How Much Does it Cost to Make your own Book?

The first thing people ask when I suggest binding your own copy of a book as an alternative to buying books or reading them online is “How much does it cost?”

The most expensive part, by far, is the printing, which should cost only pennies per page in consumable resources (paper and toner.)

To bind your own book, you need a duplexing printer that can print on both sides of the page. I prefer a laser printer over an ink jet printer because I believe that the price per page of printing is cheaper for laser and the ink doesn’t run on a laser printed page if it gets a little damp. My duplexing laser printer cost me less than $200 a few years ago. It is a duplexing, wireless, laser printer from Brother, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. There are some reviews of laser printers here, if you are looking to buy. The printer is the most expensive equipment required for binding your own book.

The printing also requires consumables – the toner and the paper. For my printer, a new toner cartridge costs about $125 and, according to the specs, each cartridge prints 8000 pages. To be conservative, I’m going to say I will only get 5000 pages from a toner cartridge. That means it costs $0.025 to print one side of a piece of paper. When printing books, you will be printing on both sides of the paper, so you printing will cost $0.05  per piece of paper. (And keep in mind that each sheet of paper you print is actually 4 pages of the book, as the pages are folded in half.) The cost of printer paper is variable. If you get 500 pieces for $8, it then costs $0.016 per sheet of paper. With the nickel for toner, it then costs $0.066 per double sided page printed. Each of those pages is 4 book pages, with 2 pages of the book printed on each side. A 300 page book then uses only 75 pieces of paper (300 divided by 4), and it would cost less than $5 to print. ($4.95 with my estimates!)

To create your text block, you need some scrap paper, some nice paper for the end pages, thread, and glue. These are all things that we had at home, but will get used up eventually. The cost is relatively low for all of them, and very little of them are required. They were all materials that I already have at home.

The non-consumables include a bone folder, that costs around $10 and an awl that costs less than that. Sewing needles are very inexpensive. The last thing I use is a book press, made following the directions from Sea Lemon. It cost under $10 to make with two cutting boards from the dollar store and some bolts and butterfly (or wing) nuts from the hardware store. I already the sewing needles, and I discovered we had an awl in the tool box in the garage. I bought a bone folder and the materials for the book press, for less than $20. These materials have been used repeatedly and will be used again and again. They might not be worth it for a single book, but if you are making more than one, they are worth the expense. Sea Lemon has a video with suggested alternatives to a bone folder and a video with suggested alternatives to awls. The book press would also be used as a flower press. Of course, you could also just use heavy books!

For making the book cover, you need glue and box board and fabric or pretty paper. I used cereal for the box board. For the fabric I have used a variety of things, including scraps from other projects and purpose bought fabric from the fabric store and old clothing bought second hand at the thrift store. The cost of the cover can be nothing, or it can be very expensive, depending on what materials you choose.

I have found my self-bound books to be a very good value, costing much less than buying new, but not necessarily cheaper than buying second hand from a thrift store. The advantage over thrift store buying is that you can get the books you want now, rather than spending years searching for a book!

I hope this has helped to answer your questions about costs.

Peter and Wendy for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of the book Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie, also known as Peter Pan.

Peter and Wendy 15 signatures of 5 pages.

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 15 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 5 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 70 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 280 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations by F. D. Bedford.

This books tells the fairy tale of the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan.

You can find the original text of Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barry at Project Gutenberg.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

First Studies of Plant Life for Printing and Binding

This is 5 PDF files that together contain the book First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson. The book is split into five files due to size limitations.

First Studies of Plant Life in 18 signatures of 4 pages for binding. (1 of 5) contains 4 signatures

First Studies of Plant Life in 18 signatures of 4 pages for binding. (2 of 5) contains 4 signatures

First Studies of Plant Life in 18 signatures of 4 pages for binding. (3 of 5) contains 4 signatures

First Studies of Plant Life in 18 signatures of 4 pages for binding. (4 of 5) contains 3 signatures

First Studies of Plant Life in 18 signatures of 4 pages for binding. (5 of 5) contains 3 signatures

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

This book was created from scanned PDFs, rather than new formatting from plain text, so the quality is not as crisp as with my re-formatted books.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 18 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 4 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 72 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 288 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations and photos. It also includes a single colour picture, of the original cover, on the second page.

To make the pages come out evenly, I removed 2 pages of advertising for other books that were included in the original book. I did leave 2 additional pages of advertisements for other books.

This is a book about the science of plants. It includes five sections: the growth and parts of plants; the work of plants; the behaviour of plants; life stories of plants; and battles of plants in the world.

First Studies of Plant Life is used as a science selection starting in year 7 of AmblesideOnline, the free Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum.

You can find the original text of First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson at Internet Archive.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

Paper Sloyd for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of the book Paper Sloyd: A Handbook for Primary Grades by Ednah Anne Rich.

Paper Sloyd for Children in 5 signatures of 4 pages for binding.

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

This book was created from scanned PDFs, rather than new formatting from plain text, so the quality is not as crisp as with my re-formatted books.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 5 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 4 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 20 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 80 pages.

The original book was a horizontal book with a binding on the short edge. In order to print it on regular 8 1/2 X 11 paper, I changed the formatting so it opens like a traditional book along the long edge. You will need to read it sideways, flipping the book pages up, rather than to the left.

This version contains black and white illustrations and diagrams.

This book teaches the art of folding paper, called paper sloyd. Sloyd is a technique of teaching handicraft skills. I first heard about paper sloyd and this book at a Charlotte Mason education conference where Wendi Capehart of the AmblesideOnline Advisory demonstrated a lesson.

You might be interested in reading more about paper sloyd in a Charlotte Mason education at The Charlotte Mason Institute and at Simply Charlotte Mason.

You can find the original text of Paper Sloyd by Ednah Anne Rich at the Internet Archive.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

 

 

Viking Tales for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of the book Viking Tales by Jennie Hall.

Viking Tales in 14 signatures of 4 pages.

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 14 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 4 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 56 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 224 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations.

This books tells the tale of the Viking Harald and how he becomes King of Norway.

The first half of Viking Tales is used as a history selection in year 1 of the AmblesideOnline free Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum.

You can find the original text of Viking Tales by Jennie Hall at Project Gutenberg.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

Understood Betsy for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of the book Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.

Understood Betsy in 15 signatures of 5 pages for binding.

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 15 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 5 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 75 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 300 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations. It also contains one colour picture on the 5th page.

Understood Betsy is a delightful story about an overprotected little girl who goes unexpectedly to live with cousins in the country. Their different style and expectations help her to learn to be more self sufficient and confident in her own abilities.

Understood Betsy is used as a literature selection in year 2 of the AmblesideOnline free Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum.

You can find the original text of Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher at Project Gutenberg.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

The Little Duke for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of the book The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge.

The Little Duke in 11 signatures of 6 pages.

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 11 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 6 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 66 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 264 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations.

This is a wonderful history book about Richard, Duke of Normandy. He was an ancestor of the famous William the Conqueror. It is challenging book for children, and one that can take some time to get into. But there is lots of action and excitement to keep children interested.

The Little Duke is used as a history selection in year 2 of the AmblesideOnline free Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum. The curriculum suggests reading half a chapter per week, so I added a row of stars (*******) about half way through each chapter to help keep track of a suitable stopping place.

You can find the original text of The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge at Project Gutenberg.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

Great Astronomers for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of the book Great Astronomers by Robert Ball.

Great Astronomers in 18 signatures of 6 pages.

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 18 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 6 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 108 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 432 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations.

This book contains 18 biographies of different scientists, from Ptolemy to John Couch Adams, including Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and William Herschel.

Great Astronomers is used as a science selection starting in year 7 of AmblesideOnline, the free Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum.

You can find the original text of Great Astronomers by Robert Ball at Project Gutenberg.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

Long’s Home Geography for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of the book Geography for Primary Grades by C.C. Long.

Long’s Geography for Primary Grades in 12 signatures of 4 pages. 

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 12 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 4 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 48 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 192 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations.

This books explains a variety of geography ideas in a simple and old fashioned way that children can understand. It focuses on asking questions and observing the world.

Geography for Primary Grades by C.C. Long is suggested for use in years 1 to 6 of the AmblesideOnline free Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum. At the end of the book I have included a list of the chapters recommended for use by AmblesideOnline in each year.

Someone on the AmblesideOnline Facebook group asked about how to use this book to teach geography concepts in a Charlotte Mason homeschool. My response was: “There are certain geography concepts to learn each year. In year 6, in term 1 we are supposed to teach about animal features and their purpose and how we use animals. Chapters 37, 38 and 39 of Long’s Geography cover these subjects. You do not have to use this book, but we have found it easiest for us. We read the suggested chapters spread over the term. (I fit them in when we have time, as the chapters aren’t scheduled in the [AmblesideOnline] 36-week schedule) We read the questions [in the end of many of the chapters of Long’s Geography] and sometimes discuss them, but don’t work through the answers or write them down. But feel free to if you want. I personally haven’t felt it necessary.
Then as you go about life, and on nature walks, focus on the concepts that were covered. So in the case of year 6, term 1 you might (and this is totally off the top of my head!) talk about meat at the butcher, leather when you polish your shoes, honey? Maybe find a book about animal tracks at the library or something about horns and antlers? Not a big huge thing. Don’t make it into a project. Just point out things related to the subject over the term when they come up. And have your child look for them too (especially a year 6 child!)
It isn’t really complicated. Read, narrate, notice/focus/point out. That’s it!”

You can find the original text of Home Geography for Primary Grades by C. C. Long at Project Gutenberg.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!

(Some of) Fifty Famous Stories Retold for Printing and Binding

This is a PDF file of 30 selected stories from the book Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin.

From Fifty Famous Stories Retold in 11 signatures of 4 pages.

To bind your own copy of this book, please follow the directions starting with printing your book.

IMPORTANT: You must print “short-edge binding” on both sides of the page for the pages to be oriented correctly.

I have formatted it to print and bind to make your own hardcover copy of this book. Your book will consist of 11 signatures, or booklets, each of which will use 4 sheets of paper. To print this book you will print 44 sheets of paper, double sided. Your final book will have 176 pages.

This version contains black and white illustrations.

I have used a large font to make it easier for young children to follow along and perhaps read on their own. I have retained the dashes between the syllables of longer words and other grammatical marks designed to make them easier for young readers to decode.

These stories from Fifty Famous Stories Retold were selected by the advisory team for use as a history selection in year 1 of the AmblesideOnline free Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum. The stories have been placed in chronological order, rather than in Mr. Baldwin’s original order. Also, the story of William Tell in Mr. Baldwin’s book has been replaced by a version of the story by Horace Scudder from The Book of Legends, as suggested by the advisory. To quote the AmblesideOnline Advisory, “The selected Tales from ‘Fifty Famous Stories Retold’ are historically vital for cultural literacy. No child should grow up without knowing the story of William Tell or Horatio at the Bridge. These tales not only have deep value as stories of courage, bravery, and wit, but they will also show up in many other readings (and in media sources as well) for the rest of your child’s life.”

My PDF file does not contain the full book as originally published.

You can find the original text of Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin at Project Gutenberg.

You can find the original text of The Book of Legends by Horace Scudder at the Internet Archive.

Please let me know if you find any errors so I can correct them for others.

Please consider looking at other books I have formatted for binding.

I hope you enjoy your book! Happy reading!