The best hymnal for your local church is one that you produce yourself. It has all the songs your congregation knows and loves, and it leaves out the songs you know you’ll never use.
Most churches have never even considered the possibility of making their own hymnal; or if they have, they assume a custom hymnal would be too expensive. But in most cases, you can compile and print your church’s own hymnal more cheaply than purchasing a published one. Here’s how the process works.
Step 1: Develop a list of songs
Make a list of the songs you want in your hymnal. Click the link below to view a list of songs I’ve already done that can be added easily. If there are songs you want that aren’t on the list, I can typeset those!
Step 2: Typesetting, editing, and layout
Once the song list is set, I’ll typeset the new songs and compile everything into a hymnal. You supply folks to help with the editing, so together we can produce a hymnal with no typos!
I’ve made a short walk-through video that I send to all editors to help them navigate their role. You can watch it here:
Step 3: Print
It’s up to you to work directly with the print company, but I can make recommendations based on my experience with past products. Hymnworks contracts with printing companies that use high-quality materials and a professional printing process, so you can be confident you’ll get a printed hymnal that is built to last.
How many copies should you print? A good rule of thumb is to print at least double your average Sunday attendance. So for a congregation of 500, you really should plan to print 1000 copies. For a congregation of 250, print 500. You can also sell copies back to your church members to help recoup some of the cost.
So… how much will this project cost?
That depends on a number of factors, of course. The most important are song count, how many songs you use from the existing list, and how many hymnals you want. But here’s one possible scenario: you compile a list of 250 songs, using 200 from my list and adding 50 to be typeset, and print 1,000 copies. With typesetting, page layout, and print costs, you could expect the total cost to be around $8 per copy.
If you want a specific quote for your church, please contact me using the form below. I would love the opportunity to discuss how we can produce a hymnal for your church.