How to copy this old book?
October 27, 2005 10:18 AM   Subscribe

What's the easiest way to print "this old book" from 1901? I'd like a paperback copy for myself, and if the process is cheap enough, I'd offer a few for sale through Amazon.

Note: The files are in TIFF format (POD's seem to require Word documents) and I want to keep the original look/feel with a facsimilie copy.
posted by stbalbach to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
posted by rossmeissl at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2005

Here's my opinions. The sample price I quoted is for a typical perfect-bound B&W title that I print a lot of copies of.

Lulu: Pros: Convenience factor; specializes in ultra-small print jobs and color work. Cons: High cost per book ($8.58).

Bookmobile or other suitable Print On Demand publisher: Pros: Low cost per book ($5.05). Cons: 10 to 20 days to set up the job and get the books; some POD publishers want a minimum of 25, 50, or 100 (I think Bookmobile has no minimum).

Lightning Source: Pros: Dirt cheap price per book ($3.10); optional listing in Ingram. Cons: Print quality may be marginal (at least I saw some marginal copies 2 years ago).
posted by rolypolyman at 10:56 AM on October 27, 2005

I looked at Lulu and they seem to require a Word document as the source. Is that not the case?
posted by stbalbach at 11:43 AM on October 27, 2005

No, they at least accept PDF.
posted by gleuschk at 11:51 AM on October 27, 2005

Actually the final source you upload to Lulu will need to be a .pdf file. So, if you are scanning in all the pages as is, you will just need to compile them all into on final .pdf which they will print the book from.

I've tried a number of the other print on demand service for small runs, Lulu is the best. Fastest turn around and best quality for the price. Maybe some of the othes do ok work too, but I don't think any of them let you buy/sell one copy at a time with no money down.
posted by RoseovSharon at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2005

stbalbach: I'm interested in a copy if you decide to print.
posted by horseblind at 12:21 PM on October 27, 2005

Hi - I work in the books group at the Internet Archive. The Bookmobile generally doesn't get out much (except across the street).

You could go to a local print shop (even Kinko's) with the PDF and get it printed and bound.

Otherwise, LuLu is the way to go. We have gotten books done by them before and they look great.
posted by bikergirl at 12:52 PM on October 27, 2005

For your enjoyment, I ran the TIFFs through tiff2pdf:
Original grayscale PDF, 72MB
Cropped bitmap PDF, 26MB.

Both print very well on a laser printer, but POD places may want bitmap one. The cropping may not be good, though; it'd take some extra massaging to get into page-sized pages.
posted by zsazsa at 1:55 PM on October 27, 2005

The cost of Lulu is still much cheaper than the $75 the cheapest copy listed at Bookfinder goes for.

Stalbach, those TIFF files can be imported into a document in many different programs (including Word), a document which can then be turned into a PDF file. There are also programs that will directly convert them into PDF pages, which can then be combined into a single PDF file.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:57 PM on October 27, 2005

Actually, after a closer look at the printed out bitmap PDF, it's not nearly as nice-looking.
posted by zsazsa at 3:03 PM on October 27, 2005

zsazsa, I uploaded the 72mb to LuLu and added a cover and now have a book(!). Amazing. Was missing the TIFF->PDF part, thank you so much.

horseblind, its on LuLu as "Across Persia". I need to fix a spelling and content mistake on the back cover (didnt realize you couldnt easily go back and edit afterwards) so will publish a new version in the next day or two. The cost came out to $13.40 if you do decide your interested. Im just doing this so I can read the book in book format but if anyone else wants to buy it, its there. Or, upload your own PDF and make a custom cover. Too cool.
posted by stbalbach at 10:46 PM on October 27, 2005

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