Printing my masterpiece
April 12, 2006 12:38 AM   Subscribe

I've got a 500 page book that I've been putting together and are wondering what is the best solution to print and bind in 5.5 x 8.5 inch size?

This is a songbook, so I want to make it relatively easy to add more pages. I want it in 5.5 x 8.5 so it's more portable.

My choices are to print the book, have it 3-hole punched, and put it in a 5.5 x 8.5 binder. That'll make it easy to add or remove pages, however, does a binder with this capacity exist? (The largest I found off Google says it holds only 280 pages).

My other choice is to have it printed and bound with something like a comb binding. However, I'm not sure how hard this will make it to add to the book in the future.

Which is the best choice, or do you have any other suggestions on how I should get my songbook printed? Also, how much does something like this cost? (I assume since it's half-sheets, they'll be printing two pages on 1 sheet and chopping it in half the punching it)
posted by beammeup4 to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
FWIW, have you considered splitting the book up into several volumes? If portability and the ability to add to it are important, splitting would give you more of both.

I am not a fan of comb binding - I think it looks cheap. Spiral binding would look better but is more expensive.

Is the 500 pages assuming double-sided printing? And how many copies are you going to have printed? A majority of printing costs is in pre-press, so you're better off (on a per-piece basis) the more you print.
posted by SashaPT at 5:04 AM on April 12, 2006

I much prefer spiral (coil) as well. But anything over a couple hundred sheets gets to be a little unruly. There is also hot tape binding, which is somewhat like perfect binding but without the wrap-around cover, and it's not a problem to just do a single book. However... you won't be replacing pages yourself, with any of these methods. A 3 ring binder would be the way to go if you plan on making changes. Of coourse, that's IF the right size exists.

One other option, not quite as elegant is screw-posting. This uses a 2 piece post and screw that goes on and comes off with a screwdriver. The post goes through holes, just like the rings of a binder. It won't lay flat though.
posted by The Deej at 7:49 AM on April 12, 2006

I feel sort of dumb suggesting this but have you considered the benefits of 2 ring binders? It would eliminate the size issue, probably make adding/changing pages a bit easier, and not take up much more space than a single binding, and the individual books will be less unwieldy to handle. You could probably easily find or make a box they could slide into side by side if keeping them together as a unit is important.
posted by nanojath at 8:48 AM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: I'm all for binders, but does a binder exist that will hold 500 pages? That would be like 4" rings!

I guess if need be, I can go double-sided.
posted by beammeup4 at 11:55 AM on April 12, 2006

Perhaps lulu might be worth a look. You can perfect-bind or spiral-bind books there, and also make it available for purchase by others (if, naturally, it's all your own work). Might be slightly overkill...
posted by jamescridland at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2006

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