The Shabara Bhashya is an important text of Hindu philosophy, containing the traditional proof that Hinduism is true, but unfortunately it's out of print. It's in the public domain and available on archive.org, but I'd like a physical copy of it. My question is, how do I print a single physical copy of this ebook?

I've found sites where you can print a single copy of a book if you upload a text PDF of the book, but in this case the PDF consists of image scans, not text. (And OCR would produce a garbled mess, as there are a lot of Indian words in the book.) So is there any way to print a public-domain book if you have scanned images?


You can print the file easily with lulu.com as a printed book. I believe they have a manufacturing facility in the U.S. and the U.K. and can ship globally. The fact that your pdf is an image file makes no difference. Keep in mind that if your book is in manuscript format you will have to do a bit of tweaking if you want it printed in common stock book sizes. But if you have an a4-size manuscript and you're satisfied with an a4-sized book, you will have no problem.

The text you are interested in can be downloaded in pdf format. Download that file, then use Adobe Reader (free) to get the width and height of the book. When you start a private print project with Lulu, you will be asked if you want to make the file available in the Lulu bookstore. Since you just want a copy for yourself, answer "no." You will be given a choice of standard print sizes. If there is a match between the file dimensions as reflected in Adobe Reader and the print sizes offered by Lulu, you are in luck. Upload the file and you will be asked to submit or create a cover. Lulu's cover creator takes care of this process for you. Input the title and author. If you are so moved to upload a graphic, remember that it should be 300 dpi in the CMYK colorspace. Otherwise, choose one of the preformatted cover designs.

If the size of your book does not match, or if you want to squeeze the size up or down to match a stock size, use a program like jpdftweak (free) to change the file dimensions.

After the cover is created, you can place an order for the printed book.


Download a PDF of the book and take it to Kinko's (in the US) which will print one-off books for you. Office stores like Office Max also have low-volume printing services there too. Professional printing companies will generally charge you a lot more because there is a lot more setup involved with their machines.

One type of soft cover book in the US is called "perfect bound". That's how paperbacks are made here. Ask for that. At Kinkgo's you will probably have to provide a separate image for the front cover.

  • Formerly Kinko's, now FedEx Office... – Whit3rd Nov 26 '17 at 11:31

just print the images: there are a lot of programs which convert images to a pdf file. You will obtain a very large file, but this should not be a problem. The only caveat is that the resolution of the images should be 200 dpi (dots per inch) at the bare minimum, and 300 dpi for a decent rendition.

Of course you may also start with OCR and correct by hand the result, but I warn you that it is a tedious and long work.

  • I don't need to convert to PDF, in that archive.org link it is available as a PDF. But I don't want to print it in my home printer, I want to get it printed as a book. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 6 '17 at 14:13
  • Did you try services like Amazon's CreateSpace? (createspace.com) You don't have to sell it, I printed a copy of a book just for myself. – mau Nov 6 '17 at 16:14

any printer can do that, or any one with a printer for that matter there is no difference to a printer what the print matter is

  • I don't want to print it with my computer printer, I want it printed as a book. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 6 '17 at 14:15
  • @junme, I think OP wants it printed as a Perfect Bound book professionally. – Bulrush Nov 26 '17 at 18:54

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