How to Make a Book

First you have to find a nice shallow box. Then to make sure it's an official box, put it somewhere and see if your cat sits in it. It's not an official box till the cat sits in it.

You will note the rubber cement to the right in the picture. It is truly worthless in making books, but it's still pretty good for huffing.

You should also note that my workspace is my massage table, which doubles Katty's safe spot where none of the pups can bother him.


Katty is not happy I woke him up, but he did want me to show you the heavy duty stapler we got to make our books. And, of course, you always need a box opener for something.


I use the shallow box to fold the pages. It's so much easier to line them up using the edge of the box.


Next I flatten out the crease with the butt end of the box cutter.


Cover stock is made from manila folders. Once cut to the size I need, they pass right through the printer when I tell it I'm using thick paper.


This is where the cover is folded to fit the pages. I use a nail to score the paper and then fold it. I found these "DUCK" tape rolls at our local Fleet Farm. The tape will go over the staples and then I try to trim it with the box cutter. When I say try, I'm not a hobbyist, so I just try to get "close." I'll leave perfection to others.

You will notice that I am a true recycler/re-user. I'm using boxes that have been mailed to me as my table covering so I won't cut into the table. I use these boxes also to slather glue on labels for mailing.

Oh, and you'll need software to actually print the book properly. I use Word to format the stories, but to print, I use a program called ClickBook. It's very flexible, and I've set it up to do sub stets of four sheets. This means then every four sheets are folded and placed one inside the other, then put aside for the next four sheets. Then I put all the sheets together, press them down, cover them, and hit the stapler.

You'll also need a printer that prints both sides of the page. There are ways to print one side and then print the other, but it's my understanding that no one has ever accomplished this feat since people tend to commit suicide somewhere in the middle of this arduous process.

My only problem with my first book was that the stapler guidelines said I could do all my sheets with half inch staples. I nearly crushed that first book trying to staple it, but the tape covered up the damage. I've just ordered longer staples for my next book.


And here is the first full book I've ever assembled. Only took me four hours of simultaneous cursing and laughing to finish it. It sure will make a fine conversation piece.

Oh, and since I might just be one of the more unconventional writers you've run up against, as well as a photographer, on the back cover of each handmade book is my most popular photograph ever. I've sold over 90 copies. This is what the back cover looks like:

Handmade Books by Minnesota Wellness Publications
Artwork by David

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