How do I post a book?
Note: The specific template modifications here refer to classic templates (without the Layouts features) though you can, of course, post your book in any format you like, in any template.
Blogger, clearly, is primarily designed for blogging. But what if that’s not quite enough for you, and you find yourself with an entire book you want to share with the world? Maybe you’re an aspiring novelist who wants to get noticed, or maybe you just found yourself with an extra 50,000 words at the end of National Novel Writing Month. Whatever the case, you can get your book online using Blogger. With a few posts and some template tweaks, you can even get it looking like a book, rather than a blog. This article will describe how.
If you want to see an example of a book posted with this method, check out The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole. (Thanks to Project Gutenberg for the text.)
Creating the Blog and Posts
First of all, create a new blog. You can do this either on your existing account or on a new one. You can choose whichever template you want, since they’ll all take the same modifications. The example here uses the white Minima template.
Now post each of your chapters as its own post. Then collect the permalinks for each one, so you have a page to link to for each chapter. The easiest way to find the permlink for a post is to go to the Edit Posts screen and click on the View link next to the post. Finally, make one more entry. This one will be the Table of Contents, so you’ll just use it to provide the permalinks to each of your other posts. You can use our hyperlink button feature if you need help making the links.
Optional: The example book has the links displayed in a table, just to make it a bit prettier (the border you see around it all is part of the post, not the template). If you want to do this, you can format it however you like, or copy our table code. Just replace the LINK and CHAPTER_TITLE with the appropriate information, and repeat that line as necessasry. Here’s the code:
<table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" bordercolor="#000000" bgcolor="#000000"><tr><td><table width="100%" height="500" border="40" cellpadding="0" bordercolor="#FBF5C1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><tr><td><p align="center"><strong>Table of Contents</strong></p>
<p align="center"><a href="
Adjusting the Settings
There’s not too much to do here. Set your blog’s title and description to be the title and description of your book. Then you’ll want to select the option to show only one post on the main page of your blog, so that just the Table of Contents shows up on the main page. You should also make sure that you have post pages enabled, though that should be the default for new blogs.
Optional: If you want to share your profile, then that information about you will automatically appear on the blog.
Modifying the Template
This is where the bulk of the changes will be made. Most of these things will be optional, though. I’ll just describe what I did in the example and you can pick and choose which of the modifications you like. Let’s start at the top of the page and work our way down.
The first thing I did was to remove the
<$BlogDescription$> tag from the header, since I’m going to put the description in the sidebar later. You can replace that with something like
by <$BlogOwnerFullName$> or just type your name in there directly however you want it to appear.
Next I looked at the dates. These are useful for organizing blogs, but a book will be more static, and the exact date and time each chapter was posted isn’t important. So I just removed that from the template. To get rid of the date headers, find the following code and delete it entirely:
In the byline section, you can remove the
<$BlogItemDateTime$> tag to take out the time stamp. I also changed
posted by <$BlogItemAuthor$> to display a copyright symbol, the year, and my full name, like this:
© 1765 by <$BlogOwnerFullName$>
Now for the sidebar. If you’re sharing your profile, it should already be appearing there. If you want to make it a little more book-like, though, you can use this hack to change the “About Me” header to “About the Author.” Underneath that, I added an “About the Book” section, using the title and description tags, like so:
<h2 class="sidebar-title">About the Book</h2>
Next in the sidebar, we have sections marked Previous Posts and Archives. Again, these are things more useful for regular blogs than for books, so I just took them out entirely. In their place, I put another copy of the Table of Contents, so it will be available from any page. I formatted it like this, with the second line repeated for each chapter:
<h2 class="sidebar-title">Table of Contents</h2>
Finally, I added a second set of chapter links at the very bottom of the page, so that people can jump right to the next chapter when they finish the previous one, without having to scroll back up the sidebar. A good place for this is in the footer, which you can find in your template, marked by
If you want a copy of the template used for The Castle of Otranto, you can download in this text file and just copy it right into your own book’s template. It contains all the template modifications listed here, though you will have to fill in the Table of Contents links in the sidebar and footer yourself (there’s no way to get those to be automatically generated from the template for each new book).
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