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What Are the Best Tips for Book Making?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2016
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Even though there are numerous different types of books that can be made, and various different ways to make them, the basic book making steps and strategies are the same. Whether preparing a book for scrapbooking, journaling, picture book productions, or even a short story or novel that is going to be self published, the steps begin with printing the pages within a computer program. These pages need to be formatted so that the next step, which is cutting the pages in half, can be accomplished in such a way as to have the finished book follow the pages of it, if they apply. Next is the binding procedure, which includes adding the front and back covers.

Printing is the first step that has to be mastered when book making without the help of a professional book printer. The writing program that is used has to have a formatting tool for the printer if the book that allows the pages to follow along with the set page numbers. If the program does not allow this type of printing, or if the publisher would rather just print the pages on half sheets of paper, then they can simply be cut in half.

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Cutting the pages in half is usually the most feasible way to accomplishing a book publishing task, and a common book making tool that will make this task feasible is a large industrial sized paper cutter. If folding the pages, then a bone folder is an indispensable tool because it ensures straight, even folds rather than having to take the time to crease each and every page by hand. After the pages have been printed and cut or folded, arrange them in order and prepare to move to the next stage of the book making process.

The final step in the book making process is adding the front and back covers to it, and then binding them together. The best tip to remember during this stage is to always use good quality binding glue, which is a special two sided tape made for this purpose. Stack the pages of the book together and attach a piece of the binding tape along the edges. Ensure that all the printed pages are straight and then press the covers into place, making sure that they line up, and that the outer edge of the pages is covered with the same material as the front and back covers.

No matter what type of project that requires book making is attempted, basic tips will make the job easier to accomplish. Follow the steps in order, and when purchasing paper, glue, and cutters or folders, purchase the best that money can buy. This may seem like a sizable investment to make, but the end product will justify the amount paid up front.

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clintflint
Post 3

@Ana1234 - It is a very satisfying hobby though. I have a friend who makes pop-up books and they are absolutely adorable. She usually makes them for people as thank-you gifts and will include photos or other personal touches to make it completely unique.

I don't really want to learn book binding in particular, but I wouldn't mind learning a few pop-up book tricks, as I'm sure you could use them for cards and things like that as well.

Ana1234
Post 2

@Fa5t3r - It's useful to a point, but it's still basically an art, with a large amount of time and resources put into every copy and so the ability to make a living at it might depend strongly on whether or not the person binding the books builds a good reputation.

Without the reputation, they might not end up selling anything, particularly since there is a cheap alternative to buying a fancy book and so people are only going to be doing it at a whim, or for an investment.

Not that people shouldn't learn the skill, of course, but just don't expect to necessarily make a living from it. It's very satisfying to bind your own journals, for example, and it's a great way to recycle materials as well. But I wouldn't learn how to make books with the intention of turning it into a career.

Fa5t3r
Post 1

I actually think this is a relatively useful skill to know at the moment and will become more and more useful as time goes by. I suspect that the book industry is going to move into a place where books are either throw-away items to be recycled and reprinted as needed (with the actual work being held in digital space) or works of art with limited editions and careful attention to detail.

I've already seen quite a few book artists who create traditional or unique books, containing either original or traditional writing inside. If you make a book to last it's actually quite a skill and people who are able to do this can definitely make a living from it.

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