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Writing Books/Making a paperback book

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I have a question about making a book. My Mother in law has written a book. It has been proof read, all errors fixed , but it is on 8 1/2 by 11 computer paper. we dont want the book published or anything. but for a Christmas gift we would like to take her writings and put it in paperback form. is there any software out there that we could use to retype the writings into  and print out from our home printer, make a cover and kind of put it all together with a binding? kind of like a paperback you could pick up from Walmart.
Any kind of help on this would be great
thank you in advance

Michael Provenzano


Answer
Hi Michael,

Thank you for your question. That sounds like a great idea. There are several ways to go about it. When we used to have a desktop publishing company, we used to use PageMaker. You could set up a header that would stagger the page numbers from left to right (for even and odd pages), put the page numbers in automatically, and so on. However, it's been years since I've used PageMaker, so I can't recommend it anymore.

I would probably use Microsoft Word. You can set up headers that will account for right and left pages, you can choose any font, and you can set up the size of the page.

The most difficult part is to get the signatures right. You have to have the pages go in order. Usually, professional printers do the signatures in batches of 20 or 24 pages, then bind them together. It's difficult to explain how to do this in an email. If you want to print it in signatures, write back and I will attempt to explain how it's done.

An easier alternative would be to simply photocopy it two sided. Set the pages up to go in order and be sure to put a blank sheet in if there's supposed to be a blank page somewhere. The photocopy place will then make a copy, trim it to size, and bind it using Velobind (a plastic strip melted on the left side, and give it a card stock cover.

I hope this helps. Write back if you want more details.
Sincerely,
Nori

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