Self Publishing Tools
I've found some great tools to help me with self publishing my music. In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm an affiliate for these product. So if you decide to purchase one of them with the links below, I will get a small commission. But this won't change the price for you. I hope you find this helpful.
I LOVE this printer. It can print on large paper, A3, Tabloid 11x17, and even 12x18. I print 11x17 choral scores in booklet format and saddle staple (see below) them for a nice professional finish. I can also print 12x18 booklet orchestral parts for the full concert size look.
The ink can be a bit pricey. To get more for your money, make sure you get the Epson 252 XL black cartridge which comes with a lot more ink (see link below).
We use this printer with our community orchestra, the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra to print orchestral parts. I use it all the time to print choral scores and other instrumental scores. I can do it myself, don't have to rely on a FedEx Office employee to get it right, and it looks nice and professional. Highly recommended!
I like the first option here best. It comes with the XL black cartridge and the 3 color cartridges. Option 2 is just the XL black cartridge, which you'll use a lot for black and white printing. Option 3 is just the refill for your color cartridges.
This saddle stapler is a life saver! It's very easy to use and makes your choral and other 11x17 or 12x18 folios look very nice.
Use regular staples, not the fat heavy duty staples. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the staples right in the correct place, but it's not a steep learning curve. I use this all the time!
This beauty is such a money saver. FedEx Office and other print shops charge $5 for the binding of 1 spiral coil bound folio. I print so many of these that I got super tired of paying $5 for such a simple task. Option 1 is what I use. It has a manual lever and can punch up to 20 pages at a time.
Option 2 has an electronic component for inserting the coils, which is why it's more expensive. Entering the coils by hand is really easy, but it can be time consuming. So the electronic machine can be a time saver.
The BEST part about these binding machines is that they are open ended in the "insert-paper" slot. This means that you can punch binding hold in long 11x17 or 12x18 paper. All you do is insert the pages, punch, then flip them around, reset the placement bar, and punch again to get the holes all down the long edge of a big score. Very professional looking! There's nothing that bugs me more than a large score handed to a conductor with a 12 inch binding when the paper is 17 or 18 inches long. Yuck!
Both of these binding machines comes with a coil clipper/krimper. It's the little tool you use to snip off the excess coil at the end and bend it down so the pages don't fall out.
Now all you'll need are some nice spiral coils and you'll be ready to go. See below.
The very best place to find all varieties, colors and lengths of spiral coils is www.MyBinding.com. FedEx Office, Office Depot and other print shops typically do not carry the large 18 inch coils that should be used for binding 11x17 full scores. So I buy boxes of my own. Together with the binding machines above, you'll be in perfect shape for all your binding needs. Persaonlly, I like the Clear coils. They have a smoother look than the generic Black, at least to my eyes.
Paper & Card Stock
For my Large 11x17 covers, I use this Springhill 90 lbs. Card Stock. It's very sturdy card stock and it's much cheaper to buy it in a ream of 250 sheets than it is to buy a couple sheets at a print shop. Even if I'm forced to print at a print shop if my printer is not working, I bring in my own paper.
The Same goes for my covers on Legal size scores. I use the Springhill 90 lbs. stock.
The great thing about printing on Legal Size -- if you can convince your conductor to use this size -- is that the paper is generally quite a bit less expensive than large 11x17 paper.
This stuff is awesome! It's a little thicker than normal paper which works perfectly for orchestral or band parts. And the 12x18 size means you can print in booklet format on your new big printer, fold them over, saddle staple them, and have nice 9x12 Concert size orchestral parts or folios of another kind. Every time I've provided parts like this for one of my pieces or for a copy job for another composer, the players LOVE them! They are big, bright and thick enough so you don't see through to the other side.
Very highly recommended!