I’ve recovered from the slight funk I was in a few days ago after printing and binding a copy of my self-published book about how to use the Leica D-Lux 4 camera. There are still several problems to solve, but problem-solving is pretty much the essence of this project at this point, so I shouldn’t complain about the existence of problems.
Here’s a photo of the book draft that I was unhappy with, followed by a closeup showing the result of the perfect binding:
Here is the closeup:
You can’t really see a lot of detail about the copy of the book from these images, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. I plan to re-print the pages with new toner in the printer to improve the quality of the printed photos, and then I’ll probably have to experiment with different papers to work on the curling-pages problem.
As the book gets thicker, it has become apparent that I can’t follow my original plan of printing the cover on an 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of cover stock. When you factor in the thickness of the book’s spine, it becomes necessary to trim too much off of the pages to fit within the cover. So, I’ve ordered some legal-size (8.5 by 14 inch) cover stock. One problem is that the company did not carry that size for the same cover stock I used before, so I had to try a completely different type of paper for the cover. We’ll see how that works out when it arrives in a few days. At least I won’t have to trim the pages down drastically to fit within the cover.
By the way, before I forget to mention it, all the photos for this blog are being taken with the Leica D-Lux 4 camera, the subject of my book. It really is a terrific camera, which is how this whole project got started.
Back to describing the mechanics. Here is a photo of one more piece of equipment that I purchased. This one came from the same eBay seller who sold me the perfect binding machine.
This is a paper-scoring machine. It has only one very specific purpose, and it isn’t strictly necessary, but I think it will add a lot of convenience to the process of binding the books. This machine has one big lever that operates a scoring press (I made that name up, but I think it’s basically accurate). You place a flat book cover on the deck of the machine, lined up with the ruler, then press down hard with the lever, and the cover will be scored with a line that permits a clean, sharp fold. Then you turn the cover around and press on the other side of the spine, and there will be two clear score lines, separated by the width of the spine, so the pages can be inserted neatly, the cover folded cleanly, and the pages glued inside the cover.
That basically covers the equipment I am using, apart from the computer, which is a MacBook Pro.
Next time, I’ll start talking about the writing and editing, getting the ISBN, and similar matters.