Connect!, by Anne Truitt Zelenka
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Blurb Choked While Slurping My Blog

Blurb_2Huh?  That's right.  Blurb choked while slurping my blog.  Blurb offers a "blog to book" service and even Stephen Wildstrom of BusinessWeek is hyping the site.  I've been looking for a way to package my blog content into a book and Blurb seemed like a great solution.

I downloaded their BookSmart software and pointed it to my Publishing 2020 blog.  It started to slurp (their word, not mine) the blog and then it apparently encountered a hairball.  BookSmart showed a list of posts that mysteriously ended about a year or so ago.  I figured I'd continue to see what this partial slurp looked like and was even more disappointed...

The content got poured into a book but it was a bit of a hodgepodge format.  Some posts and comments flowed well while other posts ended partway down a page and each short comment that followed was given a page to itself, resulting in loads and loads of unnecessary whitespace.  Then there were the images...  It's hard to say what happened to all those book covers and other graphics I've featured with each post, but they got cropped and distorted in all sorts of ways.  I eventually gave up and shut BookSmart down.

In Blurb's defense, I did notice the word "beta" on the BookSmart splash screen...although it quickly disappeared and "beta" doesn't appear anywhere on their home page.  Regardless, I tried BookSmart version 1.9.2, so perhaps Blurb will get these issues resolved by the time version 2.x.x comes out.

Can't someone create a simple blog import tool (that works!) where the finished product is a PDF?!


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