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 Post subject: To Book or Not to Book
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:00 pm 
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I recently switched from CDG to computer. It's gone swimmingly, and I thank you all for your help and advice.

In the old days, we put a book on each table--pretty thick, because it had listings by title and by artist.

I talked to a friendly KJ at another club before embarking on this, and she suggested putting one or two books out as 'inspiration books' for people who couldn't think of anything to sing, but otherwise working from requests.

One of my KJs does it that way, the other puts books out as before. The one who puts the books out seems to have fewer downloads each time, but I haven't made an issue of it because I'm trying to build up the library anyway and I have a budget for it. Of course, the books don't have any of the new songs we downloaded, but maybe about 5,000 unique songs.

My question (finally!) is what I should do about books in the longer run. I probably don't want to continue buying new material at the current pace indefinitely.

Do most of you put books out? Also, I'm using MTU Hoster--what's the easiest way to generate books? Also, printing books on paper, would you do a title listing, artist listing, or both?

Thanks in advance for your help, and I hope this inquiry will help other dopes like me.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:51 pm 
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Books aren't necessary, I (as a singer) prefer a printed book to thumb through, and as I find out there are many more like me than kj's give credit for.
Phone apps and kiosks are the other options where you can always keep the listings updated, some even show which songs are the newly added.
Luv2Sing - http://luvtosing.com/djLogin.php - Free - Also allows remote song requests.

(my preference) SongBookdb - http://www.songbookdb.com - Free - $5 per month for mobile requests.

Songbooks Live - http://songbookslive.com - $11 per year

SongDive - http://songdive.com - $4.99 - Online Songbook & Requests

Songbooks Online - https://pro.songbooksonline.com/ - $14.98 per month (cheaper with longer subscription)

As far as book making program, Hoster has it built in for the easiest. You'd need Microsoft Word or there is a free word processor i've used that works as well (can't remember the name off hand, will find and post) to be able to print to paper. Or you can print to a pdf file and send to a printer or upload the pdf to your website.
I also used to keep both artist and title in the same binder (when I was under 10,000 songs), however they got too big over the years and had to split them into separate artist & title books, dual columns (three columns were harder to read and really didn't change the overall size much) double side print.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:54 pm 
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I used to have 12 books back in the day. I still have books, but now I'm down to 4. There are still patrons that really need books, and those that don't are the ones that sing the same thing over and over. It's pretty rare that someone "thinks up" a new song. So books really are key to help those casual singers or one that is new to your show find what they want to do. If you don't do physical books, consider doing an online songbook, which is cheaper and easier to maintain if you do continuous upgrades. Everyone has a smart phone these days, so the online books allow everyone's smart phone to become their personal book. You just maintain the database and make sure it's well advertised where they do to see the online book.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Those that browse, like Topher says, tend to sing more different songs (larger history). Books are a must in my shows.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:40 pm 
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Lonman wrote:
SongDive - http://songdive.com - $4.99 - Online Songbook & Requests

Songdive by DT Cloud no longer available, sorry to say. A little pricey imo. $10.83/mo.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:07 pm 
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I use books & slips (monthly show at local American Legion & private parties).
When I go to a show myself, I prefer having a book to look through.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:44 pm 
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TopherM wrote:
Everyone has a smart phone these days, so the online books allow everyone's smart phone to become their personal book.

I don't.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:54 pm 
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stopped using books years ago. after 6 months of not one book being taken out or getting one single paper slip, i stopped putting them out at all.
people look in kiosks or on their phones
people use their phones 24/7 and come back each week with more new songs ready to go
peoples histories have blown up since going to digital requests
no more "you don't have garth brooks?" because they looked it up under "G"
always up to date, new songs at the touch of a button (like the "new additions section of a book but accurate daily)
no more expensive books (my kiosks cost $20 each for old laptops)
not one single drink spilled on any laptop or tablet i have handed out (unlike books)
not one single laptop or tablet has walked out the door (unlike books...which i never understood)
not one broken laptop or tablet (granted i only use 2 laptops and sometimes one tablet with them)
no paper slips and pencils to buy
easier to read than books (larger font and backlit so no searching by phone flashlight)
more forgiving of spelling errors (wildcards, only use a few letters... gar bro for Garth Brooks)
sortable by genre
sortable by language
sortable by duets
sortable by decade
or any combination of those together
browse alphabetically by artist or title
can add to their own favorites list when they hear a song on the radio
no reading drunkeeze for names
no slips for songs that you don't have or don't exist
no wrong names ("small town girl by styx") :withstupid:
even at $5 per month, that's $60 per year which is less than book reprinting, not including slips and pencils, and all the other benefits.
even the VFW and Legion patrons like it better than books (they were the main reason i kept books as long as i did).

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:44 am 
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cueball wrote:
TopherM wrote:
Everyone has a smart phone these days, so the online books allow everyone's smart phone to become their personal book.

I don't.
I don't either :oops: I don't have a need to be available 24/7.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:52 am 
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I have an online song list that is accessible from any device with a browser - http://feelgoodpros.com/songs

I still print about 120 books a year @ 300ish pages each.

Singers like and use both.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:10 am 
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8) Being retired I'm pretty much old school as far as books. If have six books color coded red for artist and blue for song title three each. I still use my old hard drive player punch the number and go. Every track is downloaded by hand and is not compressed from the original disc, so this is as close to playing the actual thing without wearing out the source material. I have over 18,500 karaoke tracks and about 23,000 audio tracks, that seems to be enough, since I do mainly a Golden Oldies show, when I do one. I still get calls to come back to work full time but I don't miss moving the equipment all the time. Once in a while I do a show, but I like my free time. Of course I can still play discs that old timers bring in, I don't mind like most PC based hosts seem to.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:22 am 
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I use books, and they're used dutifully - my singers have become pretty well trained in this regard, since I've cracked down on requiring numbers. I'm certainly not trying to be the karaoke gestapo, but I've grown weary of someone scrawling, say, "To Make You Feel My Love" and finding out they wanted Garth Brooks, not Adele. It makes for some funny song slips at times - I once received a slip that read something like "that song from the '80s where the girl gets pulled into the comic book", and somehow knew what that meant - but I've been pretty clear about wanting song titles and numbers to ensure accuracy....

All that said, I have six identical books in various stages of decay. Years of being manhandled by drunken, PBR-sloshing millennial animals have taken their toll, and though I try to replace with regularity, it's tough to maintain. My hope is that I can move to an online database in the next year and go completely mobile, perhaps leaving a book or two out for exceptions.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:20 pm 
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I have not used a paper book for almost 10 years.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:28 pm 
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andrew3000 wrote:
I use books, and they're used dutifully - my singers have become pretty well trained in this regard, since I've cracked down on requiring numbers. I'm certainly not trying to be the karaoke gestapo, but I've grown weary of someone scrawling, say, "To Make You Feel My Love" and finding out they wanted Garth Brooks, not Adele. It makes for some funny song slips at times - I once received a slip that read something like "that song from the '80s where the girl gets pulled into the comic book", and somehow knew what that meant - but I've been pretty clear about wanting song titles and numbers to ensure accuracy....
How does requiring numbers ensure accuracy? I ran disc from 90-2008 and often found people writing down wrong numbers (usually the song directly above or below) or still writing down the Garth version when they really wanted the Adele version (not necessarily this example but the same thing with same title songs from different artists). I finally got rid of numbers 3 years ago and replaced the number line with Artist and get FAR less errors, they want the Adele version - they write 'Adele' on the artist line.

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All that said, I have six identical books in various stages of decay. Years of being manhandled by drunken, PBR-sloshing millennial animals have taken their toll, and though I try to replace with regularity, it's tough to maintain. My hope is that I can move to an online database in the next year and go completely mobile, perhaps leaving a book or two out for exceptions.

All my books get replaced yearly.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:13 pm 
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Lonman wrote:
...often found people writing down wrong numbers (usually the song directly above or below) or still writing down the Garth version when they really wanted the Adele version...

no wrong names ("small town girl by styx") :withstupid:
sometimes the wrong name and artist makes it even more fun.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:57 am 
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Luv2Sing may be a dead issue as well, I tried signing up to check out their service since they offered a free version of it but have yet to receive any activation email to give me access to the KJ section to even download their software. Left messages on both the website and the creator's Facebook page and have not gotten any response back from either one.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:34 pm 
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DannyG2006 wrote:
Luv2Sing may be a dead issue as well, I tried signing up to check out their service since they offered a free version of it but have yet to receive any activation email to give me access to the KJ section to even download their software. Left messages on both the website and the creator's Facebook page and have not gotten any response back from either one.

check out SongbookDB, Shaun is always on top of things and gets back to you right away.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:48 pm 
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I use two books. One by artist, one by title. That is it. They stay at the front, and the people, either look at them or they come ask me, directly.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:51 am 
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cueball wrote:
TopherM wrote:
Everyone has a smart phone these days, so the online books allow everyone's smart phone to become their personal book.

I don't.


Well hello Mr. Fancypants! :o

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:38 am 
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TopherM wrote:
Well hello Mr. Fancypants! :o

It's more that I am a technophobe. My first (and so far only) Cell phone is a Motorola Razr Flip Phone from T-Mobile. I got it in 2006, and am still using it. The main reason I first got it, was because of my constant travels between NY and PA (for my job), where I would be in PA for 3 days a week before going back home to NY. I needed to have a reachable line (in case of an emergency) other than friends and family calling me at work. Now I use that phone all the time.


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