Spiral Binding Do-it-Yourself

I almost always spiral bind the drafts of my books while I’m editing, so I am often dropping by the Office Depot to get spiral binding done. Unfortunately, my Office Depot is the only office supply store in about a 10 mile radius, so they are often overworked and understaffed.

For the last 4 binding projects, I had to drop off the book and wait until the next day to get it spiral bound and even then, they still hadn’t done it. Each spiral binding trip cost me about $5 for the binding and covers, plus about an hour of my time to drive there and back and wait.

I decided that my newest book would best be viewed in spiral format. I have thought this about all my others as well, but when you self-publish, you are slightly limited with your options. I also really wanted my book to be color (as well as all my others, but I learned how to do it this time around). The cost to print my book in color on Amazon was way more than I wanted to spend and it also would cause me to price my customer out of buying it.

Because of the cost factor associated with Amazon color printing, I chose to have my Amazon book printed in black & white. I also sell my book with a distributor using a different printing service. Luckily their color costs are about half of Amazon’s so my book sold through Ingram will be in color, but still perfect bound. The spiral option is available only by me and my manual labor.

I searched more and more and found out that I could get color copies of my book printed for personal use on Barnes & Noble Press. This is a perfect solution. I ordered 20 copies from Barnes & Noble Press in color so I could spiral bind them myself.

Now for my decision to bind them myself. I factored the price of binding 100 books at $5 each, which obviously was $500. I felt that was a little much, so I decided to price out the stack cutter and the binding machine on my own. The two machines cost about $250 total plus the coils were another $20 and the clear plastic cover sheets were another $10. So, for the grand total of $280 I could buy the machines and do the binding myself. That was really a no brainer. And I can bind any future books for only the additional cost of the additional coils.

Here is the stack cutter. I line it up and cut off 1/8″ of the spine.

Here is the stack in progress. The spines on the left, the cut books on the right and the clear covers in the middle.

The is the binding machine to cut the holes. It is a lot of work, but I got a binder that can punch up to 20 sheets at a time.

The coil binding of the machine I found to be useless. It was too difficult to control. There is one speed to it, so it is more work to try to use it than just manually coiling it. I opted to manual coil them. One of these days, when I have more patience, I will try to get the coiling part to work for me. Here is the stack before I trimmed the coils to size.

Because I had such issues with the coiling part of the machine, I wonder if I could have found a machine that punches the holes without the coiling for half the price, but I’m not going to return this one and deal with it, so I’m not going to get myself upset by looking up the price difference. I have to pick my battles and today’s battle is for my daughter to pick up her little people off the dining room floor. (I really thought she would be outgrown of the little people by now, but she likes to line them all up like they are walking around the room in a single file line. I guess it beats her playing video games.)

  1. This is a question about where is the link to download the half slopers mentioned in your book? I purchased my copy from Amazon for my Kindle reader. But when I attempted to find the aforementioned half size slopers nowhere could they be found. Not even by using the search function could they be located. Thanks for your time. Bart Brewer

Leave a Reply