Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm Published

In what looks to be a giant ego attack, I have written a book.  Well, make that six books, because that's what it took to get my blog postings from the last four years into book form. 

Wow, this picture is blurry.....but it's better in real life.

 So, who decided my blog was worth sacrificing trees for?  I did.  I published myself using blog2print.  I've been debating doing this for years, and this past fall decided to take the plunge.  

Carl and our sons thought it was a good idea to print a hard copy since there is a lot of history in the blog and it's nice to have books to page through and reminisce.  It's sort of like a scrapbook for lazy people.  I'm awful at scrapbooking, so I took the easy way out.

Using the blog printing service was fairly simple.  You have choices on the color and type of cover, front and back cover photos, format style and which blog posts you want to include.  Since I write way too much, my books ended up being too big for one volume, so I broke them down into two volumes of approximately 400 pages for each book.  

I decided to have 2010 published first and waited to see what the finished product looked like before I went any further.  

The pictures turned out quite well.  There probably could be more pictures and text per page in some cases, and you do have the option of running posts together to save on room.  
I opted to have my blog printed the way it was originally written.  There is an option to have the pictures printed separately. I'm not sure what that would look like, so I decided to leave the format alone.
Some of the pictures came out nice and big, and others are small, it seems that any picture taken in the 'landscape' format is large, and the 'portrait' format is smaller. I'm not sure why that happened; maybe there was something I missed in the translation, but all of the pictures are clear.  

Once the first book came back, I decided to print the rest of them, too.  I also did a compilation book of the gardens from 1978 to 2013 which we can use as a history lesson of sorts when we have garden tours.  (Yes, that's right, we like to bore the tour groups, too.)

My mother is reading two of the books this winter, so they aren't pictured.  She's been a little embarrassed by the pictures I've posted over the years of her and the stories I've written, but she forgave me when I explained that there is only one copy of each of these books, not millions. 
 You can put any picture you like on the back cover of your book.  I want to get some plastic protectors for them because their glossy covers are easy to scratch.  

This wasn't cheap, the average cost of one 400 page book was around $150 which is a lot of money, but when I thought about trying to put all of these photographs into a scrapbook, I reconsidered.  The cost of printing photos, arranging them and writing text was high, too, and this way, the work is already done for me.

I haven't had 2013 printed yet, but I plan on doing so. 

I'm committed now.   

(Or should be.)  



Stephen Andrew said...

I think this is wonderful. And such a great thing to have. You obviously put so much into your garden, your photos, and your writing. You deserve the 'keepsake' for all the hard work!

sharon malueg said...

Its about time!! Your stories are always so interesting and always funny, can't wait always for the next story to come out. Next step, you have to get something published!!

Alison said...

WooHoo! Good for you for doing this. You're such a good writer. I actually think it would be a good idea for you to try to get published as a writer (where they pay you and pay for the printing). Or maybe you should think about selecting certain posts and putting a short book together made from them, ones with a specific thread or commonality. That way you could leave out the pictures of your mom.

Beth said...

Great idea, Karen! Thanks for sharing a bit of the process and cost for those of us who are considering doing this too.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, you are a writer and could be published by one of those big publishers like Timber Press.

Your writing is engaging and people would be sucked into your stories. I think it is great that you have done this.


Missy said...

How fantastic! and I have to agree with everyone else - your writing is engaging and your garden is so beautiful you should be published.

africanaussie said...

Lovely idea Karen, and I think it is a great idea to have them on hand during your garden tours. Your posts are always a pleasure to read.

Betsy said...

Wow, the book looks great and the pictures are clear. I like that idea and will look into that. I tried scrapbooking but I just can't get that interested in it. I always loved to look at moms scrapbooks from long ago, she just used those corner picture holders to hold post cards and pictures, today it's more cutting and pasting, not really liking that all that much.
Thanks for mentioning the page numbers and the price. Something to think about. You picked a very pretty picture for the cover.
I am with others who say your writing is engaging, I do enjoy reading your posts.

Pamela Gordon said...

This is pretty neat, Karen. I had no idea one could do this. What a wonderful way to keep your gardening/stained glass making/life history in a format you can see and read over and over! Congrats!

Indie said...

They came out really good looking! And what a great idea to make sure you don't loose all that work that you've done over the years. I always feel like I'm taking my chances with my terrible technology luck (I once accidentally wrote a compiler virus while trying to do some homework in a computer coding class I took in college.) Thankfully Mr. Red House handles most of the technology involved with my blog - I'm worried some day I'm going to accidentally erase it all!

Carolyn ♥ said...

Look at you... you've inspired us all! said...

I think your posts would make a great book - or many books in this case. It is a nice idea to have them printed, but you are right, it does seem a bit steep in price. I have been seeing this offered but I never looked into it. Glad to see you had your blog go to print.

Karen said...

Stephen, thank you for your kind words.

Sharon and Alison, thank you. Gosh, you guys make me blush.

Beth, it is an interesting process; I made one book up exclusively for the evolution of the garden that wasn't as expensive due to being less pages.

Eileen, Missy and africanaussie, thank you so much for your high praise. I'm very honored.

Betsy, my mother scrapbooked with the pictures in the corner holders, too, and I love looking through those books. I guess this is just a little more modern (or in my case, lazy) way of accomplishing the same thing for me.

Pamela, I'm not sure where I read about this either, probably on someone else's blog. I hemmed and hawed on printing due to the cost, but now that it's done, I'm glad.

Indie, Oh, dear, your experience sounds like something I would do, I am notorious for mysterious keystrokes that lead up to disaster. Part of the reason I decided to go hard copy was a fear of wiping out the entire thing, lol. I still can't get my blog to look the way I want to and it's supposed to be 'easy'. Leave it to me...

Carolyn, it is fun to see your hard work in print.

Donna, thank you. I'm sure there are probably other ways to go about having a blog printed...someone asked me why I just didn't go ahead and print the pages at home. I suppose that might have been cheaper, but I don't know what I would have done about binding. It is nice to have them as keepsakes.

Lona said...

Oh what a great idea Karen!! I love the looks of them and you are right they will be so good to have your family memories to look back on and all that hard work you all do. LOL! The pictures look wonderful. It is a nasty day here for certain so you all stay safe where you are.

PlantPostings said...

What a great keepsake! It's great to have it in two formats--online and in print. Congrats!