What Will You Do With Your Blog Posts? I Did THIS…

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So on Friday I shared with you the giddy news that I’ve made Mousetrapped into a 6×9 hardcover with the help of POD service Lulu, to mark its third—THIRD?!—anniversary.

But there was something else in the box from Lulu too…

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What (various shades of) pink prettiness is this? Before anyone has a heart attack, there is a coaster underneath that mug. Don’t you know me BUT AT ALL?

I started this blog on 1st February 2010, after spending three months messing around half-heartedly on a horrific looking Blogger.com effort I called The Scribbler. It recorded my thoughts as I came to the conclusion that I should self-publish and, later, served as a place to vent about the stress of the actual process. Eventually it was where I shared my exciting successes and, occasionally, disappointing failures.

In other words, this blog is the whole story. 323,000 words of it (I know; I just had a heart attack too), excluding guest posts and replays. How do I know this number? Well, it’s not because I went through and counted the words…

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Over the last few weeks I have painstakingly copied and pasted three years’ worth of posts into 6×9 Lulu templates and made myself a matching collection of hardcover blog books. Much like the Mousetrapped hardcover edition, this is something I’ve always intended to do, and I really didn’t want to let yet another year go by without doing it.

Because who knows what will happen to our blog posts? They might all disappear into the ether some day, and I’d like to save mine, and save them in a place where every now and then, I can read over them. They’re like diary entries, after all.

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Clearly I wasn’t as busy last year as I was in 2010 and 2011… 

Copying and pasting hundreds of thousands of words worth of blog posts sounds a lot worse than it is. If you use MS Word’s “Style” feature, it’s easy to quickly turn the text into something more readable. Plus these are just for me, so I wasn’t too worried about removing links, etc. I did it all with one eye on the TV.

Aren’t they lovely? Keeping in mind that they’re not for sale, they’re just for me. I wonder how many I’ll end up with it…?

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I used the cover Design for Writers made me for The Best of Catherine, Caffeinated e-book, and a different photograph for the back of each book, taken during that year. That’s why the back covers (above) could be called The Various Hairstyles Catherine Has Had This Past Three Years.

Even though I included photographs, I stuck with a black and white interior because to go full-color inside would have cost the best part of €100 for the largest book. (These cost around €17-€25 each, plus shipping.)

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I love having these, and I think I’ll love it even more a few years down the line, when I’m reading about things I’ve long forgotten writing.

What do you think? Do you do anything to preserve your blog posts? 

Don’t forget: leave a comment on this post before midnight Tuesday April 2nd for your chance to win a personally inscribed hardcover edition of Mousetrapped OR a paperback edition of Self-Printed 2.0. Only one comment per “Mousetrapped Madness” post counts as an entry and I’ll post the prize to anywhere on earth mail can go. Good luck!

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45 thoughts on “What Will You Do With Your Blog Posts? I Did THIS…

  1. crescentmoonramblings says:

    Wow, that’s really amazing. I was just thinking of doing the same thing with my blogs. At this stage I have only written about four blogs so the process would be quite quick and simple (a long term project no doubt). Your books look fantastic Catherine. I especially like your differing back covers.

  2. Musings on the writing life says:

    I think that’s such a wonderful idea!
    On my old blog, I printed out everything and put in folders, until someone asked me why. I couldn’t really answer and so I stopped, but seeing this makes me want to go back to preserving what I’ve written. But I’d rather do it like you, because they look really beautiful. Much better than a dinky folder 🙂

  3. SJ Main says:

    Brilliant! And thanks for sharing as it seems like lots of us fellow bloggers love the idea and will keep it in mind for the future when we have amassed a reasonable number of posts too.

  4. mandilynnwrites says:

    That’s such a good idea! I always thought of doing something like that with my short stories but a lot of them are too personal to publish. It never occurred to me to just make a copy for myself and not make it public!

  5. Oona says:

    What an awesome idea! I’ve saved my old blog posts in a couple of huge text files but might just start researching the best options to get them made into something lovely like these books of yours…

  6. Jamie Clarke Chavez says:

    When I started blogging, my website/blog designer told me to not only back up regularly with WordPress but also to keep a document copy. I work out all my posts in Word anyway, so I paste the final into a Word doc, which is a complete record, links and all, of the history of my blog. The books are a fantastic idea!

  7. Charles Yallowitz says:

    That’s a great idea. I actually save most of my blog posts as Word files before I toss them on the internet. Most of them are poems, book sections, and short essays on random topics, so I want to keep them around in case they vanish.

  8. MC says:

    I used to have a blog years ago and i was lookingt into making it into a book and kept putting it off and never did it 😦 I think its a great idea! Btw, has anybody told you that you look a lot like Mellisa McGarthy 🙂

  9. jfbrown123 says:

    Catherine,

    Yes, it’s absolutely a wonderful feeling to have your very own hardback books to caress and drool over. But I think that you’re denying yourself a nice revenue stream. Why not make these by-year blog compilations available as e-books and paperback trade books? You’ve already got an up-and-running mail list and ready-made fan base. I’d certainly be interested in purchasing them as e-books to add to my Kindle collection of your work. (I already have “The Best of Catherine, Caffeinated”, “Mousetrapped”, “Self-Printed”, and “Backpacked”.)

    James F. Brown

    • Matt N says:

      I’d second that. You’ve done the hard part with the formatting. Put them up on the Kindle store at a low price or for free and see what happens.

  10. startingthedialogue says:

    The books are beautiful. I love the idea of your back covers showcasing you in each year! What a wonderful idea. You’ve now sparked another creativity streak in me. Thank you!

  11. microrrelatososhortstories says:

    Oh! This is a great idea and this weekend I was reading about a very similar project to do with children’s art and special school papers, like the A+ on tests… I am considering doing both of these self-publishing projects… Thanks for the boost! alexandra

  12. Heather says:

    This is BRILLIANT. I started printing off my more poignant ones and putting them in a binder with the thought that they might be god book material later, but I love this idea!

  13. Esther E. Hawkins says:

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely LOVE this! You know I’ve pretty much had to start my own ‘Catherine, Caffeinated’ file in my gmail account because I want to keep all your brilliant and ideas and don’t want them clogging up my inbox 🙂 And, I would also LOVE a copy of Mousetrapped!!

  14. Bob Cradock says:

    Given the date, I’m not sure whether it’s a joke or not. Either way, nicely done!

  15. Matt N says:

    Good thinking, Catherine. There’s a good lesson about backups here.

    Generally the wisdom is you should have three copies of your data in at least two different forms of media and one of those should be off-site. So having your writing online, on your computer and in a printed book version works well.

  16. Carolyn Brooke-Millward says:

    Ooh, lovely amount of pinkness! I don’t currently blog, but I think it is a really great idea to preserve all your hard work in a book like this. You will be able to look back at it in 4 or 5 years’ time and think, “did I really say that??”!

  17. Karen Richardson says:

    Great idea. Now I know what to do with all my old blog posts I backed up in MS Word, prepatory to shutting down my old web site and switching to my new site. Thanks.

  18. MarkM says:

    I can see going through the effort to get them printed. I always love in my work when people say, but it’s just a website. Yes, but it is a website that I’ve spent a great deal of time creating, tweaking, adjusting, so it looks professional, works well, is updated, etc. For something as creative as these posts I bet it would already be an interesting trip down memory lane to go back and read some of your earlier posts and see how you’ve changed.(not just your hair styles).

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