There are many reasons why you might want to create a book out of your blog content, and there are hundreds of services available to help you do that. Which type of service is suitable for you depends on both your reasons for creating a book, the content you have, and your budget.
A readable blog backup – After all the effort involved in creating and running a blog it’s a nice idea to create your own personal book from your blog content. Whether for ease of reading offline, or as a backup of a blog that you don’t want to keep online anymore. This can be a PDF you read online, or one that you can print out.
An ebook – for either personal use or for self-publishing.
A physical copy of your blog book – some blog to book services look absolutely gorgeous, but they do come with a hefty price tag!
There are a number of free (or nearly free) tools to do the job for you. The less a tool costs, the less control you have and/or the more manual labour you’re going to have to do yourself. However there are some very reasonable options that you can try. Let me know which one works best for your blog!
Pros: 100% free, works well
Cons: Limited options
This is my favourite of the free plugins if you just want an uneditable PDF to print a single dump of your entire blog post collection. The main feature I feel is missing is the option to select what blog posts you want to add to the pdf, although you could just delete any unwanted pages from your pdf yourself at the end. The other feature that would be great is the ability to add a table of contents at the start.
You can find all the details and steps I took for using Print My Blog to create a pdf of your blog content here.
Pros: 100% free, more options available
Cons: Some options do not work well
You can create an editable book with a table of contents, parts and chapters using this tool. Some formats worked well for me. The PDF was good, although the Anthologize logo is displayed on each page header. The rtf version of this resulted in a corrupt file for me unfortunately. The epub formatting was nice, but the images did not get included for many of the pages of my blog. This is a better option for you if you want to control which blog posts are included and add some kind of order to them. Try the Anthologize plugin yourself by following these steps.
Aspose Doc Exporter / Aspose PDF Exporter Plugin
Pros: 100% free, multiple output formats, can select the content you want
Cons: Requires a sign-up, Quite a bit of manual labour involved once you have more than a handful of posts to add to your book.
I like these tools but they are limited by the number of blog posts they can process before the tool times out. This means that if you want one big document you will need to manually merge the end files together. The formatting was good though.
Pros: 100% free, option to pay a 6 month subscription for more advanced formatting and unlimited use
Cons: You can only generate 3 books of up to a year’s worth of blog posts within a 6 month period on the free plan. This isn’t a lot if you are playing around with the settings to get things right. The doc version also didn’t open for me in OpenOffice.
BlogBooker works with more than just WordPress blogs. It also accepts Blogger blogs as input, for example. The output format is either PDF or Word Document. A requirement for using the service is to create an export from your blog in xml format first, which is easily done. The free version only lets you create a book from 1 year worth of posts for PDF format and 6 months for Word format. You will probably use this up just testing the service to see how well it works for you.
Having said that the free version PDF was well-formatted with a table of contents. If you want a nicely formatted PDF copy of your blog for you to be able to print off yourself then it’s worth trying the free version to test it, and then paying for the basic version to create your full blog book.
The Basic version costs €16.90 for 6 months and lets you generate 4 books out of an unlimited number of blog posts. This could be used as input for a publishing platform if you’re looking to ultimately self-publish.
Almost Free Tools
Pros: Cheap template for ebook format
This is next on my list to investigate. If your priority is creating a well-formatted epub book then subscribe to my email list to receive an update when that blog post goes live.
Pros: Gorgeous Layout
Cons: Physical copy only, obviously a lot more expensive as a result