When I began searching for instructions on how to bind a book I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find a reliable and useful information. I only wanted to create a simple paperback book (I later learned that paperbacks are called ‘perfect bound’ books) but found a huge number of websites that were just republished copies of old public domain books on the subject. It was interesting to learn about the fine craft of hand made sewn books, but nobody was making trade paperbacks in 1912.
I did come across a few helpful websites like NoMediaKings and Brian Sawyer’s Blog. But, they still required tools I didn’t have. I also found images and videos of bookbinding machines which were inspiring, but more complex and expensive than I could ever hope to afford.
The very first set of practical instructions I found for making a book was from Brad Issac’s blog. He was doing exactly the same thing that I wanted to do, printing out PDF ebooks and turning them into paperbacks. He turned that original blog post into a really simple tutorial that he now sells in a low cost report called Store Quality Paperbacks in 5 Minutes or Less.
From those instructions, I worked out the simple method that I used to make my first book. That book is the focus of my first bookbinding tutorial on this website.
I was happy with my results, but wanted to learn more and improve my bookbinding skills so that I could create books that would be indistinguishable from a store-bought trade paperback. Using Gorilla Glue and plain covers was not going to cut it. So I kept searching until a found a really excellent and thorough guide called (ironically enough) “Easy Bookbinding“.
There is a complete review of the “Easy Bookbinding” course on this site, so I won’t repeat myself here. But, my knowledge lept forward after reading these bookbinding instructions. This was also the course that helped me to design the bookbinding jig that I wrote about in this article. The quality and speed of my bookbinding projects were so radically improved that I made a short video demonstration to show off my new ‘bookbinding machine’.
My skills binding books has now advanced to the level where I feel I can produce a finished book that is every bit as good as any book you can find on Amazon.com.
The search for quality instructions for binding a paperback or hardcover book use a glue binding is ongoing. There is always a new technique to use, a new glue to try, or a new jig to build. But you have found the right place to begin your journey.
Make sure to check out each of these resources on the DIY Bookbinding website:
- Paperback Bookbinding Tutorial
- Bookbinding Demonstration Video
- Converting PDF Files for Book Printing Video
- Making Color Covers for Your Paperback Book
- The Simple Bookbinding Jig
- DIY Bookbinding Review of “Easy Bookbinding”, by Nathan DeStephano
Happy Bookbinding and Self-Publishing!