Best service that can print & bind one copy of a 500 page pdf?
June 2, 2014 9:11 PM   Subscribe

I have a public domain pdf book that I'd like to have a durable hard copy of. Googling throws up too many false positives, and the most relevant previous AskMeFi doesn't really help. Recommendations?
posted by mono blanco to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is Sacramento too far to go?
posted by zepheria at 9:29 PM on June 2, 2014

What's your budget for this? My first instinct would be ask Kinko's how much they'd do it for.
posted by colin_l at 9:32 PM on June 2, 2014

Best answer: I'd probably do FedEx Office (aka Kinko's). They might give you a volume discount. You can either bring it on a flash drive or you can email them the file - call and ask for the email address. Their Print Online system is horrible (from both a user and backend experience).
posted by radioamy at 9:33 PM on June 2, 2014

Best answer: I know you said that previous AskMeFi didn't help, but did you see the comment about LuLu? It looks to support hardcover with dust jackets even (I don't think Espresso Book Machines can do hardcover), and up to like 800 pages for about $25.00 looks like.

If that doesn't work for you, what are your other constraints that make that not a good solution?
posted by tempestuoso at 9:45 PM on June 2, 2014

Yeah this is a job for Kinko's.

If you live near a university, there may be a mom & pop/local alternative that would do it, possibly for cheaper.
posted by Sara C. at 10:04 PM on June 2, 2014

Best answer: A while back I used to get a hard copy of a pdf I found online. I was very happy with their service in my instance. I didn't own the copyright to the PDF file, so I simply told the site to keep it private and unavailable to other users for purchase.

I have no connection to them other than this one transaction, and things may very well have changed so YMMV. Just a thought for you to consider.

Edit: Missed the public domain part, so that's even easier for you.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 12:15 AM on June 3, 2014

You can probably save a tiny bit of money by getting it coil bound instead of perfect bound and you will be glad you did if you are going to be using the book a lot such as studying from it. A perfect bind spine will break if you try to open it flat. where a coil bound book will open flat comfortably every time.
posted by Jane the Brown at 3:55 AM on June 3, 2014

I publish with Lulu, and I find their single copy price (even for the author) a bit steep.
I'd check out amazon's CreateSpace service instead, which cuts Lulu prices by almost 60% if I remember correctly.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 4:20 AM on June 3, 2014

Let's take this a step further - what would the best setup be to actually build this kind of a printing and binding setup to turn PDFs into durable printouts?
posted by e1presidente at 5:25 AM on June 3, 2014

Response by poster: I'll probably go with FEdex Office/Kinkos but I'm still poking around the LuLu website. Thanks for letting me know you can print just one copy with them. That option isn't transparent (at least not to me).
posted by mono blanco at 6:59 AM on June 3, 2014

Postgraduate students are a reliable market for this sort of service. If you search for something like "thesis printing" or "thesis binding" on the website of your nearest university, there's a good chance that they'll recommend local bookbinders who're used to one-off printing of large books.
posted by metaBugs at 10:17 AM on June 3, 2014

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