I decided to base the book size and design off an 8.5x11-inch size, since most papers available locally (where I can pick them up and see and feel them) are most commonly available in that size. My printer is well-suited to that size, also.
All parts of each page will be printed from one sheet of paper, and then trimmed down to size. The top part of the page is the portion that will be bound under the spine. Then there is a 1-cm "gap" or blank space for the pages to bend easily when the book is opened. Then the lower part of the page is where the photo will go.
I made this template in Photoshop, sized to the print-ready dimensions of the book:
I'll put the photograph inside this template, below the "gap" as shown below:
When the photo is on this template, I'll print it, and trim the paper to the correct size. When all 26 photo pages are printed and trimmed, I'll stack them, ready to be sandwiched between the hard covers, once they are made. When the book-sandwich is assembled, I'll clamp it in place, and drill the holes for the binding through the covers and pages all at once. Then, while still clamped, I'll lace the binding twine through the holes. Phew!
That is the plan, at least. Stay tuned to see how it actually goes, learning little tidbits all the way, I'm sure!
Just some dimension info here- the overall book size will be 7.125 inches wide, and 11 inches tall. The spine will be 3 cm wide, and there will be a 1 cm gap between the spine and the front cover. Yes, I know, I am mixing metric with English measurements. I'm very scattered that way- using whatever standard best fits the space. Thank goodness Photoshop uses both standards interchangeably!
The photo pages will be slightly smaller than the book covers, so that the covers will completely cover and protect the pages inside. I made the length and width measurements of the photo pages a half-centimeter smaller than the covers, talkng care that the allotments for the spine and gap space still match up with the spine and covers.
I guess next I'll start putting the images into the template, and decide if any edge treatment should be done. Please stay tuned!