Build your own book.

I’ve had this idea for a few years, and I’d love to see it happen (though apparently not enough to make it happen yet). I’d start with my blog as a guinea pig and play around with it.

The basic idea is to have the reader be able to select posts to add to their table of contents. Then they could arrange their preferred order and it would generate a formatted book with a TOC, chapters, etc, all ready to upload to Kindle Direct Publishing for paperback and ebook.

It would be a completely one of a kind book curated by the reader. The reader could choose the title, cover design, select the essays, sections and order, write an introduction (or dedication to make it a very personal gift to someone), even section or chapter intros. This makes the author the provider of the raw material, but allows the reader to re-arrange the content into any combination they want.

Now imagine it’s beyond just this website or any one blog. Imagine a browser plugin that lets you tag any blog post or article and it automatically adds it to your book. To avoid legal issues, it would probably only allow public, non-paywalled articles and blog posts, and would have to add attribution to author and source for each chapter.

You could have an entire new expertise in democratized book curators, just like Amazon reviews spawned a new expertise in book reviews. Like your friend who used to make the best mix tapes, you’d have people with a keen sense of what essays by what authors make a great book combo. If resale created too many legal issues, you could at least have a great new way to personally consume content or give very cool gifts. Imagine a chronological sampling of the blog posts that impacted you most?

I may try to make this happen someday. Or you can try it and let me know.