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I have a question, essentially about how to best format and make a PoD-appropriate version of a large manuscript. In this case it is a Bible version, but other people might have other large volumes that meet the same issues.

The reviews at identify two issues with the Classic Orthodox Bible as it is presently published:

1: The formatting is terrible.

2: The physical paperback book is huge even though the Old Testament is in too small print.

The first one I have a clear picture of how to improve.

The second one is a point where I would like to better know my options.

Regular Bibles, printed on superthin paper, are printed using technology under conditions where it is only profitable to print ~10,000 Bibles per print run. The paperback Classic Orthodox Bible is printed using CreateSpace PoD, where I was barely able to get things in at the existing font size using the largest trim size and overall the largest font size I could get in under the maximum size.

For the second one, what are my options to produce a (perhaps behemothic) single volume that has the Bible in question, has all text at a readably large font size, and given all these things, is as manageable in physical size as is reasonably possible?

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Change one of your givens. Why does it have to be a single behemoth volume? Why settle for CreateSpace's restrictions? (There are other PoD shops like Xlibris and Lulu.) Could you print it in sections with a really wide left margin (like 1.5") and find a way to spiral-bind it so it can lie flat? – Lauren Ipsum May 24 '14 at 22:51
What does this have to do with writing? – Martin F May 29 '14 at 23:31
@martinf - This is a question about publishing, which is on-topic here. – Neil Fein May 30 '14 at 1:22
What font and font size are you using in the CS edition? Are you using a font like Weidemann or Octava? They are recommended specifically for texts like bibles. – user26732 Jun 20 '14 at 11:41
If I understand correctly, your edition is supposed to be a book to be worked with. For a book meant to look good on a shelf terrible formatting or small print would be irrelevant. So the first thing that would interest me as a buyer is the durability of the book. Does the binding break after too much opening? Does the print smear? The paper yellow in sunlight? etc. I don't see how PoD can produce the kind of quality that I expect from a book that I want to work with. If you think your edition will be competitive, find a publisher or an investor and make a good book. This solves all problems. – what Jun 21 '14 at 12:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

First of all, you appear to have established the ways in which yours differs from the others. Then, also look at other POD providers - I take it you're also concerned with the matter of print costs, but that's difficult to avoid with a massive tome. POD / CreateSpace may not be the right answer, however appealing it may sound.

You could also talk to Lightning Source besides the likes of Lulu and CreateSpace - they do large print runs as well as the usual POD quantities. I don't know the large scale charges, but they fill our publishing needs very well compared to Lulu.

(I'm not insensitive nor an atheist, I'm serious about my suggestions and I hope you resolve a worthwhile project, but I can't resist ending this answer with: Amen...)

P.S. Neil quite rightly suggests that I go more deeply into the specific POD printers I mentioned. However, this particular case - a massive bible - is exceptional, and any printer would need to discuss the parameters with the author/publisher concerned, otherwise I would happily check myself; I don't have full details, e.g. budget available, whether two volumes is viable, and so forth. Being a publisher myself, I know this is the scenario for extreme projects. Standard ones are usually easily checked out.

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Although naming specific vendors is helpful and a good starting point, could you expand your answer to indicate what the options are with these publishers? The question is asking "what are my options given such-and-such parameters". – Neil Fein Jun 15 '14 at 16:13
Thanks for editing. I had in mind pointing out multiple volumes as an option, but I agree that this is a conversation best had with an individual printer. – Neil Fein Jun 16 '14 at 1:02
Thanks. I've made some changes and now have one volume, or Old Testament, New Testament, and/or New Testament and Psalms. Thanks... – JonathanHayward Jun 16 '14 at 21:30
How is this a comment? Part two of his two-part question asked for options to fix a text to respond to complaints that the type size was too small. Weidemann and Octava are fonts which are specifically used for bibles as they are legible at small sizes. However, I couldn't write, "use Weidemann" because I don't know what font he's starting with. – user26732 Jun 20 '14 at 16:13

Part of good formatting is using good fonts. I recommend the fonts Weidemann and Octava, which were designed for use in bibles and are good for large volumes.

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What do the fonts have to do with the question about printing a 5 Million Word Book? – Michael Stum Jul 24 '14 at 6:10
It's mentioned somewhere above that these two specific fonts are reccommneded for large volumes. I know someone in printing, I can ask him if that's the case. At any rate, this answer is poorly formatted and unhelpful, despite the relevance of the content. – lea Jul 24 '14 at 6:47
The poster specifically requested links to the two fonts, Weidemann and Octava. That's what this comment provided. How is this unhelpful? – user26732 Jul 25 '14 at 3:19
Here's the second part of his question: For the second one, what are my options to produce a (perhaps behemothic) single volume that has the Bible in question, has all text at a readably large font size, and given all these things, is as manageable in physical size as is reasonably possible? – user26732 Jul 25 '14 at 3:20
Directing him to these two fonts specifically addresses this question as these fonts are recommended for printing large texts such as bibles. Again, how is this not helpful when it specifically answers a portion of the poster's question? – user26732 Jul 25 '14 at 3:21

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