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Last updated on Jan 16, 2023

How to Make a Book: Build a Beautiful Hardback by Hand

When we talk about how to make a book in 2023, we often talk about exporting files to Kindles and other ebook readers. But what about the old-fashioned art of making a book by hand? Some say that bookbinding is a dying art — but we reckon it’s due for a comeback.

In this post, we’ll show you how to make a beautiful book. Not just any blank tome but a beautiful novel, memoir, or non-fiction book — formatted to a professional standard, and bound in a hardback cover. And the best part is that it should cost you no more than fifteen or twenty dollars!

So if you’ve written a piece of fiction or non-fiction and you want to know how to make a copy that you can gift to someone special (or have as a keepsake), simply follow all the steps below. Or if you’re looking to create a blank notebook, feel free to jump straight to step four .

How to make a book:

1. Compile the content for the project

2. format the pages, 3. print the book on paper, 4. assemble the binding for the spine, 5. create the cardboard book cover, 6. join the pieces to make your book, 7. design a dust jacket.

how to make the books

Here's what you'll need:

  • Printing Paper (A4 or Letter Size), uncoated 70-80 gsm
  • 2 sheets of decorated paper (A4 or Letter size), 90-100gsm
  • Elmer’s glue (or PVA Glue)
  • Hot melt glue gun  (they cost, like, ten bucks)
  • Craft knife
  • Large bulldog clips
  • Good-quality material or paper (for your cover)
  • Thin fabric (large handkerchief, perhaps, or a purpose-made  bookcloth )
  • Metal ruler
  • High-quality cardboard

Once you have these 'ingredients' in place, you're ready to learn how to make a book.

This is where we digitally typeset your book of choice and arrange the pages in a way that will help us seamlessly bind it. There are a few pieces of software that will allow you to typeset a book. However, we will recommend you use the Reedsy Book Editor, for three reasons:

  • It creates professional-grade print-ready files that are easy to read
  • It requires no training and has next to no learning curve

It just so happens to be made by our team at Reedsy — but that’s how we know that it'd be one of the best tools for the job, even if it wasn’t free. It automatically creates your copyright page and handles text like a dream. To see how to use the editor to format your book , check out this video made by our designer, Matt:

ZF6MHRgMQIo Video Thumb

Tip: If you want to create your own special edition of a classic title, head to Project Gutenberg and download the text to thousands of titles now in public domain.

When you export your book, you’ll get a number of trim size options. Select Digest (5.5” x 8.5”), which is exactly the size of a piece of Letter paper folded in half.

Choose your trim size

Then, once you’ve exported your file as a PDF, you can then move onto the printing process.

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If you were to tear almost any hardcover edition apart, you will see that they’re actually made up of individual booklets of paper bound together by glue or thread. These are called folios , and they’re made up of folded ‘signatures.’

What is a signature?

A signature is a single piece of paper with pages of text printed on both sides. They are folded (and sometimes cut) before being assembled into a folio – which is essentially a booklet.

Fun fact: The number of pages in a folio is always a multiple of four — often 16 or 32 pages. That’s why you often see blank pages at the end of a book.

how to make the books

For our project, the signatures will be single sheets of letter-sized paper with two pages printed on each side. We will assemble eight signatures into folios that house 32 pages of our book. Because of how each piece of paper nestles into this arrangement, each signature must be printed in a specific order — and we'll show you how to do that.

Download Adobe Acrobat Pro

Seeing as we’re dealing with PDFs, why not use the tool created by the people who invented the PDF?  Adobe Acrobat Pro is a paid-for tool, but the good news is that just about all Adobe’s creative software comes with a free 30-Day trial.

Once you’ve downloaded the software, open the PDF file.

Make sure your pages are labeled correctly

When you first open the file in Adobe, select “Organize Pages” to see all your pages laid out.

how to make the books

The first thing you’ll need to check is that all the pages are numbered correctly. If you see the page numbers go back to 1 after the front matter (title page, copyright page, etc), you will need to reset the page labels so that it will print properly:

how to make the books

If this is the case, right-click the first page and choose 'Page Numbering.' Then where “Selected” is highlighted, change the setting to 'All.'

how to make the books

This will then label all the pages sequentially and you’re just about ready to print!

how to make the books

Print your book in 32-page booklets

Hit ‘Print,’ and you will see the option to print a booklet that will properly arrange your book into signatures. However, to make sure you don’t just crank out a single unwieldy booklet, print the book 32 pages at a time. Here's how you do it:

  • Select 'Pages' and type in 1 - 32.
  • Under 'Page Sizing & Handling,' select 'Booklet':

how to make the books

  • Then print out pages 1 -32.
  • The pages will need to be printed on both sides of the paper. If your printer supports ‘duplex printing’ it will automatically print on both sides. Otherwise, you’ll need to flip the papers halfway through.
  • You will now have the first 32 pages printed out.
  • Pages 33 - 64
  • Pages 65 - 96
  • Pages 97 - 128
  • And so on….

You may wish to print out multiple copies. If you slip up later in the process, you won’t have to start all over again. Or, if you want to give it a few tries to make a perfectly bound copy, this will give you that leeway.

Top tip: If this sounds too complex, you can go to your local copy shop (Kinkos, et al) and explain to the assistant what you're doing. They'll be more than happy to help.

Choosing the right paper

A massive part of the reading experience comes from feeling the paper under your fingers as you flip through the pages — so selecting the right paper stock is essential. If the paper is too thin and light, the more delicate it will be during the binding process. Choose a stock that's too heavy and thick, then you’ll have trouble folding the signatures (and preventing your novella from looking like a doorstop).

You can source your paper online. Or, even better, go to a stationery store where you can get your hands on the stock before you buy it. If your aim is to create a book that feels professional, our advice is to look for a paper stock that’s:

  • 70 or 80 gsm (grams per square meter)

If you like the idea of using recycled paper — that’s great. Just check out a sample before you commit to buying a ream.

You should now have your entire book printed and separated into folios made of eight sheets of paper (upon which 32 pages are printed).

Take the sheets that pages 1 - 32 are printed on and carefully fold each page in half — taking care to do it in the right direction. Then carefully assemble them in the right order and use an open stapler to secure them together like so:

Stapling Book Binding

You can staple them on a folded bath towel or an old pair of jeans so that you don’t damage your table. You will also have to bend the points of the staples with your own hands (or using a metal ruler, if you want to spare your fingers).

Between folios, you will want to alternate where you place the staples on the spine so that they don't bulge in places. You can arrange them as in the diagram above.

You will want the pages to be folded as tightly as possible — to achieve this, you can join them with an elastic band and then compress them under a stack of hardbacks and other heavy objects. If you want to, you can leave them there overnight.

And there you have it: your entire book, in a stack of 32-page folios.

how to make the books

Now it’s time to bind these folios together. In some bookbinding processes, stitching is used to join the folios, but in our case, we will use hot glue.

Keep your stack of folios neatly in order with your bulldog clips. Apply hot glue along the spines of the folios — taking care not to use too much glue so that it drips between the folios.

How to make a book: gluing the spine

Before the glue cools, apply the fabric to the spine. The fabric should only be affixed to the spine edge of the book — the sections that fall over the front and back cover should be free. Secure the fabric and the folios with bulldog clips.

make a book trim

In the best case scenario, you will only have to trim the edge opposite the spine.

Use your stack of folios to measure out two identical hardcovers on your pieces of cardboard. They should ideally be a millimeter-or-so larger than your pages.


Then, measure out a spine. This should have the same height as your front and back covers, while the width of the spine should equal the thickness of your bound folios AND both covers.

make a book, creating the spine

Using Elmer’s (or PVA) glue, affix the front and back cover and spine to the book cover paper or material. Leave one-and-a-half times the thickness of the card between the covers and spines). There should also be an inch of extra material around all sides. Make sure that the glue is spread evenly, and use a credit card to push out any bubbles that may have formed.

Glue hard covers make a book

Apply more glue to the inside of the cover and wrap the material around like so:

how to make the books

This part is a little delicate and will have a lasting impact on readability. The bound folio will now be attached to the hardcover. The loose wings of fabric on both sides of the spine will be affixed to the front and back covers using Elmer's glue.

Warning:  No glue should touch the spine board or the fabric on the spine of your bundle. Make sure they don’t stick together in any way.

how to make the books

Let these dry for an hour or two. Keep the covers open and clear of the pages. The best way to do this is by lying it on its back and propping the body up using other hardbacks.

Take the decorated lining paper and trim it so that it can be glued flush with the first page. Then when the book is ready, apply a thin layer of glue to the front cover and the first page, and stick on the lining paper. (Note that the amount of glue shown in the diagram is just for illustration purposes. Use just enough adhesive to cover the entire surface and ensure a solid stick.)

Repeat this process with the back cover.

how to make the books

Once you've joined all the pieces of your book together, an optional but highly recommended (and fun) final step is to design a stunning dust jacket for it. Not only can a dust jacket tie the project together (and protect your cardboard hardcover from damage), but it also adds a finishing touch to make your self-made book match any professionally-made book on the market.

A naked hardback can be beautiful on its own, but the common practice is to create a dust jacket that captures the essence of the book and clearly highlights what it's all about. Perhaps you've made your own version of your favorite public domain book because you can't find any covers that you like? This is your chance to rectify that.

You can design a dust jacket by yourself in book cover design software such as Canva or InDesign, or you can hire a professional designer to make your final product pop on your shelf.

Meet the best designers in the industry on Reedsy

And give your book a professional cover that readers will love

Learn how Reedsy can help you craft a beautiful book.

And there you have it! A beautiful work of art that will take pride of place on your bookshelf — and you made it all by yourself. Congratulations!

If you have any questions about making a book or using Reedsy’s formatting tool, drop us a comment in the box below.

Gabriella L Garlock says:

10/04/2018 – 22:12

This is really cool! just to know the directions are out there. I have studied bibliography, but it was long ago and of course it's an art some think is on the way out. Anyway, I've been making my own books with varying levels of finesse since I was a child, so there's a visceral satisfaction to the know-how. It would be interesting to have instructions on the stitching option as well, but I suspect we use the wrong kind of paper these days.

Comments are currently closed.

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Eye-catching eBook designs are essential to entice online readers to download your fantasy epic, graphic novel, or biography. From a gripping cover to pages that leave a lasting impression, design an eBook quickly and easily at any skill level with Adobe Express. Customize a free eBook template today to create your dream online book.

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Excite your readers with creativity on your side.

Adobe Express is here to inspire you to use creativity with every new project. With Adobe Express, you can design countless aspects of your eBook, using professionally designed templates for the cover, the pages, the table of contents, and social posts to market your book. There are endless creative opportunities to market your eBook like never before.

Let Adobe Express be your eBook design expert.

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how to make the books

Do you have a story you want to share with others, or maybe you’d like to create a unique gift for someone special? Making a homemade book is a rewarding and creative process that allows you to put your thoughts and ideas on paper in a truly personalized way. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to make your very own homemade book.

Materials Needed:

– Paper (A4 or letter size)

– Cardboard or thick paper (for the cover)

– Ruler

– Pencil

– Scissors

– Glue stick

– Needle and thread (or staples)

– Bone folder or an object with a flat edge (like a spoon)

Step 1: Prepare the Pages

First, decide how many pages you want your book to have. Remember that each sheet of paper will create four pages once folded. For example, if you want your book to have 20 pages, you will need five sheets of paper. Fold each sheet of paper in half twice horizontally, creating four equal sections on each page. Then, cut along the folds so you have individual pages.

Step 2: Assemble the Pages

Next, stack your pages in the order you want them to appear in the book. Be sure to align them well for even edges. Once assembled, fold them in half vertically with the content facing inward.

Step 3: Bind the Pages

To bind the pages together, thread your needle with a thread-length double the height of your book plus some extra for tying off. Starting at the top of the spine, sew through half of the page thickness from inside to out and then back in at equal intervals. Repeat this process for the remaining pages until you reach the bottom of the spine.

Step 4: Create and Attach the Cover

Measure the height and width of your folded pages and cut two pieces of thick cardboard or paper to create a cover slightly larger than your pages. Decorate the cover as desired using paint, colored paper, stickers, or any other materials you have on hand.

Apply glue to the spine of your pages and carefully attach it to your cover’s inside spine. Be sure to press firmly so the pages securely adhere. Use a bone folder or a flat object like a spoon to press out any air bubbles or excess glue from under the pages. Let the book dry thoroughly before moving onto the next step.

Step 5: Make Signatures (Optional)

If you want to add a more professional and polished look to your book, create signatures by sewing multiple small sections of folded paper together before attaching them to the cover. This can be done following the binding process explained in Step 3.

Step 6: Finish and Personalize Your Book

Now that your homemade book is complete, you can further personalize it by adding page numbers, a table of contents, and any other finishing touches you desire.

Congratulations! You now know how to make a homemade book from scratch. This unique creation can become a cherished keepsake for years to come or serve as a heartfelt gift for someone special. Let your imagination run wild and start creating!

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Simply import your ebook PDF on our digital book maker, in a matter of seconds. It’s as simple as a few clicks, and it only takes a few seconds. From here, you can continue using the online book maker to enhance your publication.

Add videos and other interactive elements to publish enhanced your online books. As the best online book maker, we provide the tools you need to not only attract an audience, but to keep them entertained.

When you’re ready, just click Publish and our online book maker will have it published in no time. Creating online books has never been this fast, and has certainly never been easier.

Online distribution is the best! Try email, social and website embeds. Your online books will be in the hands of readers in no time! All thanks to the most comprehensive online book maker on the market.

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Here are some digital books and book previews hosted on Flipsnack right now. These publishers have trusted us with their digital book publishing. Take a look, start reading, but don't waste a lot of time before you decide to give this a try yourself!

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Interested in self publishing? Flipsnack offers a few options to online book publishing, and to get your digital books out there. Whether it’s digital publishing or self publishing, Our digital book maker has your back. It’s the best way to make a printable book online!

Download and publish online The best book creator just keeps getting better. When you create your own book online, you can publish it right on our platform. It’s simple, it’s instant, and it’s self publishing made easy. Share with a select few Just because it’s online book publishing doesn’t mean you have to share it with everyone. If you want to send your digital book to a select few, you can even choose who to send it to and who can view it. Print If you want a physical copy of your online book, you can download and print the entire thing. Self publishing has never been easier. If you’ve got a great idea, you don’t have to wait. Online book publishing is often the fastest and easiest way to get your digital book published.

Frequently asked questions

1. 5 tips for better book designs.

We often judge a book by its cover, but the way the inside pages look is just as important for giving readers the best reading experience. Here are 5 tips for interior book design:    • Choose a suitable trim size    • Pay attention to front matter and back matter    • Don’t be afraid of margins    • Use a legible font. The most common ones are: Baskerville, Garamond and Sabon    • Use a good font size, usually 11 or 12 and pay attention to word spacing.

2. How do you layout an eBook?

When designing your eBook, keep in mind that there are two different types of layouts to choose from: reflowable or fixed.The reflowable one means that you get responsive texts and images and it’s great for most devices. A fixed layout on the other hand is the one you need for more graphic-heavy publications like cookbooks or illustrated children’s books. This type of layout locks your content in place like a PDF and allows for adding interactive elements.

3. What are some of the most used ebook formats?

Here are the most common 5 ebook formats:    • PDF    • Epub    • Mobi    • IBA    • AZW and AZW3

What else to try:

Flipsnack empowers you to create a variety of on-brand digital publications, from magazines to online catalogs, and more. Try it today!

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50 Must-Read How-To Books

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Sarah Nicolas is a recovering mechanical engineer, library event planner, and author who lives in Orlando with a 60-lb mutt who thinks he’s a chihuahua. Sarah writes YA novels as Sarah Nicolas and romance under the name Aria Kane. When not writing, they can be found playing volleyball or drinking wine. Find them on Twitter @sarah_nicolas .

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Want to learn a new skill or try out a new hobby? Here are 50 of the best how-to books written to teach you 50 different things. I tried to keep this list as random as possible, catering to a wide range of interests and topics, but of course I’m naturally drawn to certain things so there is some bias. (Half of the list would be food-related if I hadn’t stopped myself.)

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How to draw cool stuff: a drawing guide for teachers and students by catherine holmes.

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Basic Pottery Making by Linda Franz

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Radical candor: be a kick-ass boss without losing your humanity by kim scott.

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Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview by Thea Kelley

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How to Work for an Idiot by John Hoover

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Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessey

“As nightlife blogger, then social media strategist, and now Senior Director of Influencer Strategy and Talent Partnerships at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, Brittany Hennessy has seen the role of influencers evolve and expand into something that few could have imagined when social media first emerged. She has unrivaled insight into where the branded content industry was, where it is, and where it’s going.”

Investing QuickStart Guide by Ted D. Snow

“Bringing the wisdom of 30+ years in the finance industry to bear–much to the benefit of novice learners and experienced investors alike–Snow provides readers with the complete picture on stocks, bonds, treasuries, ETFs, mutual funds, indexes, REITS and several other investment securities. Snow’s intrepid but practical asset-allocation investment philosophy is masterfully communicated and highly appropriate for market newcomers. ”

How to Start A Successful Nonprofit by Niaja Farve

“This book will not only guide you through the necessities of starting a nonprofit, but also provide you with the skills and resources to ensure that your nonprofit lives past the first year and you create the good in the world you want to see.”

Food How-To Books

Tanoshii ke-ki: japanese-style baking for all occasions by chef masataka yamashita.

“Chef Yamashita shares a delightful collection of recipes for his signature sponge, chiffon and mousse cakes, so you can make these creations your own. With an additional section on special cakes that are gluten-free or eggless, everyone can join in the party!”

Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa

“As a professionally trained chef and avid home baker, she uses her experience to guide readers through the science and art of sourdough. With step-by-step master recipe guides, readers learn how to create and care for their own starters, plus they get more than 60 unique recipes to bake a variety of breads that suit their every need.”

The Beginner’s Guide to Cheese Making by Elena R. Santogade

“With the easy, step-by-step cheese making recipes specifically designed for beginners, you’ll be making the fresh, tasty cheeses that you love so much in no time.”

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt

“Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new—but simple—techniques.”

Games & Hobbies Books

The ultimate rpg character backstory guide by james d’amato.

“Ramp up your role-playing game (RPG) and make your character your own with this fun, interactive workbook—an essential addition to any player’s gaming kit.”

The Complete Book of Mah Jongg by Amy Lo

“The perfect guide for all skill levels to learn the different styles of Mahjong—from Mahjong beginners to pros.”

Chess Fundamentals by José Raúl Capablanca

“J.R. Capablanca was a World Chess Champion and one of the greatest players in chess history, yet he wrote very little about the game. Chess Fundamentals, though normally for the beginning player, contains valuable insights that will benefit players at all levels of understanding, including masters.”

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat—Not a Sour Puss by Pam Johnson-Bennett

“By understanding your cat’s motivations, needs and communication you can modify and prevent behavior problems, avoid common mistakes made by both novice and experienced owners, and ultimately continue to enrich and enjoy a relationship in which you are unconditionally loved, endlessly forgiven for your mistakes, never judged, and constantly entertained.

101 Magic Tricks: Any Time, Any Place by Bryan Miles

“Learn classic sleight of hand techniques that are simple enough for any apprentice to grasp. Conquer magical ruses that require no special equipment, and are explained with simple step-by-step instructions.”

Go: A Complete Introduction to the Game by Chikun Cho

“Written specifically for the western reader by one of the strongest players in the world, it presents the rules, tactics, and strategy of this unique game in a step-by-step, easy to understand way.”

Beeswax Alchemy by Petra Ahnert

“An introduction details the different ways in which beeswax has been used throughout history, as well as the products that contain it today. You’ll also find an explanation of the different types of beeswax, as well as insider tips on working with beeswax, followed by step-by-step instructions for making candles, balms, salves, creams, scrubs, soaps, ornaments, art, and more out of beeswax.”

The Student Pilot’s Flight Manual: From First Flight to Pilot Certificate by William K. Kershner

“Everything a student pilot needs to gain aviation certification is included in this handbook for student pilots.”

Bonsai: The Complete Step By Step Guide for Beginners by Hikaru Yamasaki

“With detailed descriptions and profiles, Yamasaki provides you with expert advice on growing, shaping, potting, cultivation techniques and more. Everything you need to know about growing bonsai is here.”

For even more books in this category, check out our lists Best Crochet Books , Best Cross-Stitch Books , and Woodworking Books for Beginners .

Health & Fitness Books

The american red cross first aid and safety handbook by american red cross and kathleen a. handal.

“The first moments after an injury occurs are the most critical. This authoritative guidebook, based on course materials used by Red Cross chapters across the United States, shows you how to handle every type of first aid emergency.”

T Is for Transformation by Shaun T

“Shaun T unveils the 7 transformational principles that guided his progress through life and that are at the core of his incredibly successful workouts. T is for Transformation is a motivational master class as Shaun shows you how to become more flexible and resourceful, give everything you’ve got, and, most importantly, trust and believe in your path to success.”

Idiot’s Guides: Ayurveda by Sahara Rose Ketabi

“Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system and sister science of yoga, originating in India 5000 years ago. It’s the age-old secret to longevity, digestive health, mental clarity, beauty and balance that’s regaining popularity today for its tried-and-trued methods.”

Stretching to Stay Young by Jessica Matthews

“Jessica meets you at your current level of stretching ability and guides you step-by-step through each stretch, arming you with the confidence you need to progress into deeper levels of stretching for enhanced flexibility and strength over time.”

Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice by Thich Nhat Hanh

“Designed to be both inspiration and guidebook for those new to mindfulness practice, Making Space offers easy-to-follow instructions for setting up a breathing room, listening to a bell, sitting, breathing, and walking meditations, and cooking and eating a meal in mindfulness.”

How-To Books For the Home

Organizing solutions for people with adhd by susan c. pinsky.

“Organizing Solutions for People with ADD outlines new organizing strategies that will be of value to anyone who wants to improve their organizational, or lack of, skills in their life.”

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines

“This comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and your instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style.”

Tiny House Design & Construction Guide by Dan S. Louche

“Your road map to the entire build process. By reading the guide you’ll understand the steps that will need to be taken and know where and how to start building your own tiny house.”

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr

“With signature sass and straight talk, Jolie takes on questions ranging from the basic—how do I use a mop?—to the esoteric—what should I do when bottles of homebrewed ginger beer explode in my kitchen? My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag proves that even the most nightmarish cleaning conundrums can be solved with a smile, the right supplies, and a little music.”

Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use by Art Ludwig

“A do-it-yourself guide to designing, building, and maintaining water tanks, cisterns and ponds, and sustainably managing groundwater storage. It will help you with your independent water system, fire protection, and disaster preparedness, at low cost and using principles of ecological design.”

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims

“Relevant to parents of toddlers as well as of twentysomethings-and of special value to parents of teens-this book is a rallying cry for those who wish to ensure that the next generation can take charge of their own lives with competence and confidence.”

Outdoor How-To Books

Basic fishing: a beginner’s guide by wade bourne.

“Expert angler and award winning outdoor writer Wade Bourne has created a step-by-step guide that masterfully breaks down the art of fishing with diagrams, vivid photographs, and lessons.”

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies by Carol Pasternak

“Raising Monarch butterflies is made easy with the help of this detailed guide. How to Raise Monarch Butterflies explains what threats Monarchs face today and how readers can help conserve the Monarch’s feeding grounds from encroachment. Revel in one of the most remarkable miracles of nature.”

Escape from the Ordinary by Julie Bradley

“Told with keen observations and sparkling with wry humor, Julie describes the terrors and pleasures of living a life of total independence on a sailboat where even simple decisions can have big consequences. This exhilarating, true story will thrill those planning to sail off into the sunset as well as armchair adventurers.”

The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair by Todd Downs

“Whether they own the latest model or a classic with thousands of miles on it, beginners and experienced cyclists alike can depend on this book to get their bikes out of the shop faster and keep them on the road longer.”

Personal Improvement Books

How to be a bawse: a guide to conquering life by lilly singh.

“The definitive guide to being a bawse—a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side.”

The Greatest You: Face Reality, Release Negativity, and Live Your Purpose by Trent Shelton

“Trent takes you through the necessary steps to become everything you are meant to be, from facing the reality of your circumstances and realizing your purpose in life, to breaking free from toxic environments and forgiving those–including yourself–who’ve harmed you, to learning how to guard yourself against the pitfalls of life.”

How to Get People to Do Stuff by Susan Weinschenk

“We all want people to do stuff. Whether you want your customers to buy from you, vendors to give you a good deal, your employees to take more initiative, or your spouse to make dinner–a large amount of everyday is about getting the people around you to do stuff. Instead of using your usual tactics that sometimes work and sometimes don’t, what if you could harness the power of psychology and brain science to motivate people to do the stuff you want them to do – even getting people to want to do the stuff you want them to do.”

The Body Language of Liars by Lillian Glass

“World-renowned body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass shares with you the same quick and easy approach she uses to unmask signals of deception–from “innocent” little white lies to life-changing whoppers.”

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders

This book “documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.”

How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip by Hitha Palepu

“Hitha Palepu, a former consultant who has traveled more than 500,000 cumulative miles around the world, shows that what and how you pack are who you are. Confidence and comfort inspire success upon arrival, whether you’re exploring a new city, hoping to nail a job interview, or relaxing on a beach.”

Science & Technology Books

Astronomy: a self-teaching guide  (eighth edition) by dinah l. moché.

“This classic beginner’s guide has been completely revised to bring it up to date with the latest discoveries. Updated with the latest, most accurate information, new online resources, and more than 100 new graphics and photos.”

Computer Hacking Beginners Guide by Alan T. Norman

“You’ll learn everything you need to know to enter the secretive world of computer hacking. It provides a complete overview of hacking, cracking, and their effect on the world. You’ll learn about the prerequisites for hacking, the various types of hackers, and the many kinds of hacking attacks.”

How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World by Michael Bierut

“He provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world. Inspiring, informative and authoritative, How to…is set to be the bible of graphic design ideas.”

Fictional How-To Books

How to archer by sterling archer.

“Lying is like 95% of what I do. But believe me: in this book, I’ll let you know exactly how to become a master spy just like me. Obviously, you won’t be as good at it as I am, but that’s because you’re you, and I’m Sterling Archer.”

How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters by Andrew Shaffer

“In the apocalyptic world we live in, Mother Nature is angry. Danger waits at every turn, and catastrophes like the Los Angeles sharknados have taught us that we need to be ready for anything. But fear not. How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters is the first and only comprehensive guide to surviving the very worst that Mother Nature can throw our way.”

Have you ever learned a new skill from a book? Do you have any recommendations for the best how-to books?

how to make the books

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The 100 Best Books of 2023, According to the New York Times

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How to Create an Ebook

Last Updated: July 14, 2021 Approved

This article was co-authored by Lucy V. Hay . Lucy V. Hay is a Professional Writer based in London, England. With over 20 years of industry experience, Lucy is an author, script editor, and award-winning blogger who helps other writers through writing workshops, courses, and her blog Bang2Write. Lucy is the producer of two British thrillers, and Bang2Write has appeared in the Top 100 round-ups for Writer’s Digest & The Write Life and is a UK Blog Awards Finalist and Feedspot’s #1 Screenwriting blog in the UK. She received a B.A. in Scriptwriting for Film & Television from Bournemouth University. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 86% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 103,211 times.

eBooks are popular, both with those who have a product to sell and those who have a story to tell. An effective way to drive traffic to your website is to offer an eBook that visitors find useful. Whether it's a short document that explores one idea or a book that's long enough to be printed on paper and shelved at a bookstore. For writers of fiction and nonfiction stories, eBooks are extremely popular. With many eBook publishing platforms, it's now easier than ever to get your story published. Using a service like Amazon's, authors can digitally distribute a book. This can eliminate the need for finding a publisher.

how to make the books

Using Word Processing Software

Step 1 Choose a writing platform.

  • There are many programs that allow you to write your book the way you want. Some people prefer to use Microsoft Word. You can easily add a title page, table of contents, and set the margins and align the text. Microsoft Word is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor. This means that the way your type looks on the page is how it will look when exported.
  • Some programs offer markdown language editors. This is similar to writing in a code language. Instead of hitting a button to bold or italicize a word, you would wrap the word in specific brackets of text. When exporting, the text converts to a final, view-ready version. [1] X Research source
  • There are many apps that are aimed at streamlining the setting up and writing process. Many of these are made to be distraction free, so you can get to the important part, writing. [2] X Research source
  • Apps like Scrivener or Ulysses III are very popular [3] X Research source [4] X Research source . These apps allow you to write in a markdown or WYSIWYG language. You can add notes, include research, and jump around your text. There’s also features that allow you to only see the page as if you were on a typewriter.
  • There’s also an option in Chrome’s apps called Writer that is a browser based minimal writing platform. [5] X Research source

Step 2 Start writing your book.

  • If this is your first book, try and keep it relatively simple. eReaders have made shorter, pulpier novels popular again. People can easily download your book and read it in a few hours. Consider keeping your book relatively short, give it a simple plot, and keep the style consistent. [6] X Research source
  • Focus on building your characters. People typically want to read about the characters and the importance of the situation you put those characters in. Think of your favorite books. Chances are you loved these books because the characters were compelling. Those compelling characters drove the plot forward.
  • Trying to throw too much into a plot, especially your first time around can be overwhelming. Don’t try to write the next Game of Thrones right now. Stick to a simple plot that has your personal spin thrown on it.

Lucy V. Hay

Lucy V. Hay

Consider an outline to help you get started. I think it's a really good idea to outline your book first if you want to be a professional writer. It can seem a little tedious, but it can really help you cut down on any problem areas in terms of your plot. You can also outline however you want—I put post-its on the wall and move them around until I decide on their order, and that's it.

Step 3 Focus on the “Who” you are writing about.

  • Trying to cram too much in at once will make your book hard to understand and follow.

Step 4 Set daily writing goals.

  • Trying to accomplish too much can make you feel discouraged or frustrated. The key to actually finishing a book is consistency.
  • It’s better to get something on the page every day than to put it off because you’re not in the mood. You can always go back and edit.

Step 5 Finish your book.

  • Go over your first draft and check to make sure that you’ve hit all the necessary plot points. Make sure your characters are fleshed out. Fix any continuity problems.
  • Then proofread and make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. You want your book to look as professional as possible.

Step 6 Convert the document to a PDF, which can be read by both PC and Mac users.

  • Publishing to sites like Amazon will be able to read many different files like HTML, Doc/Docx, and even RTF. However, you shouldn’t be ready to publish your book yet. You need to get it edited.
  • Convert your book to a PDF so that you can print it or electronically send it easily to an editor.

Editing Your eBook

Step 1 Workshop your book.

  • You can participate in online workshops or read aloud workshops. The goal is to get your work out there to others in the industry.
  • Getting your work seen and critiqued by other writers can be nerve-wracking. But these people will help you frame your story and make valuable revisions.

Step 2 Edit your book.

  • Not getting an editor to read over your book can make the difference between people loving it and no one downloading it. You should edit your book yourself first, then send it to an editor for a second, professional pair of eyes.
  • Edit as much as you need to yourself, but don’t edit if you don’t know what to edit. If you don’t know how to fix a problem area, you’ll chop up your story and have a hard time putting the pieces back in the right spot.
  • Over-editing is possible and dangerous. A big reason an editor is so valuable is because you’re too close to your book. You’ve spent a lot of time writing and editing. A second pair of eyes will help you find things you’ve overlooked.

Step 3 Ask a trusted friend to give your book a read.

  • Take the notes you’re given. You probably won’t like all the notes someone gives you. So read the notes, decompress, and after some time go back and incorporate the ones which are helpful. Don't use the ones which aren’t.

Step 4 Hire a professional editor to look over your book.

  • A professional editor is better than spellcheck. The last thing you want is a glaring spelling error in your book after all your hard work. Computers are a good helper, but only a trained pair of eyes can really catch errors you and your computer have missed. [9] X Research source
  • Your editor will bring a much needed objective eye to your work. Maybe you need to cut three chapters to shorten your story. Perhaps your title is misleading. An editor can help you find the true story underneath all the extra stuff you don’t need.

Step 5 Create the cover art.

  • Cover art is going to be a big selling point for your book. Even in an online marketplace, people judge books by the cover.
  • Consider hiring a professional graphic designer to create your book’s cover. Or, if you or a friend know how to design, you can take a stab at it.
  • Your cover should be exciting and related to the theme of your story. Look at the covers of your favorite books for inspiration. Notice what the cover says about the book.

Exporting Your Ebook to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Step 1 Prepare your eBook for self-publishing online.

  • Kindle Direct Publishing will accept a variety of file formats when uploading. Kindle uses a Mobi format to output the eBook so that eReaders can read it. But when uploading you can upload your manuscript as an HTML, Doc/Docx, RTF, Mobi, or ePub.
  • Use can use a program like Calibre to convert your manuscript to Mobi or ePub before uploading if you wish. [10] X Research source This sometimes makes the uploading easier and keeps any images or forms in your book intact.

Step 2 Decide on your format.

  • Standard formats are typically ePub and Mobi files. These formats allow readers to adjust the size of the text in an eReader. Note that in this form, there isn’t a set pagination as the size of the text will adjust how many words appear on a page. This format is good for text-heavy books.
  • Fixed layouts are better used in comics, children’s books, and books with a lot of pictures and graphs. This format preserves the qualities of a printed page. It’s more like looking at photos of a page on an eReader than reading “living” text.

Step 3 Choose how to publish on Amazon.

  • The standard KDP service allows you to upload your book to Amazon’s service for free. There’s no charge to upload the file. Author’s will receive about 30-35% of royalties while Amazon keeps the rest.
  • The KDP Select service gives Amazon an exclusive on your digital book for 90 days, meaning you can’t upload it anywhere else. You do receive closer to 70% of royalties. Amazon will also market your book for you through the Prime member’s lending library. You also have the option to make your book free or discounted for five days. During this time, it will show up on Amazon’s sales pages.

Step 4 Enter your book’s information.

  • You can sign in with your Amazon account. You will have to read and agree to the terms of service. Once completed you will have a publishing account.
  • Follow the uploading steps to add a title and enter your book’s details. The details allow you to specify if the book is part of series, book type, pricing, etc.
  • You can add you ISBN code if you have one. But it is not needed with Amazon.
  • Select your category. Amazon encourages you to add up to two categories to get better exposure. Search for books like yours and see which categories these books have used. You can also add up to seven keywords to make your book show up better in a search.
  • Finally, upload your cover. [13] X Research source Then you’re ready to upload.

Step 5 Upload your book.

  • Amazon allows you to choose if you want to enable digital rights management (DRM) or not. Enabling DRM makes it harder for others to copy and share your work without you earning payment. For example, someone can’t copy the file and download it to another eReader.
  • You most likely won’t lose any money or sales for not adding DRM, however.

Step 6 Preview your book.

  • Amazon does a pretty good job of retaining your book’s formatting, especially if you already had the book in a correct format, like Mobi. You can see how your book will look on a variety of devices from a Kindle to an iPhone to a browser window.
  • You should look over your book in all these options to make sure everything is how you want it.

Step 7 Set your price.

  • Choosing the 70% makes your book fall under the KDP Select option. You get the marketing benefits and ability to discount your book for a time. But, you aren’t allowed to upload it, or sell it anywhere else for 90 days. If you price your book below $2.99 USD, Amazon will only give you the 35% option.
  • Choosing to take the higher royalty also means that Amazon deducts a small “delivery fee”. This fee is usually 15 cents per megabyte. Most books with little to no graphics and roughly 100,000 words don’t go over 1 MB. There’s no charge if you take the smaller royalty.
  • Once you pick your royalty options, you are finished and your book is now available! Congratulations, you are a published author.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Consider using a program to format your completed eBook for eReaders like Amazon Kindle. If you prefer, you can find a service that will format your book for you for a fee, since reformatting your eBook can get complicated. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • iBooks uses the ePub format. So if you choose to upload there, you will have to convert your manuscript if you had it in another format. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Consider buying software specifically designed to create eBooks. Specialized software will allow you to decide which features your eBook needs. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

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  • ↑ http://markdowntutorial.com/
  • ↑ http://lifehacker.com/the-best-apps-for-any-kind-of-writing-1563998071
  • ↑ http://www.ulyssesapp.com/
  • ↑ http://literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
  • ↑ https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/writer/hlddiopdeghmcmdjjmpdegemnojihpib
  • ↑ http://blog.bookbaby.com/2011/12/top-3-tips-for-writing-your-first-novel/
  • ↑ http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/03/how-to-revise-your-novel-through-a-read-aloud-and-critique-workshop/
  • ↑ http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/14/importance-good-book-editing
  • ↑ http://blog.bookbaby.com/2012/11/your-book-needs-professional-editing-and-you-shouldnt-be-ashamed/
  • ↑ https://calibre-ebook.com/
  • ↑ http://blog.bookbaby.com/2012/07/ebooks-101-standard-vs-fixed-layout/
  • ↑ http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account/mm-summary-page.html?ie=UTF8&ld=AZFooterSelfPublish&topic=200260520
  • ↑ https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2J0TRG6OPX0VM

About This Article

Lucy V. Hay

To create an ebook, start by converting your book to a PDF, which can be read by both PC and Mac users. Next, send your book to an editor for an objective opinion. Then, create a compelling and thematically relevant piece of cover art. You may even consider hiring a professional since the cover is what will grab readers' attention. Finally, you can self-publish via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. To make uploading your ebook easier and to ensure all the formatting and images remain intact, use a program like Calibre. To learn how to set the price for your ebook, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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These Books Will Make Your Relationship Stronger

We asked 14 psychologists, counselors and therapists for the titles they recommend to couples.

An illustration of a couple embracing; one person holds a book in front of their faces; the technique is cut paper

By Hope Reese

There’s evidence that strong relationships are central to our happiness and well being . But getting along with others is complicated, and maintaining healthy romantic partnerships in particular can be challenging.

Therapy can help couples examine “the dance, the pattern, the cycle, the choreography” of their relationship, but it’s not accessible to everyone, said Alexandra Solomon, a psychology professor at Northwestern University and host of the “Reimagining Love” podcast. Books often serve as an informal “training program” that help partners learn new skills or gain different perspectives, she added.

We asked 14 psychologists, counselors and therapists for book recommendations that can help nourish relationships. These seven titles rose to the top of the list.

1. “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide From the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert,” by John Gottman and Nan Silver

Recommended by several of the therapists we interviewed, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” offers practical tips to strengthen relationships, from “turning toward” each other to overcoming gridlock (which happens when couples are stuck on one disagreement).

Dr. Gottman — along with his wife, Julie Gottman — has been studying what makes couples work for decades . In this book, he and his co-author, Ms. Silver, unpack research on “couples that survive and couples that don’t,” said Jodie Milton, a relationship coach (trained in the Gottman Method) based in Portugal. The resulting advice is rooted in those findings, she said.

2. “Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life,” by Emily Nagoski

Misconceptions about low libido can cause “a lot of conflict in relationships and a lot of shame for women,” Ms. Milton said. But “Come as You Are” dives into the science of sex, arguing “that there’s no such thing as a sex drive,” she said. Instead, Dr. Nagoski asserts that people have a brake and accelerator, and these mechanisms cause arousal.

Amy Julia Cheyfitz, a sex therapist based in the D.C. area, said that the book “normalizes the variety of ways we engage in sex.”

3. “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love,” by Sue Johnson

Dr. Johnson is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, an approach that homes in on strengthening the emotional connection between partners. In “Hold Me Tight,” she deftly explores how people in relationships can struggle to maintain connection, said Jean Fitzpatrick, a psychotherapist and marriage counselor in New York.

“Without blaming anyone,” the book helps partners “recognize their patterns and learn to create more fulfilling and loving interactions,” said Allen Sabey, a clinical assistant professor and faculty member at The Family Institute at Northwestern University.

4. “Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On — Together or Apart,” by Douglas Snyder, Donald Baucom and Kristina Coop Gordon

“Getting Past the Affair” provides a framework that “helps couples slow down” and decide how they want to move forward after infidelity, said Adam Fisher, an assistant clinical professor at Brigham Young University who teaches a course called “Relational Intelligence: Building Healthy and Lasting Connections.” The text defuses some of the chaos that couples face, he said, by dividing the aftermath of a betrayal into stages.

A caveat: The book presents practical tools for couples dealing with an affair, but it’s often “best if a couple also seeks a professional if there’s been infidelity in a relationship,” Ms. Milton said, “because it is a really challenging thing to heal and to process.”

5. “Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship,” by Terrence Real

In “Us,” Mr. Real, a family therapist who has worked with couples for more than 30 years, unpacks how we need to move away from our culture of individualism to form healthy relationships. He “also names how patterns in childhood show up in present moments and encourages accountability,” Dr. Sabey said.

While the book looks at both partners in a relationship, presenting examples of how real couples have overcome obstacles using these skills, “Terry has a way of speaking to men that is both gentle and firm — there’s not a lot of places to hide,” Dr. Solomon said. “He holds the reader’s feet to the fire in a way that is absolutely essential.”

6. “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence,” by Esther Perel

In “Mating in Captivity,” Esther Perel, a therapist and host of the podcast “Where Should We Begin?” describes how domestic partnership affects lust. Dr. Solomon recommends it to couples at every relationship stage, though she says that Ms. Perel “has a particular eye toward couples that are raising their family.”

The book helps readers “honor the complexities of holding all of those roles — lovers and partners and parents and workers,” as well as the challenges a couple might have moving between them, Dr. Solomon said. It “won’t give easy answers, but will put words to the complexity we feel, and why we’re feeling alone,” she added.

7. “All About Love: New Visions,” by bell hooks

In “All About Love,” bell hooks , a trailblazing feminist scholar and author of more than 30 books, explores what it means to actually love someone. (“The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun,” she writes, “yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb.”)

Callisto Adams, a dating and relationship coach, recommends the book to couples who are grappling with mismatched or “false expectations” because it challenges traditional “perceptions of love,” she said.

While this book isn’t a guide filled with tips, it is “quite moving and thoughtful,” Dr. Sabey said. “It enlightens, comforts and confronts.”

Hope Reese is a journalist who writes for Vox, Shondaland, The Atlantic and other publications. Her book, “The Women Are Not Fine,” will be published in 2025.

A Guide to Better Romantic Relationships

Looking to build a long-lasting partnership we can help..

We asked 14 psychologists, counselors and therapists for book recommendations that can help nourish relationships. These seven titles rose to the top of the list .

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Managing libido differences  is a common part of relationships. Here’s some advice that may help .

Do you worry that you and your partner are growing apart? Here are simple but helpful questions to ask before it is too late .

Going to counseling with your partner can strengthen, or even save, your relationship, but first you need to pick a therapist. Here’s how to find the right one .

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How I Trained My Intuition to Make Decisions Quickly — and Raised $70 Million "It was a powerful forum for me to discover my potential," Andrew Blackmon says.

By Andrew Blackmon • Nov 21, 2023

This story appears in the November 2023 issue of Entrepreneur . Subscribe »

I run a company of 400 people. It's only possible because of a decision I made soon after we launched — even though it had nothing to do with business: I decided to see a therapist.

I hadn't set out to be an entrepreneur; I was an English major in college, busy reading Dostoevsky and philosophy. Then I rented a tuxedo to get married, and it was an atrocious process. There must be a better way, I thought. My groomsman, Patrick Coyne (who had the same experience), agreed, and we cofounded The Black Tux in 2013 with the plan to rent well-fitting, high-quality suits and tuxes online — which turned out to be operationally complicated and immediately popular.

Related: 4 Reasons Intuition Is an Essential Leadership Skill

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This Thanksgiving, I don't want to talk about politics. Here's what I'll focus on instead.

These four topics can help avoid election news and family drama when trying to enjoy your meal and company at the thanksgiving dinner table..

how to make the books

  • David Plazas is the director of opinion and engagement for the USA TODAY Network Tennessee.

Two humans, a Jack Russell terrier mix and a Chihuahua are headed to the Atlanta area to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

This is the first road trip for Millie Mae, the nearly 2-year-old Jack Russell mix who followed me home shortly before last Easter while I was walking 12-year-old Bandit, a cute but curmudgeonly gray and white Chihuahua. His last road trip was nine years ago when Darren and I moved to Nashville with him and his deceased sister Zohie, a white Chihuahua .

We will be meeting up with relatives for a mini-family reunion and we look forward to eating a lot, telling many stories, playing games and making new memories.

There are all sorts of anxieties that pop up: Will our dishes taste good and not make anyone sick? Will the dogs behave? Will anyone bring up topics that will cause someone indigestion?

I grew up in a family where we frequently discussed politics, religion and other typically taboo subjects, but the days of civil dialogue seem so last century, and political polarization, war and other ills make such topics less palatable – at least for a Thanksgiving family gathering.

While the nature of my job requires me to be current about the news, I want to bring up topics that will mix conversation up, hopefully for the better, and yield laughter rather than heartache.

These are four topics that will make for better conversation on Thanksgiving.

New series: Civics education in America starts with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution

Talk about the books that make you think

I love reading and I prefer to buy my books at independent bookstores. So, when I learned via Instagram that Parnassus Books’ proprietor and novelist Ann Patchett was holding “office hours” all month to sign her books, I decided I had to be there.

On Monday, I was second in line and Patchett signed my copy of her novel “bel canto.” I hope to get some of it read before Thanksgiving comes, but I definitely want to hear what other relatives are reading and what they like about their books.

When I read for pleasure, I take my time and absorb sentences, and sometimes I read and re-read a particular passage to fully embrace it.

Storytelling is what has connected human beings over history and can make dinner more appealing.

Talk about the food that brings back good memories

I’m planning to make rice pudding in honor of my maternal grandfather who died in 1999. He was a great cook.

I can imagine smelling the sweet and savory aroma of the dessert from the stove top and tasting its creamy texture at my grandparents’ home in Tampa, Florida.

An aunt of mine who keeps family recipes did not have my grandfather’s version, but she sent me hers, which involves infusing the rice and milk mixture with orange rinds, cinnamon sticks and raisins.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I did not really know how to cook. I knew how to make a few things, such as breakfast, but when I had more time at home because we could not go many places due to shutdowns, I started really to learn how to cook and understand the science behind cooking. I read “Salt Fat Acid Heat” by Samin Nosrat and practiced by cooking dozens of HelloFresh recipes, graduating from burning rice once to making a savory French onion soup from scratch.

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My goal at the dinner table would be to share with others how we made our dishes, why we made them and what makes them special.

Sharing food traditions is another way to connect with our humanity.

Talk about music that evokes deep emotions

The advantage of working in a newsroom with a music team is that I am exposed to so many artists, and I like going down a rabbit hole to explore their work and the stories behind them.

Our reporters have recently written about Stephen Sanchez , Lauren Daigle and Reyna Roberts , among others.

Now, we also have reporters dedicated to covering Taylor Swift and Beyoncé .

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Growing up in Chicago in the 1980s, my parents love listening to classical music and Latin American folk songs, and my older brother progressed from rock groups such as Duran Duran to house music. So, I grew up with an eclectic mix and like exploring different sounds.

Among the recent albums I’ve streamed are “You’re the One” by Rhiannon Giddens, “Live for Me” by Omar Apollo and the “Star Trek Strange New Worlds” musical episode (yes, this is real).

Hoping to hear what my relatives are listening to.

Talk about your pets that warm your heart

A recent meme I saw on Instagram claimed, based on a 2019 report from Science magazine , that dogs can tell how many treats they get in their bowl.

As someone who has tended four dogs over 18 years, I am aware that my dogs know when they are not getting as many treats as they want.

My dog showed me incredible trust – even at the end when I had to euthanize her

Pet lovers like to ascribe human traits to their furry, feathered or scaled friends, and that can make for fun conversation and comparisons. Plus, looking at pet photos puts me in a pretty good mood.

Inevitably, harder subjects may emerge from including election news or family drama, and it may not be so bad.

On the other hand, it might create a perfect excuse to go for a walk alone or with others to clear your head and burn off some of those calories from that rice pudding.

David Plazas is the director of opinion and engagement for the USA TODAY Network Tennessee. He is an editorial board member of The Tennessean. He hosts the  Tennessee Voices videocast  and curates the  Tennessee Voices  and  Latino Tennessee Voices  newsletters.. Call him at (615) 259-8063, email him at  [email protected]  or tweet to him at  @davidplazas .

Detroit Lions haven't been 8-2 since 1962. Here's how good that team was.

The Detroit Lions are off to a historic franchise start thanks to a 31-26 comeback victory over the Chicago Bears . The win moved the Lions to 8-2, the franchise's best start since 1962.

The last time the Lions were this good through 10 weeks, John F. Kennedy was in the Oval Office, George Romney was elected as Michigan's Governor, McDonald's released the newly-invented Filet-O-Fish and Gordie Howe tallied his 500th of 801 career goals for the Detroit Red Wings.

Not quite good enough

The '62 Lions joined the list of historical accomplishments with the third-best regular season record in franchise history, behind the 1953 (won the NFL championship) and 1954 squads. The team was led by head coach George Wilson, the last Lions coach to win an NFL championship in 1957.

The Lions went 11-3 over the 14-game schedule and finished second in the NFL Western Conference behind the Green Bay Packers, the eventual NFL champions. Back then, only the conference champions would make the postseason for the NFL championship, meaning one of the best Lions seasons ever ended in a missed playoff berth despite having the league's third-best record.

NFL STATS CENTRAL: The latest NFL scores, schedules, odds, stats and more.

DAVE BIRKETT: How Lions stopped the Bears' Tush Push, and why it might matter come playoffs

Back then, the team shared home field at Tiger Stadium with the Detroit Tigers and held practices at the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills. The team would have to wait 13 more years for the opening of the Pontiac Silverdome.

Season breakdown

The Lions started out 3-0 before dropping a road game to the Packers in Week 4. They went 1-1 the next two weeks with a win over the Los Angeles Rams and a loss to the New York Giants, the other team to make the championship that year. After the Giants' loss, the Lions rattled off seven straight victories to reach 11-2 before dropping the season finale against the Chicago Bears inside of a different baseball stadium, Wrigley Field.

The seven-game winning streak featured a Thanksgiving day win over the Packers to avenge the Week 4 loss. The Lions ended up as the only team to defeat the Vince Lombardi-led squad, who finished 14-1 including the championship, the entire season. Detroit won, 26-14, thanks to a great performance from quarterback/kicker Milt Plum, who threw two first half touchdowns to Gail Codgill and added a field goal in the third quarter to give the Lions an insurmountable 26-0 lead.

Plum was playing his first year in Detroit after being traded from the Cleveland Browns in a six-player deal during the offseason. He was the main star of the offense, compiling 2378 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with a 55.1% completion percentage.

JEFF SEIDEL: How did Lions pull off stunner? They've got the right DNA, and real good players.

He was assisted by a three-headed backfield comprised of running backs Dan Lewis and Tom Watkins and fullback Nick Pietrosante. All three finished north of 400 rushing yards and at least two touchdowns on the season. Codgill, who also played defensive end, finished as the team's leading receiver with 53 receptions for 991 yards and seven touchdowns.

The offense was league average, but the Lions defense was the main catalyst for the success. The defense ranked second in points allowed, only surrendering an average of 12.6 points per game. It was headlined by the "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line made up of starters Sam Williams, Alex Karras, Roger Brown and Darris McCord. The nickname was bestowed by team announcer Van Patrick for having the league's best rushing defense and pass rushing ability. The Fearsome Foursome combined for 36 sacks and four forced safeties in 1962.

Hall of Famer on staff

Wilson coached the Lions for eight seasons from 1957-64, winning an NFL championship in his first year and amassing a 53-45-6 record in Detroit. He kicked off his tenure with an 8-4 record, good to win the NFC Western Conference, then smacked the Browns, 59-14, for Detroit's most recent NFL title.

Wilson got his start under the legendary George Halas as the Chicago Bears wide receivers and tight ends coach in 1947 and 1948. He then moved to Detroit to work in the same role from 1949-56 before taking over for Buddy Parker, who was the head coach from 1951-56.

The Lions also had a future Hall of Famer at defensive coordinator. Don Shula, who went on to win two Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins, was in charge of Detroit's stifling defense. He ran the unit from 1960-62, all winning seasons for Detroit, before becoming the youngest head coach in NFL history at the time when he took over the Baltimore Colts at the age of 33 in 1963.

CARLOS MONARREZ: Lions pulled out a dramatic win, but areas of concern could hurt them later

Shula's defenses consistently ranked near the top of the league, culminating in the dominant performance in 1962. On top of having the second-best scoring defense, The Lions led the league in yards surrendered, only giving up an average of 229.7 yards per game.

One for the books

There may have been a good omen surrounding that team dating back to training camp. It was that year that sports writer George Plimpton participated in the preseason workouts as a quarterback. He chronicled his experiences in the book, "Paper Lion," which was made into a feature film in the late 60s and starred Alan Alda and eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer Karras, who went on to star in a few other projects after his playing days wit the Lions.

We can assure you no Free Press writers tried out this preseason, or would even entertain the idea.

An All-Star team

Here are the All-Pros on that 1962 Lions team: linebacker Joe Schmidt; safety Yale Lary; cornerback Dick "Night Train" Lane and defensive linemen Brown and Karras.

Brown was third in the NFL in sacks that season with 14 and was fourth in The Associated Press' NFL MVP voting. Karras had 11 sacks.


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    How to make a book: 1. Compile the content for the project 2. Format the pages 3. Print the book on paper 4. Assemble the binding for the spine 5. Create the cardboard book cover 6. Join the pieces to make your book 7. Design a dust jacket 1. Compile the content for the project Here's what you'll need:

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    1. Establish a consistent writing space. If you're going to write a great book, you're going to need a great space to write. It doesn't have to be a soundproof room with a stunning view. All you really need is a quiet place free of distractions where you can consistently get good writing done.

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    1 Choose the material for the cover and cut out two identical pieces. For your first book, cardboard is easy to work with. Once you get the hang of it, you can move to wood or game boards. [1] The cover needs to be 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) wider and ½ inch (1.25 cm) longer than the inside pages.

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    1. Focus on your book's purpose 2. Create the best book possible 3. Calculate the financial aspects of making a book 4. Choose an attractive book cover 5. Select the right retailers 6. Format and check your book 7. Get prepared to publish Next Steps 1. Focus on your book's purpose

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    Download Article. 1. Create a title page. The preferred style of title page depends on the type of book you're making.. If you intend on sending your book to a publishing house, the title page should be kept relatively basic. Make a title page that offers hint of what your book is about. [10]

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    Step 1: Prepare the Pages First, decide how many pages you want your book to have. Remember that each sheet of paper will create four pages once folded. For example, if you want your book to have 20 pages, you will need five sheets of paper. Fold each sheet of paper in half twice horizontally, creating four equal sections on each page.

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    Method 1 Making a Small Book Download Article 1 Fold a piece of paper into eighths. Spend some time folding, as the quality of your folds will determine the quality of your book. [1] Be sure your folds are even and you crease each one well. Consider sliding your fingernail or something hard such as the edge of a pencil over the crease.

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