Supplies - For this project I used Domtar Colors 11x 17 - 20lb Smooth Goldenrod paper for this project a 500 sheet ream ran about $15 (that means each page cost $0.03) So if you can keep your photocopying price point down this is a very cost effective way to supply your costumers with a sample of your work.
I used one sheet of paper to make each book. Not really going into the layout and designing of the book at this point. I'm also assuming that you can have your work photocopied (either yourself or at a local shop.) So lets get started.
You have a stack of freshly photocopy comics. How do you assemble them so that they look like a book you had professionally printed? (Some of this is done in the copying/design phase making sure the pages are straight and the layouts are neat.)
Step 1 - Date Stamping is not necessary but I always get compliments on it. I use this as a way for me to tell when the book was made and can be used to tell the difference between first and later printings.
Step 2 - Cutting the Paper is essential since I want my work to look like a book. When I did the layouts I made sure that everything was in the right place and all I needed to do is cut the paper down the center turning 1 piece of paper into 2 and more importantly a 4 page book into 8 pages.
Step 3 - Folding the Paper can be done a number of ways. I prefer to fold each piece one at a time. This strategy gives the book a flatter look at the end. Make sure you are folding the right way, I have found it a good idea to fold one of each page and assemble a book to make sure I'm doing everything right.
Step 4 - Assembling the Book should be quick and simple. However make sure you assemble the pages in the right order (and do not forget any.)
Step 5 - Stapling the Book can be done with a number of different staples. If your books are a few pages, you can use a long reach stapler (I originally used a Bostitch 12" Long Reach Stapler) or if you are stapling more pages, a booklet stapler (in the video I'm using a Bostitch 2Booklet Stapler.) I have found that books longer than 16 pages are a little harder to line up with the long reach staplers so I changed to the book stapler and now use it for everything.
Step 6 - Trimming the Book helps make your book look more professional. Usually I trim the top, bottom and the leaf side. However for this project I did not trim the leaf side since it was a lower page count and the pages appeared to have already lined up nicely. A tip, trim from the leaf side to the spine, this tends to give a better cut.
Step 7 - The Finished Book is a thing of beauty. If done right your product will be able to stand toe to toe with professionally printed material and no one will be able to tell that you made it at home on your pitch table.
Happy Comic Book Making,