Micro Publishing: Part 3 LG #58

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  • Micro Publishing: Part 2 (Mark’s Update) (ZING copy)
  • Micro Publishing (ZING copy)
  • The first document by Rick Holbert is Micro Publishing. I wrote an update to that article. This article is another update. This article is going to be short, but it is significant since Mark has found a way he likes to make the books, finally.

    The process of making the books inexpensively is the fact that is gets cumbersome. It can be a real pain in the butt. My whole goal is to make it very simple and very fast. There is no point making books if it becomes an unpleasant event. This document will address several problems Mark and Rick has had in the past and present one solution. This article will also list ongoing problems.

    Rick and I are in the process of making a HOWTO for book binding, and if anyone wishes to add to the HOWTO or wishes to contribute thoughts, please send email to zing@gnujobs.com.

    Using a stapler, different glue, etc

    In the past, our tools were,

  1. Book formatted pdf, postscript, or other document.
  2. Duplex laser printer.
  3. Paper folder.
  4. Manual heavy-duty stapler that can do at least 1/2 inch staples.
  5. Ruler
  6. Paper for the cover.
  7. Contact cement.
  8. Book binding press

The problem with this setup was that you have to keep your book in the book press for 30 minutes before letting it go. Also, I wasn’t using a ruler when Rick said I should.

With my current setup, we can eliminate the book-binding press with just a straight-edge. Here are the tools,

  1. Book formatted pdf, postscript, or other document.
  2. Duplex laser printer.
  3. Paper folder.
  4. Manual heavy-duty stapler that can do at least 1/2 inch staples.
  5. Ruler
  6. Paper for the cover.
  7. Contact cement.
  8. Straight edge
  9. Very large binder clips.

Here are the steps,

  1. Print the document on a duplex printer and make sure the printer is set to flip in the long edge. If you don’t use a duplex printer, it is a pain in the butt. Please use a duplex printer. Please refer to our other articles for steps on how to use a non-duplex printer.
  2. Use a paper folder or fold them by hand. Please buy a paper folder and use it to fold the paper. Refer to our other documents.
  3. Straighten up the folded paper on the edges and use two large binding clips to kept the paper from shifting.
  4. Place the paper in a heavy-duty manual stapler that can use at least 1/2 inch staples. Staple the paper at least twice.
  5. Measure the width of the paper on the folded side of the paper where the staples are at. Squeeze it down when you measure it. Measure 5.5 inches plus 1/16 inch from the edge of the cardboard stock paper that you are going to use as your cover. Use a ruler to create a line from top to bottom. Measure out the width of the edge onto the cover and add 1/16th inch. Draw a line across from top to bottom here. Now, fold the cover at the two lines with a nice and crisp edge.
  6. Take the cover and place it up against anything that is straight and has a little height, like a block of wood, or something. Place the paper on the cover and fold the cover over the paper.
  7. After you have verified the cover fits over the paper nice and smooth, place contact cement on the inside binding edge of the cover. You don’t need a lot of glue.
  8. Fold the cover over again, and smoothen out the edge of the binding edge with your finger. Use two large binding clips to keep the cover on the paper.
  9. Done!

Why is this setup important?

This setup is important for the following reasons:

  1. Since you are using staples, you don’t have to worry about individual pages from ever falling out.
  2. Since you don’t have to use much glue, you don’t accidentally get glue all over the place.
  3. Not having to use a book binding press means you don’t have to go make one.
  4. Using paper clips to keep the cover on means you can just stack the books and mass produce them. Once you put the paper clips are on, you are effectively done.
  5. If you use a ruler to make the edges nice and straight, it makes the book look better and it also makes it so there isn’t much gap between the paper and the cover, which means the glue is able to connect the paper to the cover better.


Here are some problems:

  1. Don’t staple the staples too far away from the edge since the book won’t be able to flatten if someone opens it up.
  2. I don’t like using contact cement. Given this stapler solution, it should just be possible to apply different glue or some way of applying some else besides glue to just keep the cover attached to the paper.
  3. If you can visually see the staples when you open the book on the first page and the last page, it looks dumb. We need to find a way to cover up the staples easily. There is no reason for people to know that we took the cheap way out and used staples.
  4. We need cheap free way of filtering out fonts from pdf documents so that they aren’t so huge and can print faster. Right now, we can cheat and use a commercial product to filter out the fonts that are annoying, but it would be nice if we could do it in a free way.


There really is no conclusion, except now Mark can make books fast for the COLUGand SVLUGgroups he participates in. Before it was always a pain and time consuming to make books and it was cumbersome. Now, after the paper has been printed, he can make a book every 10 minutes, or faster.

Copyright © 2000, Mark Nielsen
Published in Issue 58 of Linux Gazette, October 2000

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