Blog Book | Rwanda

*This post is NOT sponsored. I paid full price for this book. While I wouldn’t turn down a free one, I’m simply sharing because I enjoyed the company! 

Cory and I have made very few purchases in 2015 {as in three or four} in anticipation of our kitchen renovation, but after working on this little project for weeks, I couldn’t resist the temptation to get my Rwanda blog book in my hands. Every day, I checked the mail in anticipation that it had arrived early. I just love every single one of these faces, pictures and stories and couldn’t wait to have them printed forever.

Blog book

A few months ago, I started looking into a way to print my post about our trip to Rwanda. While I’d love to have my whole blog printed by year, I really wanted to do a book for just our trip.

At first, I thought about just doing a picture book but so many of the pictures only tell half the story. Plus, Cory and I worked so hard on those recaps!

Blog Book 3

After trying out a couple services that pulled directly from my website, I realized that, due to copyright laws, they weren’t going to be able to provide me with the customization I needed like being able to leave off the signature or change the layout of the pictures. So I did a little research to see if there was anything that would fit my needs and what I came across was this post and decided to give Lulu.com a try.

blog print

Lulu differs from other services in that it’s an actual book publisher and doesn’t just replicate your blog post. They have a formatted Word document that you download and then copy and paste your blog post in to. For me, this seems very tedious to do a full year’s worth of posts, but I didn’t mind it for the dozen or so about Rwanda. We’ll be using this book to share with future team members, sponsors, churches, etc. so I wanted it to look more like a book rather than my blog.

printing your blog

Rather than selecting a date range and then taking out posts I didn’t want in the book, I was able to copy and paste the individual posts I did want.

blog printing Lulu.com

I chose to do a 8.25 x 10.75 casewrap hardcover in full color. It is cheaper to do black and white and if I wasn’t printing this for presentation purposes, I might have opted for that route.

Blog2Print

What I liked most about Lulu was the customization it offers. I knew I wanted to keep my page numbers as low as possible {because 300 pages is a little intimidating} and I really liked the fact that I could rearrange and re-size different pictures and save on the pages. I also changed the font and the font size as well as going for full pictures on both covers. I wasn’t able to do any of this on the other services I tried.

Even though the customization was one of my favorite parts, it was also the most difficult part of the whole process. BUT it really wasn’t that difficult! Really, it was more time consuming than difficult. I wanted to make sure that every post started on a new page and there wouldn’t be just a few lines on the last page of each post. It took me a couple of weeks to get everything right but I would just work on it every now and again, when I had to time to fool with it.

book blogs

I was worried about the quality of the pictures since I was copying and pasting from my blog but I was really impressed with how well they look. It does help that my blog pictures, especially for those recaps, are pretty large.

publishing a book

The quality of the book was also really impressive. It reminds me of a small yearbook with a sturdy binding and thick pages. It’s just the right size to hold its place on one of our end tables, (if we ever finish this kitchen renovation) but light enough to take with us when we share about our trip.

blog printing

But, my favorite part about using Lulu.com, is the price! With Blog2Print, the total rang up at $126.57. Ouch! While I easily would have paid that much to have these memories printed forever, I was hoping to find something better. After I finished the customization, I was a little worried that I had just spent weeks working on it and it would be way over my budget but when the total popped up, I was shocked.

$43.40

That’s a 66% savings from Blog2Print, y’all! It totally made the extra time spent customizing it worth it to save that much money and get what I wanted.

blog to print

Of course, no post is complete without a puppy bomb.

print blog

I’m so glad that I went through with this purchase and will definitely be using Lulu.com again for future books. How cool will it be in 10 years to be able to look back each year and see all the different trips we’ve been on and memories made. Makes my heart happy!

Have you ever had your blog printed? Which service did you like the most?

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  • First, I’m so glad you did this…
    Second – Its BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Third – what a bargain!!! I totally am going to check them out now. Looks like better quality then Blog2Print too!

  • Oh my gosh!! This is AMAZING! I never knew you could do such a thing… but now I totally want to do our wedding/honeymoon recaps! So so so cool.

  • So, I had no idea these existed but how cool is this?

    I can tell how much you care about everyone you met in Rwanda so I’m so happy you were able to have all your memories in this book. Love it!