based in São Paulo, Brazil. He is a regular contributor to journals including The Huffington Post, Reuters, The Guardian, and Computer Weekly.
Mark live-blogged the 2010 UK General Election for Reuters. He was an official blogger at the 2012 London Olympics. He was shortlisted as blogger of the year in 2009 and 2011 by Computer Weekly magazine.
Contact Mark: www.markhillary.com (@markhillary)
Mark on Lulu: http://j.mp/lulumarkhillary

14 thoughts on “7 Questions to Ask When Converting Your Blog to a Print Book”

  1. BEEN WORKING ON A STORY, AND IT’S NEARING THE ENDING, BUT I STILL HAVE A LOT OF EDITING TO DO. BUT WANTED A LITTLE HELP IN TAKING NEXT STEP(S).CAN ANYONE HELP?

  2. Pingback: Do You Want to Convert Your Blog Into a Book? |

  3. Jesús Tortoza Aceved

    ACABO DE PUBLICAR DOS LIBROS CON WWWW.AUTORESEDITORES.COM DE COLOMBIA . CON ANTERIORIDAD LES CONSULTÉ SI PODÍA TAMBIÉN HACERLO CON USTEDES Y ME DIJERON QUE SI. ME GUSTARÍA PRIMERO PUBLICARLO DIGITALMNTE Y LUEGO EN PAPEL. LO TENGO EN FORMATO 17 X 24 CTS. QUE NO SÉ CUAL SERÍA LA EQUIVALENCIA EN PULGADAS.¿PUEDO ENVIÁSELOS EN UN CORREO?. LO TENGO EN PDF. LOS TÍTULOS SON: “BOLÍVAR…EL ALMA DE AMÉRICA” Y “EL ROBIN HOOD VENEZOLANO”

  4. Pingback: Do You Want to Convert Your Blog Into a Book? - LadsFadsLadsFads

  5. Pingback: Should You Turn Your Blog Into A Book? - publishingwithkindle.com

  6. @Daniel
    Hi Daniel,
    Each book format has its own min and max page counts. To view page count requirements, go to Lulu.com > Create > Print Book. Select the format and size of the book you wish you to create. The minimum and maximum page counts for the format will be displayed on the book builder page.

  7. Glen, I’ve been trying to get some help on my project # 16345763 and in frustration I’ve turned here! Can you perhaps help, or get somebody to respond to my email? Thanks so much!

  8. Hello David Farkas
    I see the support cases you submitted on Sunday. Many people were out of the office yesterday due to the ice storm, but we are all back at it today.
    For your title, I suggest you add the Hebrew text to the image before you upload the book cover.
    I had a look at your project page, but all I see is a published book in general access. I do not see a draft version. Did you resolve the issue with the file?

  9. Pingback: 7 Questions to Ask When Converting Your Blog to a Print Book | Amazing WWWorld

  10. Hello Mark Hillary;
    I enjoyed reading your article, “How to Convert Blog into a Book?” It was most helpful and encouraging. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Jay Dee,

      I’m honestly not sure. My understanding is that all commonly used platforms give you some options to export your content, but I’ve not tried doing so with enough of them to say which is easier or more comprehensive.

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