Letter Re: Self Sufficiency Christmas Gifts on a Budget

Just a note to Richard C. and others who are interested in creating books from public-domain sources.

I think it’s a great idea to give knowledge as a gift, especially in the form of books. However, I’m not sure that Richard’s plan is an economical one. Most people have ink-jet printers, with high cost ink cartridges. Plus the added danger of the risk of fading and lack of water-fastness in most ink-jet inks might make the information unusable for the long term. Another option is using a laser printer, which will deliver a lower cost per page and will have much better long-term durability. However, both methods are going to be time-consuming and will require some sort of binding at the end of all that printing.

These days, there is another way that might interest readers, which is print-on-demand services like CreateSpace.com, run by the Amazon.com folks (there are others out there, I just researched this one for a project of my own). According to the pricing guide on their Web site, an 8″ x 10″, black and white book of 100 pages is only $3.66. A 200-page book is $5.50. The final product looks like a regular paperback book, complete with full-color cover. You’d also pay shipping and handling, but I’m sure you can see that this can be a significant time and money saver, especially if you want multiple copies of the same book. Putting multiple books in the same binding can further your savings.

And after his book is finished and printed for his family at Christmas, he can leave it up on Amazon.com for others to purchase and make a profit on his work if he likes. The gift that keeps on giving! Cheers! – Jason R.