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writing process Preparing the Inside Signature:

1) After you have finished writing a final draft, decide how many pages you would like for the inside of your book. Then count out the number of sheets of paper you will need (I often use readily available 8 ½"x 11" white paper). Note: each sheet of paper, when folded, will become four pages in your book—so if for example you decided you are going to have a sixteen page book, you will need four sheets of paper (4 x 4), for a twenty page book five sheets, etc.

preparing the inside signature

2) Fold the sheets of paper in half to form what is called the "signature." Add an outside sheet of paper, can be colored or white, that will be used to glue the signature onto the cover later.

3) Sew along middle seam by hand or machine. If sewing by hand, make at least four holes along the middle seam, then sew, tying long ends of thread or string together on the outside of the signature. (Blunt carpet needles with plain cotton string work fine.)

sew along the middle seam

Making Covers

4) Cut two pieces of cardboard or mat board a half inch wider and taller than the folded signature. (So for folded   8 ½"x 11" paper, which become 8 ½" x 5 ½" pages, a good size for each of the pieces of cardboard is 9" x 6".)

making covers

The type of mat board, often colored, used in frame shops for pictures, makes excellent cover material. Small pieces of mat board that might otherwise be thrown away by frame shops are sometimes available for free. If you are using plain cardboard, it can be covered with colored cloth or paper.

Preparing the Spine

5) Position the two covers on a piece of 1 ½" or wider book or cloth tape as shown. Leave about ½" of space between the covers to allow enough room for the signature, and to allow for easy opening and closing of the book.

position the covers

Gluing in the Signature

6) Do not use the outermost sheet of the signature for your title page or text-the first and last blank pages, one front one in back, will become the "endpapers" which you will glue onto the covers. After copying your final draft (by hand or computer printout) onto the inner pages of your signature and adding any illustrations, glue the outermost blank pages down to the inside of the front and back covers.

gluing the signature

Completing the Cover

7) A variety of media can be used to put the title, author and illustrator's name and any desired illustration, on the outside of the front cover. Now you have your own finished book!

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