The Process

From Blog To Book

When is a Blog not a Blog?

When it’s a book!  It was an interesting series of events that led to the creation of Success Sandbox. After we had finished our first book, 101 Ideas to Kick Your Ass Into Gear, we were amped up and ready to do another, and since we had a few ideas in the pipe, we got right to work. As sometimes happens in the real world though, the projects started taking a little longer than expected, and our Master Plan to create a system for publishing a book a year was hitting some snags.

Work Smarter, Not Harder, Right?

In one of our weekly meetings, Ian had a minor epiphany. While we had been working on various book, video, and workshop projects, we had also been writing articles weekly for a website that ran on WordPress. Ian pointed out that there was probably an easy way to port the WordPress XML file over to a format that could be edited, and VOILA! Instant book!

We did some quick research, and sure enough there were websites that did this for free. Unfortunately, while this is a cool thing to be able to do for free, these sites generally churn out a PDF that is entirely unsuitable for working on as a book manuscript. So we did a little more research, and found that in spite of the incredible demand for such a tool, no-one seemed to have developed one.

But Ian dug and dug through forum after forum, and finally found a free tool created by this fellow that came pretty close. We soon had a workable document that was in HTML, which could be fairly easily ported over to plain text, plopped into a tool like Word or Open Office, and edited like any other manuscript. Almost done, right?

Nope. Work Harder, Not Smarter.

Somewhere along the way, we got a little derailed from the original “automatically port a website into a book” concept, and while we focused on the branding of the thing and worked on other projects, we decided to create our “website as book” using InDesign. After some basic content editing and proofing, Nick began carefully handcrafting the layout page by page. The results are quite exceptional, if we do say so ourselves! We made some careful typeface choices that we think make the book both visually unique, while being quite readable.

We’ll spare you the gory details, but our decision to use InDesign delayed the book for various reasons.

But we think it was worth it, we’re actually quite pleased with the results, and hope you will be too!