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Old August 11th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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alanross alanross is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Outer Banks - U.S.A. Nags Head, NC
Posts: 1,904
Here's an update on our new songbooks. Rather than using sheet protectors and binders, we are now publishing our books in paperback form. We've now had them at the shows for a few weeks and I can tell you they have been very well received. People are very impressed with them and think they look extremely professional.

We have sold many and people are still asking for more. I've made enough revenue from the sales of the books to cover the initial cost and order another batch.

I've even gone so far as to have one of the places we play sponsor a set of books. In other words, they buy ad space in the book (full page) and I print out a set containing their ad. We use these books at the show and the cost of producing the batch is offset by the advertising revenue.

Now the downside. The paperback form of the book must be reinforced before you put them out for use. In the first week, we found that the spines are very prone to disintegration when exposed to liquid and the edges become very dogeared after constantly being handled.

I bought a roll of 2" wide transparent packing tape and ran a strip down the spine, then another along the open edge of the bookcover on both the front and back covers. I then trimmed any excess tape with a utilty knife so the tape didn't overlap anywhere.

Books that were reinforced with the tape are still in circulation and in good shape after three weeks, whereas the one book I left unreinforced, as a control test, had to be taken out of use. The cover eventually disintegrated to the point where I couldn't justify using it. The spine peeled so badly, there was no writing left on it and the edges of the cover had frayed to the point of missing a full 1/4" of it's original width.

All in all, I will continue to produce my books this way. It took a couple of hours to reinforce 10 books with tape on the spine and the open edges of the covers, but that time was well spent because, reinforced, the books hold up very well.

No books have walked out of the building yet, so theft doesn't seem to be an issue, either.

I am extremely pleased with the choice to produce our books in this fashion. Not only is it less expensive and more professional looking, but now I don't have to worry how many songs I'm adding to our inventory. When we used binders and sheet protectors we were stretching out 2" binders. Now, the books are only about 5/8" thick and much easier to carry. Even if I doubled our inventory, Our books would still be less than 1 1/2" thick and I could still list songs by both Artist Names and Song Titles in the same book.

I highly recommend everyone try it. Create a book on-line at and order just one for yourself. My first "prototype" cost a grand total of $14.00 and change (that includes tax and shipping). This gave me the opportunity to hold the book in my hands to see whether I even liked the concept or the finished product. Try it for yourselves. It's worth the minor investment to get your own professional songbook in your hands.

Or, if you haven't the time nor the inclination to create your own book on-line - buy one of ours to see how you like it. Feel free to steal any ideas you may get from it. We have some very interesting information in them and many KJs who've visited us in the past have asked if they could copy stuff from our books. You can get a copy of my book at this web address:
It really is worth the price to buy one of our books and check it out.

- Alan

Alan Ross

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