I have been in the processes of making my Blog into a book. I knew this was something I wanted to do since I started my blog but I am just now getting around to making it happen. I have gotten a few questions about it so I will share what I have learned and done.
I am using Blurb BookSmart. I started out trying Blog 2 Print but I didn't like that they do not offer a variety of customizations. I do think it is a good option if you want a quick and easy blog book and are not picky about the layout.
Blurb has a lot more options on everything and what I like most is the ability to customize each post. When you slurp your blog into Blurb you can choose not to auto populate, but drag and drop individual post. I tried both ways and decided I like the freedom to layout my pictures and text how I want. This way my pictures actually look in the book how I put them on my blog and captions can be placed accordingly.
The program is pretty straight forward and took me about 30 minutes to figure out completely. They have a lot of tutorials on their web sight and you can actually call and talk to a person if you get stuck...AMAZING!
I have been in a real debate over how to deal with our family photos. I have come to the conclusion that making online photo books is the best option for our family, because they take up so much less space than traditional albums. Here are a two post I read that helped me make this decision( 1,) (2). Although I love "real" photo albums, they are very bulky. I might still do one a year using these albums.
I have a gap in my pictures where I stopped printing photos and making books right before Jojo was born in 2011. Then I started my blog in 2012 and most of our family events are on there...therefor some pictures of each event. I have decided that will be good enough for now and my Blog Book will actually be a family scrapbook. I am not 100 percent sure about this because I have not ordered my first book yet. I am really pleased with the way it turned out on the computer but it is not in my hand to SEE the quality (I will be spending a little more money to get the premium paper because most of my posts have pictures). Still I think the pricing is reasonable and far less expensive than scrapbooking.
My first year blogging I did a lot of post so I had to make two books, six months for each one. (you can only have 240 pages for premium paper) I am hoping to only have to do one a year from now on.
I will update once I have the actual book in my hand:)
A side note on pictures- I am having a really hard time deciding the size my pictures should be for my blog. I ran out of Google storage space (AKA Picasa Web Albums) after six months and then decided to resize my pictures to the width of my blog. That seemed like a great idea but it has caused some problems- for one, the resized pictures are to small for the book, therefor I will have to grab some pictures from my hard drive. Having small pictures on the blog makes it load faster, besides saving storage space. My pictures are so large only one post will show up at a time when they are full size. However the plus side of full size images is I have a back up of those pictures on Googol storage and my post will be ready for the blog book. I am not sure the solution to this problem...maybe resizing to a med size photo, I still have not decided.
One more side note. I have a few old posts in my draft folders that I need to publish so they can make it into the book. That is why out of date post will be showing up:)