Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From blog to book...

As Barry and I were kind of planning our art year ahead - what we wanted to do, what we wanted to make, where we wanted to show etc, one of the things we discussed (at Barry's suggestion) was the making of a book based on my series of Thursday Thoughts.

For some reason two weeks ago I sat down and organised to do it - totally surprised myself!  And two weeks later to the day; here in my hand is a copy of my book.

I love it.

As ever with online publishing, you don't get total control over the look and feel; but I think it worked out well despite that.  The paper feels great; it is well-finished; the clarity of the photos is beautiful; and the text is nice as well.

I used shared book's blog2print platform and was very happy. It was easy to use and it gave you options (like choosing a timeframe - posts between such and such a date; post with such and such a title) which some others didn't.

A 20 page soft cover book starts at $14.95; a hard cover at $24.95, and extra pages are 0.35 cents each ($US). I bought two this time around, but I can buy more if the desire takes me!

Update: I have learned that only I can buy the book and that each book has 'not for re-sale' printed on it; which strongly suggests you can't sell it commercially or sell it on. So my book is for personal use only.

So, without further ado, here is Volume 1 - the first year of Thursday Thoughts...

The cover (it's shiny can you tell!?!?!)

I think this is called the dedication - I think of it as an introduction. It explains that I have included all the comments people made in response to my Thoughts; so that you can feel the personal conversational nature of it. This is Volume I, because it contains the first 52. Each anniversary date I will make another one.

My very first Thursday Thought.

A double page spread from last year.

You can see the comments and 'read the conversation'...

The final Thursday Thought in this volume. I kept the pages bent up because the book is so new and still bouncy, so apologies if it makes you feel sea-sick; but I didn't want to flatten it out just yet!

When I received my book and held it in my hands; it felt so right. It felt as if the world I inhabit on the blog had become even more real in a way that matters to me - by becoming a book I could hold in my hand and turn the pages of.  I love that all the Thoughts are there together, with the comments and conversations together. They are more accessible this way. I doubt I would ever go to the blog, click on 'label' and then drag up all the Thursday Thoughts and then scroll and click and open the comments and then go back and scroll and click and do it again, at least 52 times. This is perfect for me and I have enjoyed sitting down with old friends - me, my thoughts and the folk who comment - and smiling.

Thank you all for the engagement and interaction that makes for such a wonderful conversation.


  1. Fiona, what a wonderful example of turning 'thoughts' into action. The book looks covetable and something to dip into at any time. Metaphorically, having the chance to pick up and read your thoughts and the matching comments seems like another example of you working with a 'continuous thread'. Fabulous idea.

  2. this is a great idea Fiona and thanks for sharing the link - I think it would really work with my collaborative project and save so much time if you can link to the blog posts - going to go and see how it works

  3. I've often wondered what blogs would look like in book form and here's one you made!! Looks great. Busy times for you with many good things.

  4. Lesley - thank you! So true - thoughts in action indeed. I spent the lovelies time reading through it today - reminding myself of the wisdom I received in return for my thoughts - so many wonderful and inspiring, thought-provoking comments...

    Rosie - I am plead it might work for you! I loved how easy it really was and I think its a beautiful way of presenting a project...good luck!

    Thanks Sandra for stopping by and letting me know you think it's a great idea! I so thoroughly enjoyed reading it today.

    Hi Annie - well there you go! It looks and reads really well I think; blogs are such conversations and full fo exchange and sharing - this really allows the true feeling of them to be expressed in a really personal, held in the hand kind of way. Yes busy times - but good busy times!

  5. This is a beautiful accomplishment, F! There is such a connection between you and the art of the book, it makes perfect sense for your blog posts to appear in book form! Thanks for the link, too - I've wanted to do something along these lines for a while, and was wondering about platforms - so now you've done the legwork for me! Have a great week.

  6. Wow!! What a notion....turning your blog into a book....fantastic Fiona!

  7. he has some good ideas, that Barry! It looks fabulous & can imagine looking through again & again. A posh diary, sort of!!

  8. Your book is just beautiful, and it is a great idea for a gift to other artists and family. Thanks for the link.

  9. Thanks for showing this book and the place that you ordered it from. I have been considering making a book from my blog too "just because" and this is a good example. I will check that place out. It looks really nice here from what I see.

  10. A marvellous project Fiona... well done... but OMG!!!!! I'll have to watch my spelling, etc., when I post a comment.

  11. Great Idea Fiona! I find it ironic that we are foretelling the demise of the book because of the proliferation of computers and here you are making a book out of words and images from your computer. Maybe the two can co-exist after all?

  12. Congratulations Fiona! What a great idea. I wasn't aware this sort of software was available - makes it all the more feasible to use the blog as a visual diary.

  13. Hi G/TT - yes it seems the perfect match for me - my love of books linked to my blogging. It was good for the blog to book thing - good luck as you explore options.

    Thanks Patti - I didn't want the whole blog as a book - very unwieldy I expect - just one part of it. I guess you could do a book of dailies or something...

    Thanks Suzi - indeed he does! It is just like a posh diary in a way - re-reading thoughts and conversations...

    Thanks Jacki - it worked well for this particular project and it is indeed a nice idea for a gift or such....

    Hi Teri - yes its absolutely worth a look; I did find it quite easy to follow and it didn't take too long. The trickiest bit was choosing photos for the front and back and the cover design (I like simple...) And may I say "just because' is a perfectly valid reason!

    Hi Jo - very funny! Of course your spelling is already up there for all to see...and I'm yet to pick up many mistakes from you! Enjoy.

    Hi Robyn - I agree; I think the two can live together happily in some places. I love the making of a hard copy book from an electronic format - the reverse of things in way!

    Hi Amanda - so true - it really can be a visual diary; and I really liked including the comments as it became more like a journal...enjoy exploring options.

  14. Very noice Fiona. I printed off my own version from my past ALaW's, only computer to A4. Your Thursday thoughts are so very precious, and is nice to see it as a book - just simply stunning and beautiful.

    ps thanks for the dolly pegs :-D

  15. Clever lady - a lovely bound version of heartfelt thoughts. A great idea too. Are we able to order copies?

  16. Congratulations! How do I order one?

  17. Glad you loike Kim! It would work well for an individual's ALAW contributions for sure. They work well as a book and I'm really happy to my thoughts in my hands so to speak.

    Thank you Susan - I think it worked well for this type of project. I am investigating the purchasing by others thing - but it looks like it will be about $50 + p&h (there are around 90 pages!)

    Thanks Jennifer - I'll get back to you on the how - am testing a process on Barry at the moment! As I said to my friend Susan, its about 90 pages, so about $50....

  18. Great idea Fiona and it looks wonderful. If you sell it do you need to get the commentators permission? I have mixed feeling about this, seems a line has been crossed, and while I value the comments and conversation that develop with a blog, I 'm not sure that I want my comments published in this form and for sale.

  19. ~fiona...a touch stone...a piece to see where your mind had wandered...where you spirit was dabbling upon words written from long ago...i have seen many create books from their blog...but never from one certain piece...your book is a beautiful piece to reflect upon...be well and much love light and blessings~

  20. This is an excellent idea and such a great way to easily revisit some of your favorites and savor them. I love the ease of these books - I made one for my 2011 Photo a Day project filled with 365 pictures I took through the year. It makes me proud to hold it, as I know you're proud and appreciative of holding yours.

  21. Dear Liz - Thank you for your concern re selling and copyright permissions. As mentioned above I have gone in to check what is possible, and only I can buy the book; and the books have printed on them "not for re-sale"; so there will be no selling. Some copyright advice seems to suggest there is implied consent to publish when you comment; some says that you can add a creative commons license to your comment page to make it clear that folk license you to use their comments...it's a tricky world and I am no copyright lawyer. I hope people can appreciate that it is for my personal use and enjoyment...

    Hi Brandi - it is a nice solid way to see where my mind has wandered indeed! I have published other books; but never a blog book.

    Terrie - thank you - it does make you feel proud to hold it doesn't it? I'm glad you enjoy yours - it would be a great reminder of your year!

  22. What a wonderful idea Fiona! It must give you quite a thrill to hold this book of thoughts and wisdom in your hands. Wow!

  23. Thank you Robyn. It is pretty special - the hand-held version of a digital conversation.


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