Just how long is a piece of string?

by Suw on February 8, 2012

I’m in the process of planning my next Kickstarter project, which I’m hoping to have up early in March. This time, I’m trying to make sure that I really nail down my costs before I settle on my reward levels but this is proving to be trickier than anticipated! I want this time to offer a leather-bound version of the novelette, but in talking to various bookbinders, the answer to “How much does this cost?” appears to be “How much have you got?”.

The wide variation in options means that we can go from a very basic leather binding with nothing much more than a label on the spine to say what the book is and who wrote it, right the way up to complex bindings with inlays, gold tooling or gold-edged pages and everything in between. Before I can really know the price, I need to know what the design is but I won’t start the design work until I know that the project is going ahead. That creates a bit of a catch-22 situation as I need my costings to be as accurate as I can get them to ensure that I don’t end up under-budgeting.

Now, I have bound in leather once before and was chuffed as a small horse to hear from one of the bookbinders I met yesterday that my work is of a professional standard. Indeed, I was told that if I pitched up at this particular bindery with that as an example of my work, I’d be offered a job pretty much on the spot. It’s hard to express just how happy that made me as I obviously want to do as good a job as possible for my supporters!

At the moment (and for the foreseeable future), I don’t have the equipment needed to bind in leather. Once you start doing case bindings with a rounded spine, you start to need presses and other equipment that I both can’t afford and don’t have space for. But there is another option: to find a bindery that will allow me to hire space and provide a mentor under whose tutelage I can work so that I can make sure I don’t do anything wrong. That’s something I’ll be looking into over the next week or so, and it is my preferred solution. I adore making books, and working with leather is just a delight, not least because of the fabulous smell! And it would be a fantastic opportunity to hone my skills, so I am hoping that someone, somewhere does indeed go for a leather-bound hardback once the project is up online!

If you want to be amongst the very first people to know when Queen of the May goes live, join my mailing list and you’ll find out before anyone else!

Meanwhile, to whet your appetite, some photos of the leather-bound journal I made:

Leather-bound journal

Leather-bound journal

Leather-bound journal

Leather-bound journal

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