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I would like to self-publish a book with a binding that allows for the book to stay open if you put it down on a desk. What would be an affordable way of accomplishing this?

Perhaps you need to know the size of the book in order to answer this. 8 by 11 would be too big, but the standard paperback would be too small.

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Generally there is one called Perfect Bound which is a lay flat binding.

CreateSpace.com (selfpublishing arm of Amazon) uses this and I've had good results with those books laying flat and being longlasting. I write technical books and my book Launch Your Android App - amazon link is published by CreateSpace and available in that format and it does indeed lie flat. See more about Perfect Bound binding at createspace : https://forums.createspace.com/en/community/thread/7810

Also to see the numerous sizes that you can publish your book in at CreateSpace, check out : https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp?sitesearch_query=interior%20sizes&sitesearch_type=SITE

O'Reilly Technical books uses a special version of Perfect Bound called RepKover, which they believe makes the books lie flat even better. See more at: http://www.oreilly.com/pub/pr/1149

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  • How big is your book? I've been talking to various self-publishing houses about perfect binding, and they are skeptical that it would allow my book (7x9 inches, 300 pages) to lay open. – Joe Strout Oct 20 at 0:16
  • Also: is there any way for a self-publisher to get access to that RepKover process? – Joe Strout Oct 20 at 0:17
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You don't really have many options, I think. If you print a book then when it comes out of the printer, the pages will want to close unless it has gone through a lot of wear and tear in the past. What I'd try, for keeping the book open, would be Wire Bindings or Wire-O Bindings, as others call them. They sound about right for the dimensions of your book, but they won't really assist in making it look like a 'book'. They'll more make it look like an organiser or notebook, so be warned of that.

Off the top of my head, they're the only things that can keep the book open.

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    I've seen some wire-bound books that had a cover that wrapped around (and thus covered) the wire spine, leaving a place for a visible title, while shelved. Not perfect, but IMHO wire-binding does open nice and flat. – Catalyst Jan 6 '17 at 11:44
  • @Catalyst - I once bought a Sudoku book with this binding, and for working puzzles it was great. For my book, folding the book back would not be necessary. What is your opinion of the answer by SaberWriter? Daniel, what do you think about the CreateSpace Perfect Bound idea? – aparente001 Jan 7 '17 at 3:42
  • Yeah, it sounds fine. I've never heard of perfect binding before, so I was happy to hear about it. @aparente001 – Featherball Jan 7 '17 at 7:22
  • @aparente001, when I want a book to open completely flat (e.g. map-book or music), I prefer comb or wire bound. That said, this is a personal/subjective choice. – Catalyst Jan 7 '17 at 13:26
  • @Catalyst - Do the self-publishing companies offer wire bound, though? – aparente001 Mar 11 '17 at 1:21

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