How to convert a PDF ebook into an actual print book?
September 12, 2014 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Earlier this year, I published a 116-page PDF ebook about personal finance. Next week, I'm attending a conference with fellow financial bloggers. Is there a way to convert my PDF book to a physical print version (even if it's just one or ten copies) in just a few days so that I can show it to people? Cost isn't really an object. I know I've come up with this idea at the last minute...
posted by jdroth to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
(Assuming you're in Portland right now) Visit the Espresso Book Machine at Powell's on Burnside; they should be able to print some bound copies from a PDF.
posted by redsparkler at 8:56 AM on September 12, 2014

Response by poster: Wow. Fantastic personalized answer -- and quick! Emailed Powell's. I think that's a fantastic option. Still open to other suggestions.
posted by jdroth at 9:04 AM on September 12, 2014

Response by poster: (And for what it's worth -- the conference is in New Orleans, so if there's some sort of similar setup there, I could always contact them and try to get the book printed in Louisiana instead of Oregon.)
posted by jdroth at 9:05 AM on September 12, 2014

You may be asking a complicated question. If you want your book to look like a book versus a bound printout, you have layout and formatting issues. Are your front cover and back cover in book format? Do you have alternating pages set up to reflect the different margins that come with having a book spine? You may want to check with a book-on-demand company - at least if you want to have a worthwhile print version beyond the conference. If you want to have a simple bound printout version for the conference, then that's another matter.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:08 AM on September 12, 2014

If Powell's doesn't work, you can order as many copies as you want from (There are other sites like this too, like Lulu is the one I've used before and liked.)
posted by chickenmagazine at 10:06 AM on September 12, 2014 is awesome, and they will do a lot of the formatting for you. I've turned large PDFs into paperback books for business reasons many times there.
posted by xingcat at 10:13 AM on September 12, 2014

I can't think of any place like that in New Orleans FWIW.
posted by radioamy at 11:03 AM on September 12, 2014

Espresso Book Machines exist at many different online booksellers. The manufacturer's list of locations does not list one in New Orleans, but that list is definitely incomplete. Our local independent bookstore has had one for quite a while and it's not listed on that web site. Googling suggests that the New Orleans Public Library may have one, but I haven't been able to find anything official. You could call them, maybe (504.596.2570)?
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:35 AM on September 12, 2014

After my comment on margins, serendipitously, this appear on the main page.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:46 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding Lulu, but you might be tight for time. (It may work for the next time.)

University campuses usually have print shops that can do this sort of thing as well. (I know University of Toronto does, for example.)
posted by chunking express at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2014

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