I ordered a small hand held portfolio from Lulu.com today. I have no idea how it will turn out, but it was pretty cheap and could be something nice to give away to potential clients.
I could print myself, but after paper and ink costs alone I would be losing money...I am not even taking my time into account. What is hard to consider is that printing is never as easy as it seems. No matter how simple something is it always goes wrong. Its either your fault or the printers fault (in this case my Epson R2400). The classic things I forget are bleeds, spelling, image size, and type size ratio. The printer usually smudges, runs out of ink, the rollers are covered in paper dust and will not grab the paper, or there is a COMMUNICATION ERROR. One easy way to deal with human error issues is printing thumbs of your work before hand. My only issue with this is that is takes my printer 45 minutes of processing a job to accomplish this task even if I export it as a pdf. The printer issues are more complicated in usually involve a ritual dance where I bounce from foot to foot yelling obscenities at the computer while holding up the paper and yelling "see what you've done! How is this ok??" Basically, fixing the computer is on a computer-by-computer basis. For roller issues I suggest getting Epson Cleaner sheets. It does not matter if you have an Epson or not it works for any computer. The paper is sticky and acts as a lint roller to pick up paper dandruff off the rollers...much cheaper than bringing it in to get serviced.
Ok so you have overcome all these issue and now you have pages printed, yay! But wait there is more. Now you have to cut the pages down. I used to use the old exacto-ruler method...boy did I screw up a lot..which means back to the printer, yay! Now I have a very fancy paper cutter from the 70s; my beautiful Premier. It saves my fingers and poor judge of a straight line. But really the kicker is that once you have all these pages beautifully cut you have to bind them together. Perfect binding is the easiest, but it if the pages are held together tight enough then you can have glue seepage, which means the pages will stick together and your beautiful pages become gross.
Doesn't that make you want to run home and try to print a book!
Will let you all know how the Lulu experiment goes. The book was 19 dollars after tax and shipping. It is full color, saddle stitched, and 46 pages. There is also blurb, but Lulu had more layout size options.
All this work made me hungry, lunch anyone?