Over the years, I’ve attempted a few handmade books. I love the idea of them, though they seem most impractical, impossible to sell and strange to give away.
They take hours to make, no matter the design. And that’s just making the book, never mind writing the story within. The materials aren’t free. Anyone with a printer knows ink is a small ransom. And I haven’t found a paper for the printed pages that I both like and makes economic sense. So far, I know of only one place in town that sells bookmaking supplies.
I did actually sell one! To a stranger even, not a friend. That was amazing because it wasn’t cheap. My art was for sale in a shop at the time, and a customer came by the shop every day and read more of the story. Eventually she showed up with the money to buy it. Happiest book sale ever!
I’m teaching myself how to do this through trial and error. I do have a couple books about the process, but most of them show you have to make books that aren’t novels. The books explain how to make clever and pretty books, maybe a keepsake book, a photo book, or a blank book. But there isn’t much on making a full on book of something you’ve written. That seems to fall under the zine category, and those are meant to be printed off and handed out. But I’m taking bits of information from here and there. The spine is, of course, the most difficult part. Oh, I have a lot to learn. But I have more fun making things that I don’t quite know how to do. Those are the pieces I feel are the most worthwhile.
Thanks for reading!
My work at Squarespace.