As many RVers do, we started blogging about our travels as a way to help our friends and family back home follow along in our new adventure. Neither one of us are into writing stream of conscience so it was predictable that over the past four years, the blog has morphed into a travelogue. It is always nice to hear from other travelers about good campgrounds, food, festivals, and sights to see. Therefore, we like to include that kind information along with some 'home improvement projects' and personal news.
We started publishing our blog using Typepad because we thought we would be able to copy the blog to a CD. Not sure where Margery read that, but about a year into blog writing, we found out that was not true.
However, we did find out that it was possible to 'slurp' our blog into a book format and have as many or as few books published as we wanted. That was when we decided to publish a book for each year's of travel.
Blurb provides a high-quality bookmaking and publishing services for the beginner or the pro. The professional software is a free download, and there is no charge until you're ready to publish your book. Books are published in 7-10 days and start as low as $4.95 in professional, bookstore-quality, printing, binding, and covers.
Full color books are available in five sizes. You can use one of their 12 templates with step-by-step guidance, or you can skip the BookSmart guidance and design your own. Some of the templates include books featuring photos, recipes, poetry, yearbooks, and of course blogs to book.
There many ways to customize the look of your book. For instance, we chose a slightly larger print for the copy so that it'll be easy to read as we get older. You also have a variety of fonts, backgrounds, and themes to use, if you wish. The photo below gives you an idea of how your book would look while you are creating/ editing your book. You can also view a single page or as a two-page spread.
With all the blog entries and pictures, it was 204 pages. We chose a hardcover with a book jacket which we designed.
Although we do not expect anyone to purchase it, we did make it public so that it can be previewed at the Blurb Bookstore. On the right sidebar of the bookstore page, there are a variety of categories of books that you can peruse. It's a hotbed of ideas for designing your own book.
Because our book is public, we had the opportunity to write something about the book. Here's our description:
How did a couple of stick-in-the-muds make the decision to disengage from their lives as they knew it and begin to explore our great country as full-time RVers?
There were a lot of things to consider and a dizzying number of decisions that had to be made... and that didn't even include where we wanted to go first!
This book includes blog entries describing our experiences accompanied by a lot of photos of our travels. It concludes with an honest assessment of our first year of life on the road and the decisions we made.
We both feel that publishing our book has been worth the time, effort, and cost. Some day we'll be rockin' away browsing through our books re-living this wonderful time in our lives. Margery has begun editing book two, but it will take a while.
Before we left Bushnell, we stopped back at Coyote Rojo Mexican restaurant. This time Margery had a fajita steak taco salad, and Paul had a fajita steak burrito. Both were delish!
We were scheduled to leave Bushnell Wednesday morning. However, when we got up we realized that our English Springer Spaniel, Molly, was not doing well. We had noticed a distinct deterioration in her quality of life the past couple of weeks, but the past two days she had worsened. After an emergency visit to a local vet, we decided it was time to let her go peacefully. We loved on her while the sedative took effect, and she was no longer aware we were there.
We had almost 16 years with her. She was a great traveler and loved going with her pack wherever we went. She particularly loved all the smells she encountered on our travels the past four years. She was a great companion with her unique quirks, and she will be sorely missed. Margery has posted some of our favorite pictures in a Facebook photo album.
We delayed our departure, and will now pull out on Thursday for points west. We look forward to sharing with you what we discover.