A rough dummy

I bought a small amount of the paper that I think I’ll use for the book, cut it down into the appropriately sized sheets and folded them into a dummy, which is a mock-up of what you’re going to print. These are often blank, but they can have material in them as well. They’re designed to get a feel for the physical parameters of a book and fix problems before you’re too far down the road to make changes without effort and expense.

I’m not positive this is the right paper. I like a lot about it, but the deckle edge may be a problem. I’ll be meeting with the expert bookbinder on Monday to talk about details, but if she thinks it should be gathered into four sets of two larger sheets, the deckle edge won’t alternate finished pages, but be grouped alternating with groups of straight-cut pages. (Each sheet will have four finished pages front and back, folded down. It's likely the binder won’t want a gathering of the eight folded sheets as separate foldings of four, but prefer two sheets in four groups, as shown in the photos below, for heft.)

I have to decide if these aesthetics work. If not, I may either opt to use the same paper and trim the deckle edge or switch to a similar paper with a machined edge. The deckle edge is nice, but it's not critical, since I'm not using paper that's made a sheet at a time to the size required for the book. That would be more precious and more worth preserving. Here, this is continuously made paper produced by machine, and thus the deckle edge is a nice artifact, but a little more artificial in its way than handmade paper (even when the handmade paper is made in large quantities commercially, rather than by a small-batch artisan).

Still, it's great to feel how thick the book will be. The bookbinder will help me resolve questions so I can proceed on design ideas for the cover. Will it be case bound, the traditional hardcover style you’re used to? I would like that, but there are many other options. Cost and time are determining factors, too. I was hoping to customize covers, too, or some element of the book, so any process I use, I have to factor in whether I'll be able to incorporate that customization.