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Singers & Hosts Wisdom Post how to be a great karaoke singer or host.

View Poll Results: In your years as KJ, how many songbooks have you lost and believe have been stolen?
None 13 27.66%
One 11 23.40%
Two 8 17.02%
Three 3 6.38%
Four 3 6.38%
Five 0 0%
More than Five 9 19.15%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old July 10th, 2007, 05:13 PM
ddouglass ddouglass is offline
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Yes I did and I like the format. It is not cluttered or hard to read as some I've seen. This is the way we will go for sure next time we need books.
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  #22  
Old August 11th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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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 Lulu.com 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: http://www.lulu.com/content/939538
It really is worth the price to buy one of our books and check it out.

- Alan
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  #23  
Old March 27th, 2008, 09:03 PM
swany swany is offline
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I lost and presumed 3 books in a lot of years were stolen, one by one they found their way back. The big book, anything over a 1 inch binder is overkill. Cull your books down, increase the font size, and have people look less and sing more. I've done this at my last printing. I culled from over 9000 to 5400 and life is good. We do not need White Christmas or Jingle bells in our books 50 weeks of the year. If you live in an area like I do, it's rare to find someone in a bar that sings Tony Bennett, or Barry Manilow and a whole bunch more I can think of, the most popular I do keep. I'll give you a for instance I used to have 36 Bette Midler, 3 of them is sang once in a while they are still in my books. Sinatra, 125 then 3 now. I still have a master book I carry when job hunting and I do need a 3.5 inch binder. My gig binders are one inch, and I get compliments on not having to write down numbers and how easy it is to find stuff. Sometimes less is more.

Golf pencils, good part is I do a lot of bars with the Michigan Lotto, with drawings every five minutes, they use golf pencils so I have a lot of different colored lotto pencils they have a bunch of yellow plain ones.

Used to have business cards in my book, now I have my e-mail and phone number and business logo on the KJ slips, didn't like to see my cards being used for slips. Lot of folks when contracting me for a wedding or party got my number from a friend via KJ slip.
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  #24  
Old March 28th, 2008, 03:01 PM
Chuck Holt Chuck Holt is offline
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Question Song Book

My song book data is still available, but wont post to the play file. I get a message that states that my hard drive does not have this info on it.
I have had to enter over 400 songs 2 times just have them not work!!
any one having this problem.
Chuck
  #25  
Old March 28th, 2008, 03:06 PM
Lonman Lonman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Holt View Post
My song book data is still available, but wont post to the play file. I get a message that states that my hard drive does not have this info on it.
I have had to enter over 400 songs 2 times just have them not work!!
any one having this problem.
Chuck
Never had this problem, but this thread is about Have you ever lost a songbook - IN a club after or during a show, as in a finished 3 ring binder or spiral wound book.
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  #26  
Old July 25th, 2008, 04:27 PM
ddouglass ddouglass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Holt View Post
My song book data is still available, but wont post to the play file. I get a message that states that my hard drive does not have this info on it.
I have had to enter over 400 songs 2 times just have them not work!!
any one having this problem.
Chuck
Chuck this is a Poll about lost physical songbooks, not the Hoster songs database. If you are having a problem with this, please post your problem in the Hoster Help forum so someone can help you.
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  #27  
Old July 25th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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bryant bryant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddouglass View Post
Chuck this is a Poll about lost physical songbooks, not the Hoster songs database. If you are having a problem with this, please post your problem in the Hoster Help forum so someone can help you.
dale, Sorry to break in on this post, but can you take a look at my thread titled "Hoster crash after video", you may have an idea what's going on.
Thanx
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  #28  
Old October 26th, 2008, 09:25 PM
mindonstrike mindonstrike is offline
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a wierd loss

I just lost my 2nd book in about 8 years

About an hour into my show on thursday I went to straighten up the books and discovered a binder with all but about the last five pages missing. I and the servers and a few singers hunted the bar up and down, all the garbage cans and even the dumpster with no sign of them.

Wednessday was so slow I didn't have to straighten the books so I don't know if it happened wednesday or Thursday. Strange because it's much more difficult to cary out 150 pages of sheet protecter-ed pages than to just take the whole binder.

I just don't get people sometimes.

Hopefully in the next week or so I'll have new books printed by lulu.com. Since Alan has had succes with them I figured I'd give it a try.

Sam
  #29  
Old October 27th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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I'm glad Sam posted to this forum - it reminded me I needed to post an update.

The last time I reported on the paperback version of our song books was over a year ago. Now that I've had better than a year's worth of experience with the books in paperback form, I have more results and tips to share with you...

1) Creation. You can use Hoster to create your song books and then your word processing program to style it to your liking. I use WordPerfect, but MSWord is just as good. Once you have your pages looking the way you want, you must convert them into .pdf format for the publisher. I use a free program call PrimoPDF. It works like a charm. You can get it from www.primopdf.com

2) Publishing. On the Lulu.com web site, upload your .pdf files for the body of your book, then upload your artwork or text to create your front and back covers. You will have to decide what type of binding to give your book, as well as size and style, but all that is explained on the Lulu web site. Once you've completed the publishing process on line, all you have to do is order the number of books you want and wait for them to arrive. I usually receive my full shipment within about 10 days.

3) Preparation. In my last post I suggested using clear packing tape to reinforce the binding and the open edges of the covers. This does work very well to protect the binding and the edge of the cover, but the rest of the cover will disintegrate rather rapidly. I have since discovered that the entire cover can be reinforced easily with 9"x12" self-adhesive laminate sheets.
Carefully apply the laminate sheet to the front cover so that 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of the sheet can be wrapped over the right edge of the front cover. This will protect the edge of the cover from falling appart as people thumb through the pages. Apply the same technique to the back cover of your book. Then reinforce the binding with 2" clear packing tape and trim the excess with a razor knife.
Books should be laminated before ever being used.

4) Durability. I have a set of books that is used 7 nights a week, 52 weeks/year. This set will last through about four months of very demanding usage, during the summer months, when they are being thoroughly abused by tourists who seem to have lost their minds because they've come to our beach to party and disrespect everything they can. I printed a set of eight books in May and during the craziness of the summer, one book was stolen, one book lost it's front cover from abuse and one book was saturated from a spilled drink. I was able to rescue the drowned book by pressing it and cooking out the moisture, so it was put back into service. This is pretty good, considering that during the summer months, we can have about 150 people grabbing, yanking, and generally abusing our books every single night.

By the end of the summer, I need to replace the books. I could either simply make a replacement order through Lulu, or (as is the case this year) I can print a new version which includes all the new songs I've added to our inventoy. I simply upload the new version to Lulu and place a new order. Very simple.

In the off-season, the abuse is seriously lessened and our "regulars" give the books far less punishment, so they last very nicely for eight to nine months, once they have been laminated. The locals are also the ones who purchase copies for themselves, so the books at the shows are practically paid for.

4) Cost-Efficiency. When we were producing the binder-style books, it cost more than $52.00 per book:
Binder = $8.00
160 Sheet protectors (per book) = $15.00
Photcopying ($.08/double sided page x 368 pages) = $29.00
Not to mention the ink and paper used to print out the original before copying. Add to that all time and effort it takes to stuff all the new pages into the sheet protectors and you're talking about a huge hassle. 20 books cost more than $1040.00

The published books through Lulu cost me about $12.00 each and I merely have to upload my song book files to their web site, click the order button and wait for them to arrive. Laminating sheets are relatively inexpensive - about a dollar per book.
Shipping is less expensive per book, the more books you order at a time, so shipping 20 books costs about $1.00/book.

An order of 20 books cost me around $280 or $14.00/book. That's a 73% savings! And the best part is that I don't have to stuff pages into sheet protectors!

With this kind of savings, even if all 20 books are stolen or lost to abuse, I can replace them all (twice!) and still save money.

Add to that, I sell the books as souveniers and to the locals to have their own copies and I can even off-set the cost of my books by that much more! After the first year of using the books, the net cost, after factoring in the income from selling books, I spent less than $80 to produce a total of 54 books for all our shows including replacement books and the books made available for sale at the shows.

One note: It's important to differentiate the look of the books for show use and the books for sale. I used black text on the spines of the books for sale and red text on the show books. I also placed a text box on the front cover of the show books saying that this book is our property and for use at the shows only. The doorman keeps his eyes open when people leave to make sure they are not walking out with a book and if they do, he can quickly peek at it to see if it's a purchased book or a show book. Again, last year, only one book was stolen and that was on a night when the place was so packed, it was impossible to keep an eye on everything.

And finally: With the cost savings being so great, I can now afford to produce supplemental listings. Using the same format and publishing through Lulu.com, I just generated an additional list of all the songs added since the last publishing and published a supplemental song listing that is available at our shows. Whenever someone asks if we have songs not listed in thebooks, I direct them to the additional song listing and they can find everything we've added. It looks way more professional than a few sheets of paper stapled together and I can format the additional listing like I do the song books with a separate section for songs by artist, by duet and by song title. I've added over 1400 songs since June and the additional listing published in paperback this month came to 50 pages and people love it. I only need to publish two or three of these additional listing per show and they only cost about $6.00/each.

All in all, I will never go back to the expensive, bulky binders that take hours to stuff.

Pioneering this new method of producing song books has been a learning curve, but the results are so overwhelmingly positive, I suspect this will become the wave of the future for all Karaoke operators.

If you want to purchase a book to preview and see how it's done, you can go to http://www.lulu.com/content/939538. It will take a minute for the image to load, so please wait for it. You can also preview a portion of the book from this page.

- Alan Ross
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Last edited by alanross; October 27th, 2008 at 07:16 AM.
  #30  
Old October 28th, 2008, 08:27 PM
mindonstrike mindonstrike is offline
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Thanks for the update.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanross
One note: It's important to differentiate the look of the books for show use and the books for sale. I used black text on the spines of the books for sale and red text on the show books.
AAAAAAH!! I forgot to deal with the spine. Oh well I guess I'll get what I get.

I've ordered my books. They look good on line. Anxious to see them in the physical realm.

I used Hoster songbook to make them from my Excell file I had been using for years. Because of this I believe, I had some formatting issues to deal with. I didn't get it perfect but I will before the next printing.

I almost PMed you to help me figure out the custom cover. I had problems getting my jpg in the size they require, but finally figured it out.

Thanks for the suggestion about laminating. I had planned on using packageing tape on the entire book, but laminate sheets sounds easier and better looking.

Overall I found their process/website extremely non-user friendly. I did a lot of hunting throughout the site to perform some of the different funtions like making changes to the book or my account. Things just don't seem to be layed out in a logical manner. Of course the possibility exists that it was just me - LOL

Here's links to my books.
http://www.lulu.com/content/4227293
http://www.lulu.com/content/4645809

Sam
  #31  
Old October 29th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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Sam,
I'm delighted you decided to give Lulu a try, but I hope you took their advice and only ordered one book as a proof copy first, to check for errors and corrections you'd like to make. That was the hardest part for me. I had to resist the urge to just go ahead and print the whole order right off the bat. I'm so glad I only ordered one to proof, because I found many errors I need to correct.

I hope you like the results!
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  #32  
Old October 29th, 2008, 12:56 PM
madjim- with the Lord madjim- with the Lord is offline
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Originally Posted by alanross View Post
Sam,
I'm delighted you decided to give Lulu a try
Alan,
I will be doing the same on my next round of books which is coming soon. My bigest issue with the page protectors is they hold moisture. Some of my books got so bad they had mold on them. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and experience with us. I always learn something that helps my business from your posts.


Jim
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  #33  
Old October 29th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by madjim
Alan,
I will be doing the same on my next round of books which is coming soon. My bigest issue with the page protectors is they hold moisture. Some of my books got so bad they had mold on them. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and experience with us. I always learn something that helps my business from your posts.


Jim
Thanks, Jim. It's nice to be appreciated. I try to share whatever I know to help whomever can use it.
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  #34  
Old October 29th, 2008, 03:40 PM
mindonstrike mindonstrike is offline
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Originally Posted by alanross View Post
Sam,
I'm delighted you decided to give Lulu a try, but I hope you took their advice and only ordered one book as a proof copy first, to check for errors and corrections you'd like to make. That was the hardest part for me. I had to resist the urge to just go ahead and print the whole order right off the bat. ....
Heck no. I dived in head first...resisting urges was never my thing

Sam
  #35  
Old October 29th, 2008, 04:25 PM
capnvic capnvic is offline
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanross View Post
Sam,
I'm delighted you decided to give Lulu a try, but I hope you took their advice and only ordered one book as a proof copy first, to check for errors and corrections you'd like to make. That was the hardest part for me. I had to resist the urge to just go ahead and print the whole order right off the bat. I'm so glad I only ordered one to proof, because I found many errors I need to correct.

I hope you like the results!
It would definitely make a big difference. My books are two years old already and the vinyl spiral band is coming off some of the books. I will probably spend the next month editing the book and sending one off to lulu myself...many thanks for the suggestion.
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