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Blurb’s Blog-to-Book Service

I mentioned Blurb back in this July post. According to this Wired News article, Blurb is apparently going to invite 600 bloggers for a free trial of their blog-to-book conversion service. The blog-to-book service might wind up becoming the ultimate in vanity publishing, but I wonder if there’s another related service they should consider offering: blog-to-PDF.

Despite my best efforts with RSS feeds and other approaches, I have to admit that there are times when I’d like to catch up on a blog or discover a new one but I just don’t have the time. By “time” I mean time in front of a computer with an Internet connection. However, there are plenty of times when I’d welcome a nicely formatted hard copy of a blog that I could read on a plane, for example. Maybe I’ve just been doing too much flying lately... Then again, I often print out news items from the web so I can read them later at home – after working in front of a monitor or two all day I often welcome the chance to read a few printouts instead.

What if Blurb created a little plug-in that could be featured on any blog, you click on it and you’re asked what date range you want a PDF created for (e.g., posts and comments from July 1 through today) and it pulls it all together in a well-formatted file? The first question of course is “how would Blurb make any money off this?” Answer: They could place advertising throughout the PDF. Then it’s like reading a blog that’s formatted like a magazine.

I don’t see myself paying $30-$80 for the hardcover, dust-jacketed blog-book they’re offering, but I’d definitely use the PDF service described above.


Tom Britt

good points Joe. Blog writing is pretty casual for the most part, not too many online editors correcting for errors, character development, or grammar errors. Lulu.com has a similar model, they both provide the ultimate "self-publishing" experience!

Joe Wikert

Hi Tom. You bet. I'm glad nobody cleans up everything I write on this blog. I'm only human and I know I have a major problem with passive voice... But, I kind of like the raw feel of the blogs I read -- it often reflects the author's personality, for better or worse!


do you know where can I get invites for the beta service?

thanks in advance!

Joe Wikert

I think they had a link to sign up for this back when I published the original post in August. I just checked their website this morning and I don't see anything about it now, so I wonder if they got more requests than they needed. Either way, you could probably send an inquiry to them via this contact page: http://www.blurb.com/corporate/contact


I tend to agree with that most blogs are not worth to be printed. However, there are a few exceptions (eg Seth Godin published a book from his blog posts).

There are blog-to-PDF services of software packages like the ones below:

  • http://www.asprise.com/product/blogcollector/

  • http://www.ljbook.com/frontpage.php

  • http://www.blogbooker.com/

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