Archive for July, 2010

Restoring the Leadership Collection

Posted in Libraries on July 15th, 2010

When I was terminated as Editorial Director for the Library Leadership Network, I saved off the 104 (of about 180 total) essays that primarily represented my own writing, editing and gathering–about 360,000 words total, or the equivalent of seven contemporary books (I think of it as “roughly four books,” but at least within the library field, most nonfiction books now seem to be down to 50,000 words or less).

All of the material is under Creative Commons BY-NC licenses, so saving copies for later use was entirely legal. I let my former boss know that I might try to reuse some of it elsewhere; that wasn’t a problem. Because I anticipated reusing some of it for my own writing, I didn’t save off the other 70-odd articles, most of them either licensed from the original Library Leadership Network or composed of citations from the management literature.

Since then, Lyrasis has shut down the Library Leadership Network, which makes these articles unavailable. I think that’s unfortunate, since there’s a lot of good and relatively timeless material here, material that could be particularly helpful for new leaders (and, in some cases, new managers).

Finding a Home and Possible Approaches

I’d love to work with some agency–an association, a library school, whatever–to establish a new site that makes these pieces available, encourages discussion around the pieces and, possibly, continues to grow and improve as a library leadership resource.

At a minimum, for a modest one-time fee, I could do the second editing pass (to clean up links and remove additional extraneous material) and turn the pages (all HTML) over, and have done with it. The requirements would be that the new site be freely available, but it could certainly have advertising or sponsorship.

Well, there’s a subminimum: If no arrangement can be made and I continue to regard this material as important, I could always mount it as a set of pages attached to this blog–but I don’t think that’s the most effective way to proceed.

At a second level, with some modest level of ongoing support (at least $4,000/year, I think, and escalating based on level of desired activity), I could do that editing pass, help define the site itself–and then continue as an editor, both moderating discussions/comments (that is, checking for spam–if the site is, say, WordPress-based, advance moderation probably isn’t necessary) and updating pages/generating new pages. I don’t see going back to the “roughly half-time” level of LLN, but could see something that would aim for one significant upgrade or new article per month at a minimum, about one per week as a maximum.

Of course, it’s always possible that users of the new site could start generating most of the content–that was the original hope for PLN, the predecessor for LLN. Hope is a good thing.

Interested?

Get in touch. waltcrawford at gmail dot com, if you don’t wish to use the link.

I don’t anticipate doing much more to encourage such a site. (There are other things I’m working on. I might revisit this in two or three months.) If there’s simply no interest, that’s OK too–but LLN was nearing 50,000 article pageviews per month (excluding the home page and other overhead), which leads me to believe there is some demand out there.

But Still They Blog: Brief Excerpts

Posted in Liblogs on July 13th, 2010

When did liblogs begin?

Year Blogs Percentage
1998 1 0.2%
1999 1 0.2%
2001 6 1.2%
2002 20 3.8%
2003 58 11.1%
2004 71 13.6%
2005 127 24.4%
2006 123 23.6%
2007 103 19.8%
2008 11 2.1%

Table 1.1: Blogs by year of origin

Comparing this table to the same table for last year’s larger set of blogs, I note that two of three blogs from 1998 are gone, as are one of two from 1999 and the only one from 2000. Other than that, the pattern is similar—with, again, the peak for new liblogs being in 2005, declining slightly in 2006 and somewhat more in 2007. There’s a huge decline in 2008, down almost 90%. That may mean that few new blogs gain readership, that bloggers aren’t bothering to add their blogs to LISWiki—or that there are simply a lot fewer new liblogs.

Founding year for liblogs

Figure 1.1: Liblogs by year of origin

…and here are two more liblog profiles, this time from pages 13-14

ResearchBuzz

“News about search engines, databases, and other information collections.” By Tara Calishain. Began August 1998.

Metrics 2007 2008 2009 C08-09 C07-09
Posts 58 50 48 -4% -17%
Quintile 2 1 1 2 2
Words per post 259 186 379 104% 46%
Quintile 3 4 2 1 2

What it says in the tagline—and, if you can get past the daily tweet summaries in recent days, the blog includes some fascinating essays.

librarian.net

“putting the rarin back in librarian since 1999” By Jessamyn West. Began April 1999.

Metrics 2007 2008 2009 C08-09 C07-09
Posts 68 34 51 50% -25%
Quintile 1 2 1 1 2
Words per post 308 286 185 -35% -40%
Quintile 2 3 4 5 5
Comments per post 5.9 3.6 4.0 13% -32%
Quintile 1 1 1 3 4

If not the oldest liblog, this is certainly close—and West (OK, Jessamyn) continues to write a wide range of interesting commentaries on the field.

For more…

Buy the book!

What’s a year among friends?

Posted in Cites & Insights on July 11th, 2010

It has been pointed out to me (surprisingly, only once so far) that in the three blog posts and one email (to two lists) announcing the publication of Cites & Insights 10:9 (August 2010), I managed to refer to the year as 2009, both in the post title and in the first sentence.

I have a complete and total excuse explanation for what happened:

I goofed.

Fortunately, the issue itself has the right date, as does the Cites & Insights home page. And I’ve fixed the three blog posts–so it didn’t really happen, right? So, you know, no mistake was ever made, nothing to see here, move along…

The funny thing is, I was a little more careful than usual with the actual C&I pages–and found that, in fact, I’d managed to:

  • Use the wrong link for the first article (in the contents list and home page)
  • Have the hyperlink to the full issue wrong in every one of the HTML articles.

I fixed those…and then got the year wrong in the announcements. Sigh. I think I’ll wait a day before doing the most annoying part of publishing an issue (updating the volume index).

Of course, the August 2009 issue is available–but it has been for almost a year now. It’s a 32-page issue with two big essays (including “Library 2.0 Revisited”) and an Offtopic Perspective.

August 2010 Cites & Insights Available

Posted in Cites & Insights on July 10th, 2010

Cites & Insights 10:9, August 2010, is now available.

The 34-page issue (PDF as usual, but HTML versions of each article are available–the article titles are links) includes:

Perspective: On Social Media and Social Networks pp. 1-10

I no longer believe “Social Media” names anything real–or at least not anything interesting (except to marketers). That’s the “tl;dr” version. I think the longer version is worth reading.

The CD-ROM Project pp. 10-13

It’s crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide, which may be all I really need to say about the first of three CD-ROMs reviewed here–in this case, a seven-CD set that works very well.

Perspective: On Words, Meaning and Context pp. 13-18

Do you own your words? If people feel free to moonwalk away from what they say, is it possible to have useful discussions?

Making it Work pp. 18-26

It’s summertime (for most but certainly not all C&I readers), and that seems like a good time to deal with some miscellaneous items–sort of a reversion to the old “The Library Stuff” sections. I discuss a baker’s dozen worth of posts and library-related discussions.

Trends & Quick Takes pp. 26-30

More miscellany–this time including four mini-perspectives and nine quicker takes.

This issue has no sponsorship (other than those of you who choose to sponsor it). You’re likely to see a longer gap before the next (September 2010) issue, for various reasons… Meanwhile, enjoy what’s here.

Cites & Insights stats–quick note

Posted in Cites & Insights on July 8th, 2010

Just did the stats for first-half-of-2010 readership of Cites & Insights issues and articles (where article pageviews only include HTML, issues only include downloads)–and updated overall spreadsheet for the, to date, 142 issues (including end-of-volume indexes) and 364 HTML articles (a lot fewer than there are actual articles, mostly because I didn’t start doing HTML until Volume 4 and still don’t do HTML for all articles), noting that the stats are woefully incomplete (there were none for the first few years).

Issues

More than 573,000 PDF downloads to date. Two issues downloaded more than 10,000 times; four more than 8,000; 17 more than 6,000; 44 more than 4,000. In all, 67 of the 142 issues have been downloaded more than 4,000 times to date.

Articles

More than 2.2 million HTML pageviews (of articles, excluding other pags) to date. Including both HTML pageviews and PDF downloads, three articles have been viewed more than 20,000 times; 21 more than 10,000; 63 more than 8,000; 100 more than 6,000; 85 more than 4,000. In all, 272 of the 364 articles have been viewed more than 4,000 times to date.

You already know the (by far) most frequently downloaded and viewed article, which still gets downloaded as an issue more than any other in 2010 (although it’s not the most downloaded article in 2010–That is, of course, Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0.” If I had a quarter for every download/view of that issue/article, it would cover two years’ sponsorship for C&I. Ah well…

But Still They Blog: Two sample profiles

Posted in Liblogs on July 8th, 2010

I haven’t tried to promote But Still They Blog after the initial run of posts summarizing each chapter–and that may be a mistake. (So far, it’s sold 17 copies. Pathetic.)

I’m not ready to give up and just run the chapter contents (but not the profiles) in C&I, and don’t plan to do so, although I might offer a few excerpts here or there. This really is a good book, in my not-at-all-humble opinion, well worth the $35 (cheaper as a download), and I think you should buy a copy. (I’m thinking about doing something different but not entirely unrelated this Fall…but it won’t replace BSTB.)

For the moment, here are a couple of blog profiles from the book, indicative of what you’ll find.

The Distant Librarian

By Paul Pival. Began October 2004.

Metrics 2007 2008 2009 C08-09 C07-09
Posts 44 38 53 39% 20%
Quintile 2 2 1 1 1
Words per post 177 190 222 17% 25%
Quintile 4 4 4 4 2
Comments per post 0.9 0.4 0.3 -13% -63%
Quintile 2 4 4 3 4

While many of the posts relate somehow to distance librarianship, Pival views that as broadly as most bloggers view librarianship in general and brings a clear, thoughtful voice to his posts.

School Librarian in Action

By Zarah Grace C. Gagatiga. Began April 2005.

Metrics 2007 2008 2009 C08-09 C07-09
Posts 36 10 53 430% 47%
Quintile 2 4 1 1 1
Words per post 335 243
Quintile 2 3
Comments per post 0.3 0.7 0.5 -25% 111%
Quintile 4 3 3 4 2

An impressive blog from a Filipino school librarian. Unfortunately, the new WordPress template blocks attempts to measure length (and the pages are too crowded to use my alternative trick). This is also another blog with a “Reactions” line that only allows for highly positive reactions—but it’s an interesting and, I think, important blog for all that.

Where and Why

Those two profiles appear on page 57 of the book. Why there? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out…

Mystery Collection Disc 14

Posted in Movies and TV on July 6th, 2010

Half a Sinner, 1940, b&w. Al Christie (dir.), Heather Angel, John King, Constance Collier, Walter Catlett, Tom Dugan, Robert Elliott, Clem Bevans, Emma Dun, Henry Brandon. 0:59.

What a charmer! Sure, it’s a mystery of sorts—but it’s also a romantic comedy, nearly a screwball comedy and a caper movie. The plot’s really very simple: A 25-year-old schoolteacher, tired of wearing sensible clothes, glasses and “flats” (really modest heels), buys a nice well-fitting dress and hat and shocks her Granny by noting that she’s going to go wild—she’s going to have tea downtown!

One thing leads to another, and the next we know, she’s stolen a limo (that was already stolen), been flagged down by a handsome young man whose car has apparently broken down, discovered that there’s a corpse in the back seat, encountered (and escaped) the law and the crooks…and, well, it’s a fast-moving, satisfying plot. I don’t know any of the actors, but they all seem to be having a ball with this funny, fluffy flick. Notably, it’s based on a Dalton Trumbo story, before Trumbo was forced underground by HUAC. The print is excellent, and I give it the highest I’d give for an under-one-hour item: $1.25.

Guest in the House, 1944, b&w. John Brahm (dir.), Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon, Ruth Warwick, Scott McKay. 2:01 [1:40]

No summary review because after 20 minutes I decided I wasn’t willing to watch this—life is too short. The title character was so absurdly strange, in a thoroughly unpleasant way, and the other characters so…well, unengaging, that I just couldn’t see watching the whole thing. (Sound problems and a strange, presumably-intentional, bit of having waves of light sweep through the interiors periodically, didn’t help.)

Looking at IMDB reviews, “nourish melodrama” may be the right label. I just found it uninteresting and simultaneously unpleasant. (Sorry, but I watch movies to be entertained; if a movie is neither entertaining nor engaging nor educational, I’ve got better uses for my time.) Your mileage may vary.

Ten Minutes to Live, 1932, b&w. Oscar Micheaux (dir., story, screenplay), Lawrence Chenault, A.B. DeComatheire, Laura Bowman, Willor Lee Guilford, Tressie Mitchell. 0:58.

This one’s a true curiosity—and it might have been better included in the Musicals set, since a substantial portion of the movie is the stage show at an upscale Harlem cabaret, with a troupe of eight frenetic dancers (apparently from the real Cotton Club), some singer-dancers, a hot band and a very odd set of comedians. There is a mystery of sorts—but, possibly due to technical problems, it’s difficult to make much of it. (I’ll never quite understand why Harlem nightclubs had black comics performing in blackface, but I assume that was authentic.)

What we have here is a black film from the early 1930s (that is, with an all African-American cast), one that appears to have been filmed mostly as a silent picture (except for the musical numbers), with some dialogue added later. Specifically, in one long sequence, the only dialogue comes from off-camera performers, who appear to be reading from a script they’ve never seen before. What we also have is a badly-framed picture that loses enough on all four sides to make important pieces of text illegible and with sound occasionally so bad that dialogue becomes nearly unintelligible. Oh, and once in a while the picture jumps out of synch, so there’s a black line midpicture with the lower half of a frame above and the upper half below.

I suspect this is a rarity (since most of these films never made it into mainstream theaters and were probably not preserved very well), and the musical sequences are certainly interesting. The acting…well, as I say, it’s an odd blend of sound and silent picture, and probably done with no real budget. Worth seeing as a historic curiosity and for the vintage musical numbers, but I couldn’t give it more than $0.75.

Fear in the Night, 1947, b&w. Maxwell Shane (dir.), Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley, Ann Doran, Kay Scott, Charles Victor, Robert Emmett Keane. 1:12.

Two mysteries for the price of one!

The first is the noir mystery within the film. A young man (played by a 27-year-old DeForest Kelley), a bank cashier who lives in a hotel and whose sister and brother-in-law live nearby, finds himself in a strange and deadly dream…then wakes up to find items suggesting that it wasn’t just a dream, which would mean he’s murdered someone (in self defense). He seeks out his brother-in-law, a police detective, who tells him to shake it off.

Later, he (and his brother in law, and his sister, and his girlfriend) finds himself in a big house he shouldn’t know about—and there’s the room in his dreams, with a blood-stained wall where he thought he’d left a corpse. Suddenly his brother-in-law assumes he’s a cold-blooded killer and the whole “dream” thing was a ruse.

That’s as much of the plot as I’ll provide. It’s well-acted and keeps moving, even though you’ll have figured out half of the twist (and maybe all of it) well before it’s revealed. A good film. Kelley’s second film role and first starring role, and he does a fine job. (Apparently remade in the 50s as Nightmare, with Edward G. Robinson.)

The other mystery? The sleeve description—which makes this out to be a The Shadow/Lamont Cranston film about “the murder of a wealthy gentleman who was about to change his will.” There was no Lamont Cranston involved and, while there is a wealthy gentleman, he’s not a murder victim. (Usually in these cases, the sleeve describes another flick with the same title but, according to IMDB, there’s no Lamont Cranston movie with a title anything like “Fear in the Night.”) I’ve seen this before (the wrong flick being described on the sleeve), but usually they’d also get the star wrong—which they don’t. But that’s trivial. Pretty good film noir: $1.50.

That’s entertainment!

Posted in Movies and TV on July 5th, 2010

A recent post–indeed, the most recent post–considered circumstances in which I’ll give up on an old movie.

Last Saturday, we started watching our Netflix movie of the week (the one we’d had longest) and, after ten minutes or so, took it off, packaged it to send back, and watched the other one instead. The other one got much worse reviews than the first one–for example. Rotten Tomatoes rates the one we didn’t watch at 71%, the one we did watch at only 43%.

I find myself silently screaming at the local TV critic sometimes, perhaps less now than over the past few years, when he was beating us over the head with The Great Show We Must Watch (sometimes “shows’), the show that was Serious Television. The name doesn’t matter; it changes from time to time. Pretty consistently, it’s a show I wouldn’t watch if you paid me–well, not unless you paid me pretty well. (Yes, in most cases, it’s a show I’ve seen at least one episode of, although in a couple cases I was unwilling to endure one episode.)

And I’m well aware that Proper Literary Folks would sniff at a lot of the stuff I check out from the library, certainly including the Bernie Rhodenbaar mysteries and maybe even including the Discworld books. (Maybe not: Pratchett seems to get a Bye from the Upholders of Serious Literature.)

The common thread

We watch our Saturday movies to be entertained or, occasionally, enlightened. Neither of us find lots’o’crashes terribly entertaining, or mean-spirited language, or casual violence, or… And, yes, we do find light romantic comedies entertaining if they’re at all well done. The first movie, a Gritty Con Drama, may have been better movie-making than the second–a quirky Romantic Comedy with a superb cast–but, for us, the first was offputting and not entertaining; the second was entertaining.

Note that “for us.” While I might raise broader questions about fans of certain kinds of horror movies (oh, you know the ones) and “snuff movies” of any sort, in general I no more question your taste than I allow you to dictate my taste.

We watch TV shows that we find entertaining and enjoyable (with, sometimes, digressions into Enlightening Programs on public TV). That almost always means cast members we find at least mildly sympathetic. It doesn’t hurt for the show to be reasonably well-crafted and lacking a howlingly overdone laughtrack; there’s a reason we watch very few half-hour sitcoms (How I Met Your Mother distinctly excepted).  It certainly means that we’re not sitting in front of the tube (it still is a tube, at least for another week or two) to Engage in Serious Drama; we’re there to be entertained. (“Reality” shows? Not so much…for us, that is.)

I read to be entertained and, more frequently than with visual media, enlightened or challenged–but I feel no obligation to read something because It’s Good For Me (or to avoid something because It’s Trash). (With newspapers and magazines, I read more for information, enlightenment and intellectual challenge–but a little entertainment along the way surely doesn’t hurt. And I will tell you that one high-minded monthly, which I decided to try as an airline-miles freebie, will definitely not be renewed: I don’t really need to be told, over and over, that everything I do is wrong and that I’m guilty of every crime against nature and humanity. That just gets old…and, I believe, self-defeating.)

Your mileage may vary

I sometimes think that TV critics feel the need to be Critics rather than Reviewers by stressing (over, and over, and over again) the Serious Shows in preference to even well-done fluff. I know that critics can show lots of hindsight–I will swear that there are dozens of critics (I believe including the local one) who never gave Buffy the Vampire Slayer a second glance until it was almost over and had been established as a Significant Show instead of Trashy Teenage Junk. (We watched it from the start. We’re starting the third pass…)

Reading video/home theater/etc. magazines, it’s become clear that most reviewers assume that real home theater is about spectacle–with “sound that keeps you on the edge of your seat.” Thus advice that you should spend more on speakers than on the TV, because Big Impressive Sound is at least half of the game. Not for us–because most of what we watch doesn’t involve Big Impressive Sound Effects. Again, that’s us–I have no reason to believe or desire that you’ll have the same tastes.

Rereading Crime and Punishment and seeking out more documentaries on the plight of whatever? More power to you. Maybe I’m a philistine. Maybe life is too short to worry much about that.

I know this: If I’m watching or reading or listening to a supposed Classic or Important Work and I don’t find anything that engages me on any level within the first (50-60 pages, 15-20 minutes/video, 2-3 minutes/audio), well, I’m gone.

Of time and the movies

Posted in Movies and TV on July 3rd, 2010

Now there’s a portentous title!

The post, however, is more suitable for a hot, lazy holiday weekend. (I would say “3-day weekend,” but since I’m semi-retired, that’s sort of silly. Let’s just say “three days on which we try to stay away from highways and do without mail on Monday.”)

This little post is about a small decision, relating to the little essays I do about old movies in Mill Creek Entertainment packs (usually 50 movies, once 250 movies, sometimes smaller sets)–most of them either public domain or TV movies, but not necessarily all.

Here’s the decision:

Once in a while, I’m giving up

I know: Who cares? Fortunately, I also know that a few people enjoy the compilations in Cites & Insights (normally six discs or, for sets with fewer than six discs, the entire set), and maybe a few enjoy the single-disc summaries here as well.

And I usually enjoy watching the flicks and writing them up, even if they’re not all that good. Of course, sometimes the worst flicks (Apache Blood, to name an extreme case) are interesting to watch in an odd train-wreck-fascination way. The B “programmers,” roughly hour-long flicks, usually go by fast enough that watching them is no problem, and they’re fun to write up.

But…

I started watching Guest in the House yesterday–a 1944 full-length picture (2 hours and one minute in theaters, one hour and 40 minutes on the disc and in TV rerelease) with Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy and a fairly strong cast. And after 15-20 minutes, I stopped.

There’s precedent: Back in 2004, watching a bunch of movies that came free with a magazine/DVD subscription, I decided not to finish Bucket of Blood and Brain That Wouldn’t Die. Those were just too horrific (and bad) for my taste, and that may be true for some of the ones on the “Legends of Horror” 50-pack (although not so far).

This time, though, it wasn’t blood and gore. It was just plain annoying, uninteresting, and unentertaining–for me. I just couldn’t see slogging through another hour and twenty minutes of this “noirish melodrama” (as one IMDB reviewer put it). That was time I could spend listening to music, reading a book, taking a nap, staring out the window–or working on some project, for that matter. In short, “life is too short” for some movies, even though (to my wife’s dismay–but I do use headphones!) I sit through some movies that might be considered relatively worthless. (OK, so I think the whole “mining the public domain” thing Mill Creek does is interesting and worthwhile…)

So I’ll include a dummy listing, with the title, date, director, stars, timing, and–instead of a writeup and dollar rating–a note on why I didn’t watch it.

How often will this happen? Who knows?

That’s it. Portentous title. Trivial post. Enjoy your weekend…

Warpage, An Update

Posted in Books and publishing on July 1st, 2010

Back in April, I talked about a production problem with two books (family history) my wife was publishing through Lulu. Namely, the two 8.5×11″ books had warped covers–warped enough, in the first shipment, that she wasn’t ready to use them.

What I mean by “warped”: If you lay the books flat on a table or desk and look at the short side, you’d see two curves up from the edge of the table–one curve on the 6″ side of a 6×9 book, but most of those curves were so small as to be unnoticeable.

At the time, as recounted in that post, several things became clear:

  • Lulu pays attention to customer concerns. It took a few days, but they not only sent us replacement copies at no cost (also with a little warp, but not enough to be terrible–and that small warp goes away after a week or two), they ordered copies (at their cost) from two different U.S. printers and a UK printer to investigate the situation further. (They sent us these copies after they investigated.)
  • In the end, Lulu concluded that some warp was unavoidable–and that the paper stock for the books themselves was within normal parameters.
  • The one shipment may have been an anomaly–possibly the printer shrinkwrapped the six copies too soon after they were bound and shrinkwrapped them too tightly. In that one case, the warps–while lessened–are still there.

But a natural question came to mind:

Is it just Lulu?

And I had the perfect opportunity to explore that question–with ALA Annual on the horizon.

So, in DC, while going through the exhibits, I made a point of looking for trade paperbacks produced with that kind of cover (10pt./85lb. coated gloss full-color) and, if feasible, laying them down and seeing if there was warpage. Better yet, I might spot some stacks of identical books.

And I got my answer.

No. It’s a characteristic of the cover stock and process

The “aha” moment came when I saw a small stack of 8.5×11 trade paperbacks at a major publisher’s booth…with exactly the same double-warp pattern, made more obvious by the stack of books.

Trying out both 6×9 and 8.5×11 trade paperbacks (mass-market paperbacks are smaller and typically use a different cover stock) with that kind of coated, glossy, 10pt./85lb-90lb. stock, I saw the warp (single for 6×9, double for 8.5×11) repeatedly. Rarely so bad as to be noticeable unless you were looking for it, but in a couple of cases it was as bad as the shipment we rejected.

Conclusion

Lulu’s one-off production process works as well as most trade paperback printing processes. The body paper is better than a lot of trade paperbacks and as good as any I’ve seen, the printing (high-speed laser) is what it is (as good as offset for text, maybe not quite as good for photos), the cover color reproduction is excellent–and the cover stock is what it is.

I’m reassured. As to the warped books, well, you let them lie flat for a while. Weighting them down doesn’t seem to make much difference.

There’s the other cover problem that shows up with this kind of cover stock once in a while, and I’ve seen that much more often in “bookstore books” than in PoD books: The flyaway covers, where the top right cover warps out from the book itself. But then, I’ve seen that with almost any cover stock.

Oh, there is one way to absolutely avoid the warpage problem. My wife decided she needed a couple of hardbound copies of each book (to give to local history museums, who indicated they wanted them). Lulu can do that–for 8.5×11, by shrinking the body PDF just slightly (since the body paper is 8×10.5, with the covers 8.5×11). The original cover is reproduced in full cover on the case binding. The results were first-rate. Of course, that does add about $10 production cost and a week to production time, but the results are quite nice. (It’s not a sewn binding, to be sure; it’s perfect-bound to a cloth strip attached to the case.)

And, to repeat, it takes them a few days, but Lulu does respond to customer/creator problems.


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