Monday, January 13, 2014

How to turn your blog into a book

Scratch a blogger, any blogger, and most of them will admit a yearning to write a book.
I'm not sure why the thought of writing captures so many people's imaginations, especially when many published writers complain about how tortuous the process is. Unless you're Jamie or Nigella, it's no way to get rich, either.

I started my blog even though I wrote for a living because I wanted to be the boss of something, to have complete editorial control. I don't know about you, but I've found that to be a heavier responsibility than I thought it would be. It's a bit like expressing a desire to build your own house and then realising you don't know how to wield a hammer. I recently read about this blog and felt very amateur-ish, not least because it is put together by a chef, a photographer, a stylist and an art director. (Yes, an art director. Don't you have one for your blog?)



In the meantime, I've already ticked something crucial off the list. I've turned my blog into a book. No, I haven't enticed a publisher to throw lots of money in my direction (though, you know, if there are any out there, don't be shy...). Instead, I've done it myself, in a matter of minutes. I used this service - which turns your blog into a downloadable PDF in about five minutes. It's really simple and it's free, though for the sake of good karma and helping the internet keep working, it's only kind to make a donation for their trouble.

Quite apart from having a 'book' under your belt, the best thing about doing this is that you have a handy copy of all your work - text, images and even comments from readers. Because I might not lie awake at night worrying about whether or not I'll ever get a book deal, but I do occasionally panic that my blog will vanish, never to be seen again.

Now that's sorted, I'm going to direct my thoughts to a bit of homepage improvement for The Kitchenmaid. No, I'm not about to ask my HR department to start advertising for an art director, but it's time for a refresh. Any advice on that front (or indeed, any art directors looking for work experience), do let me know...

10 comments:

  1. oh god this post has depressed me a little... I think it's possibly the January blues but I too am in need of a blog refresh but not sure what to do about it and whenever I start the process I go back to the original and think 'why and I changing it?'... I would love a book (but please don't scratch me) but I think you need a clear USP to really stand out... great post... has really made me think!

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    1. Don't go changin' Dom! Sorry to depress you - maybe I should have added: but it's important to remember that I (we?) started blogging for FUN and when it stops being fun, it's time to stop!

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  2. Dear Lucy, I chuckled when I read this. Thank you for mentioning the food dept in your post. I look forward to seeing how you refresh your homepage. Are you on facebook?
    Best wishes
    Anne Marie (the art director) at the food dept.

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    1. Hi Anne Marie, if you've got any art direction tips, let me know! Best of luck with The Food Dept. and yes, you can find me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/TheKitchenmaid

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  3. Thanks for pointing out this fine service. It might allow me to consult my recipes the next time my ISP has an episode and needs a lie down. I should probably get out more but I was surprised when you said that most bloggers have a yearning to write a book. Thinking about it, I'm sure you're right but I've scratched myself very thoroughly and I promise that there's no sign of a book yearning. Although I'm hoping to finish reading one this year.

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    1. Phil, I'd be very surprised if you didn't have a book in you. Indeed, a whole series of books. Go on, you know you want to...

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  4. The thought of putting my blog into a PDF makes me cringe. I so rarely reread my blog posts aside from if my Dad mentions something I don't remember I've said. I also cringed with The Food Department which is the kind of food reportage I hate most, styled, staged and as I have learned recently a myth of Barthesian proportion. Good luck with the refresh. Perhaps we should get coffee together and scribble ideas. I have a new food blog in the works but struggling against the tide of other priorities to start writing let alone setting the darn thing up.

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    1. I know what you mean - I don't mind some of my early posts so much, but the photos are a bit grim (well, grimmer than they are now). I would LOVE a coffee and a chat...

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  5. i must admit i print out all my blog posts - so my parents can read them (they're not into computers) and just so i have a record of them. i'm like that. so i might investogate the PDFy thing!
    i must admit, i'm one blogger not interested in having a book. i could handle a monthly magazine coloumn, but not a book :-)

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    1. That is so sweet - you should definitely check out the PDF! Now, let's get you that mag column...

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Hello - thanks for stopping by. If this was real life I'd make you a cup of tea and open the biscuit tin, but in lieu of those things, let's have a chat anyway...

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