I like to experiment, and recently I decided to try turning my blog into an e-book. Or more specifically, uploading my blog to Kindle as a subscription service.
There are many ways to turn a blog into an e-book, and in the future I may play around with some of them. But for now, the Kindle version was simple enough that I could set it up in a few minutes, and for the next few weeks I’ll be monitoring it to see if it’s worthwhile.
I’ve heard/read from other authors and bloggers all the pros of turning a blog into an e-book:
- Blogs already have a lot of content
- E-books reach a new group of readers
- E-book blogs can earn money
However, The Local Yarn published an excellent article that also outlines some of the cons of publishing a blog as an e-book. They include:
- Not knowing who your subscribers are
- Possibly devaluing your content
- Sending readers to third party websites
Like I said, I’m just experimenting for now. But in case you have a blog with lots of content, that you update regularly (which is key if you offer it as a subscription), then you may want to try these free tools, listed below. Keep in mind that the formatting may look weird, and although you have no control over the formatting with Kindle blogs, you can tweak the code for the e-books created using the other tools. You can learn more about that, as well as how to make e-books, with my upcoming book, How to Create Your First E-Book.
Sign up to publish a blog on Amazon here. But know that this is different from Kindle Direct Publishing, which is for e-books. If you are an author and already have a KDP account, you can use the same e-mail for your blog, but it’s important that you choose a different password. Otherwise, the next time you sign into KDP all your books will be missing (it’s basically like having a new account).
Once you’ve signed up, you can fill out information about your blog, including the feed address–so Amazon can automatically deliver new posts to readers’ Kindles–, title, description, keywords, tagline, and web address. You should also upload a screenshot and masthead, as these images will appear on your Amazon sales page. And you should pick three categories that best fit your blog’s content.
That’s pretty much all you need to start publishing a blog on Kindle. One downside, however, is Amazon sets the price based on what it thinks your blog is worth. To keep your blog on Amazon, you also have to keep posting regularly.
Kindlefeeder delivers feeds to Kindle devices. Going this route means your blog e-book will have to be free.
Ebook Glue claims it can “turning anything into an e-book” including blogs, websites, and documents. All you have to do is supply a feed URL and the site will convert the content into EPUB. There are different pricing plans, but you can also sign up for free and stick to under 25 conversions per month.
Another way to offer your blog as an e-book, for free* (there’s also a paid version). Enter your feed url and Zinepal will turn your blog into a PDF, EPUB, and MOBI. According to the site, Zinepal will display the blog posts as a list of stories, and you can check which ones to include. You can then preview the book and make any changes, and then select a delivery option. Zinepal can regularly deliver new posts to the e-book, if you pay for the pro version. You’ll also have the option of publishing to Scribd.
Blogs on WordPress.org can use the plugin Anthologize. It’s free and lets you drag and drop the posts you want to include, and then outputs the book for print and digital formats. This could make it easy to sell online, but I don’t know how great the formatting looks.