The following are our most frequently asked questions, if you don’t find your answer here, feel free to call, or email your question to info@grimmbindery.com:

Do you have a minimum order?

No minimum, you can print some poetry out on your computer and send the sheets in to have just one book bound! You can take Mom’s (or Dad’s) favorite cookbook that’s falling apart, dirty and unsightly and send it in for a brand new cover (or we can make a copy of the old cover to bring it back to life). Just one book, that’s one of the things we’re great at that people just don’t realize they can do! One photo album, 10 family history books, 500 textbooks rebound, a years worth of craft magazines bound into one or two books in order to save all those projects, a special memory book of letters for that one of a kind retiring teacher, if you can think it up we can bind it up!

What do I need to know about paper if I’m printing my own book?

It’s a little different if you’re doing one book or a quantity of books, so below are the answers for two scenarios, the first for binding one book, the second for binding 50 or more books:

One Book: The good news is that we can sew just flat sheets. Some people think you have to go through a traditional printing of what’s called “folded signatures” done by printers. But, that’s not the case; we can bind any stack of papers! If the paper is too thick, your pages won’t turn very well, so just 20-28# copy paper works great! If your printer is talking about “text weight” and suggesting 70# or 80# that’s OK too. Unfortunately, the weight you see in #’s for paper is based on the original size of the paper. So, for 20 lb bond it’s based on smaller sheets, when you see 70# text weight, it’s usually really big sheets. So, 20 lb bond is probably pretty close to 60 lb text. Best to look at the paper, hold it in your hands and see if it flops over. Card stock is a bad idea as the pages won’t turn at all (unless you have it scored). When you hold card stock, or paper that is too heavy, it will be in a big block and will not flop over nicely.

So, if you print a poetry or memory book on your computer for a special birthday gift, you can send in the sheets like they are and we can bind it. There is a “grain” for paper, to you this means that your book will lay much nicer if you bind it as it is when printed normally or “vertical”. However, if you decide to print “landscape” or the long way, your grain will now be what we call “cross-grain” and your book will have to be oversewn for it to hold well. In addition, the pages won’t lay very nice, but stand up like little soldiers. You’ve probably read books in the past where you have to hold the pages down as you read. This is a result of a “cross-grain” problem. When the paper is thinner, it also can pucker and wave the pages. All around it’s a BAD idea and you should really make sure the grain is parallel to the binding edge if you care about how it looks or lays. If you want a smaller book, it’s advised that you print vertical and then just have us cut the pages down. It takes more paper, but your book will be much the happier for it! We can bind it when cross-grain and we do it all the time as many people print before they ask – hopefully you’re reading this BEFORE you’ve printed your book!

50+ Books: If you decide to have us do the printing, we’ll go over all your choices with you, so this is mostly for those having things printed elsewhere, or for printers needing to know what’s required. The first and most important to us is actually the “grain” of the paper. The best visual I can think of is wooden fences that are put up (around here for snow, other places at temporary events). They are made of long thin slats of wood and each is attached to the next with wire. They come rolled up in a big roll. Paper is the same way. There is one way that it rolls “nice” and the other way it fights and is stiff.

The proper way for binding is for the grain to be parallel to the binding edge. In other words, so it can roll out nicely, not stiffly. If the printer is using a press, they use big rolls of paper that come with the grain as it would for the roll of fencing, parallel to the roll. Then, depending upon the size of your book, they usually will run it to waste as little paper as possible. If the printer is using copy paper on high speed copiers, then the grain starts “long”. So, on the 8 1/2″ x 11″ size, if bound on the long edge, grain is correct. People often decide to get twice as many per page by printing “2 up” and then cutting the paper in half for a 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ book. In that case, you’re grain will be wrong unless you’re binding on the short edge for an oblong book. Your printer may be able to buy special paper that comes “grain short”. So, instead of 8 1/2″ x 11″, they buy 11″ x 8 1/2″ and the grain will be correct for “2 up” printing. Those numbers probably looks the same to you, but the way the number is listed, shows the way the grain goes (usually – some office supply companies don’t have a clue about grain, so they just list it however they list it. So be careful.)

If the grain is “cross grain,” meaning the wrong way, we can still sew the book but there is an extra charge as it would have to be oversewn. It also won’t lay as nice. I’m sure you’ve had books where you open them up and all the pages stand up like little soldiers, so when reading you just hold them down. And you’ve also probably had paperback books that had pages falling out by the time you were done (oversewing prevents them from falling apart). Both of those are samples of cross grain problems. When the paper is thinner, it also can pucker and wave the pages. All around it’s a BAD idea and you should really make sure the grain is parallel to the binding edge if you care about how it looks or lays. If you want a smaller book, it’s advised that you print vertical and then just have us cut the pages down. It takes more paper, but your book will be much the happier for it! We can bind it when cross-grain and we do it all the time as many people print before they ask – hopefully you’re reading this BEFORE you’ve printed your book!

The pages need to come collated and ready to bind. They can be just loose sheets or folded signatures. If you want the book smaller than what you have, we can do a pre-trim to the size before it’s bound for an extra charge, which we do leaving room for the extra 1/8″ mentioned above. The type of paper isn’t really important to us, just so it’s not anything close to card stock, which would be much too thick for a book as the pages won’t turn. If you’re doing two sided, you’ll probably want offset paper which doesn’t bleed through as much. The printer should be able to guide you in that respect. Just normal copy paper really does just fine if it’s printed one sided (and probably the least expensive also). For two sided printing, a 24 or 28 lb copy paper would be better. 32 lb is on the brink of being a bit too thick. I wouldn’t use it if it were MY binding! For a family history, you may want to consider acid free paper so it will last through all your future generations – though almost all papers are now acid free.

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What do I need to know about margins if I’m printing my own book?

To decide what margins to use, you may first want to go to a bookstore, library or just look around your house and take a look at different margins to see what you like. There are no right or wrong margins. We see them from ¼” to 1 ½”. You do need to know that we do a finishing trim of 1/8″ from the top, front and bottom after binding to give your book a nice crisp look. Also, the sewing takes up about 1/8″ from the binding edge (1/4″ if oversewn is needed). We recommend that you leave at least ¼” beyond what our trim will take.

What are my choices for covers?

We have a number of standard choices for covers, however, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, we can probably still do it if you’ll just explain your thoughts! Common choices are book cloth, buckram, linens, imitation leathers & coated papers which are available in a rainbow of colors. They are then hot foil stamped with your title or artwork in your choice of foil color, the most common being gold, black or white. For that special book, you can choose from a number of beautiful Leathers in stock. We can also use your own art to produce a full color cover which is laminated and applied for the hard cover (as you would see a gardening book that shows the gardens on the cover). We also do ¾ and ½ bindings. The ¾ binding is where your corners and spine are in a different color. The ½ binding is where the spine is in a different color. You can also add raised bands or “hubs” to the spine for a more traditional look.

How do I find out prices?

The easiest way is to use our “Make A Book” app found at the top of any page.  You’ll be able to enter all the details of your order and see the costs at the right side of the screen as you add to your order.  Or, you can also just send an email with a description of your project including as much information (photos are great too) as to what you’re looking for to info@grimmbindery.com or give us a call at 608-221-4443, press “1” for general questions and pricing. You can also look through the different order forms at our “How to Order” page as pricing is listed within each form or for novelty items you can take a look at our novelty items page and pick what you want. You can order from stock or you can have one of our items totally personalized to your individual color and title!

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Do you have ideas for special, “one of a kind” gifts?

Birthday gifts: Letters from friends & family in deluxe leather binding telling that special loved one about memories and stories that each person has about them. Have us bind a poetry book about each year of their life or how they’ve affected yours. Find their favorite book and leather bind it with their name or inscription imprinted in gold on the cover. Have Mom’s favorite cook book rebound so the pages are once again held together. We also have blank books and journals available that you can personalize with your own title! A product called “Create Young Authors” book kit has pages and materials to allow any child to author their own book. It even includes the cost to have it professionally bound! We also have “book safes” which are lock boxes bound inside a book cover. We have stock styles (basic keyed cash box, a combination cash box and a high security/low profile lock box, gun storage models, fire resistant and a petite) or you can have one made to order with your own title!

Valentine’s Day gifts: Poetry is always a favorite here. Even if just some photos with a few words of love and appreciation for your Valentine. Bound in red with a personalized note. You could also rebind your sweetheart’s favorite book in one of our beautiful, genuine leathers. If he or she enjoys writing, the hand-made journals we have would be a great choice! Or, if you’re ready to pop the question, why not do it in the pages of a book with the ring hidden at the back by a picture of you on bent knee. It will be a book she’ll never forget!

Retirement gifts: We do many books filled with letters of appreciation for that favorite teacher, boss or co-worker every year. Or, for a joke, just a blank book entitled “Every thing I know about <their profession here> by <their name here>.

Graduation gifts: Be it from grade school or high school have those special pages of their work that you’ve been saving all these years bound into a nice book to hold them forever. Get them out of boxes and on the shelves! For the college graduate, bind together the correspondence (emails & letters) between you and them for the first years away from home. Otherwise have a post binder made to order for a college scrap book – photos, articles and awards can all be added as they happen! A book safe can be convenient for the dorm room too.

Christmas gifts: Our blank books are popular here for jokes, journals or personalized diaries for a young person. Or rebind that favorite Christmas book you read every year to your children, now for your grandchildren to enjoy! Gather favorite family recipes and make your own family cookbook – you’ll have everyone taken care of with one gift!

Baby or Wedding gifts: Custom photo albums can be constructed from any cover material you would like to provide. So, for a new baby, you could pick from a number of baby patterns at your local fabric store. For a unique wedding album, if you’re connected to the wedding, you could get extra fabric from the attendants’ dresses or even the wedding dress itself! We also have customers who do up blank books or journals for every occasion.

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How do I send an order in?

For fastest service, please use our “Make A Book” link found at the top of any page.  This will allow you to make the choices for all the details of your custom bookbinding project.  You can upload a PDF file to print, or you can choose the option to send in existing pages or a book for repair, restoration or rebinding.  The “Make A Book” app will print out an order form with all your choices so you can send it in with the book (or the app will upload your print file and instructions, so we can start on your order right away. 

You can also do it the old fashioned way and just send it to:

Grimm Book Bindery 6880 Gisholt Drive Madison, WI 53713

You may use one of our order forms located on the “How to Order” page or you can just enclose a letter with instructions on what you want done. Try to be as specific as possible and make sure to include your email address or a daytime phone number so we can contact you with questions. For shipping to us, use what you’re used to, most items arrive via UPS, Priority Mail or Federal Express. You may also want to insure the package (which is very inexpensive, usually just .30-.40¢ per $100 of insurance). Our thought is that if it’s insured, they’ll probably take better care of it and then you’re covered in case of loss. For treasured items, our experience has found Federal Express Air to be the most dependable.

We do require at least 50% down to start an order and the balance before it’s shipped out. We accept checks or money orders, MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express. Giving a credit card number with the expiration date is usually easiest as there’s less back and forth with invoicing, etc. But if you prefer checks, that’s fine too and we’ll also send a PayPal invoice if that’s your preference. Depending upon your item, the binding time may be 1-6 weeks. If you need something faster or by a definite date there are a number of ways to have your item on a guaranteed date up to 24 hour turnaround, just ask. We currently ship via UPS Ground service, but many expedited or air options are also available upon request.

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If I live in the area, can I drop my order off?

Sure! We love to see our customers. We have helpful customer service representatives to assist you with your order from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday- Friday. We are closed on weekends. You do not need to make an appointment, but can just stop in. It’s probably even advised if you live in the area as you can then see all the options available to you, to be able to feel the actual materials and get ideas from our knowledgeable staff.

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How do I get to your location?

We are located to the EAST of the Monona Walmart Super Center. Take Highway 12/18, which is also called the Beltline Highway to the South Towne Drive exit (which is the 3rd exit West of I90/94). Go South on South Towne Drive. Within a block or so, you´ll enter a “Roundabout”. Go ¾ of the way around and then veer off to the right (which is Industrial Drive). Visually, you´re taking a left on Industrial; it just has to be done by going around the circle. Follow Industrial Drive down a few blocks, it will then curve to the left (and becomes “Gisholt Dr.”) follow the curve and you´ll find us on the Right just past Quality Pumps – Walmart will be across the street from us. Our building is yellow and says Grimm Book Bindery in big red letters (beyond our many large pine trees!)

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Do you offer pickup and delivery?

We offer pickup and delivery to the Madison area each Friday. We also have a 4 week schedule set up for various areas in Wisconsin and Illinois. If you need a pickup, you just need to call or email at least one day prior to the pickup date.

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How long does it take to get a book bound?

It really depends on the item you have and we can always “rush” for an additional charge to get it done when you need – as fast as the same day with management approval. But normally: Theses are done in 6 working days; Personalized Journals, Blank Books & Book Safes ship in 1-3 days; New Binds, Repairs or Restorations take 4-6 weeks, Genealogies & Vanity Press have a turnaround time negotiated in the quote to meet your needs. It’s hard to pinpoint without knowing what work will actually be needed on your specific item, so feel free to call or email with a description of your item and we’ll let you know the normal turnaround!

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What form of payment do you accept?

We accept MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express. Giving a credit card number with the expiration date and security code is usually easiest as there’s less back and forth. But if you prefer checks or money orders, that’s fine too. And of course, cash is always welcome.

If you have further questions, feel free to call 608-221-4443 or email info@grimmbindery.com.


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M. Allured

Hi Tracy, The books arrived this morning. Thanks for a beautiful job. You are great to work with. All the best, – Mike Allured MC...

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