A project is never really complete. What started as a word doc compilation turned into a book. That was supposed to be the end. It became two books, which now will generate a third.
The handbound copies will all be finished by the end of April; got to be as the studio is moving.
Over the week end I learned some little tricks that will improve my binding, if I can find my notes! Kidding aside, there is always something to learn in order to improve.
This journey has taught me that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve anything. Three years, a kickstarter and some debt later, I have published two books. WOW. Actually the reason for this post was to quote Dominic Riley. He quoted another binder, whose name escapes me, along the lines of: “If you don’t value your work, then how can you expect others to value it?” I had heard him quote this before, but it only struck a chord with me on the week end. As a binder I can be full of doubts because I am just about self taught. As a writer/publisher, this is my first foray into the commercial world. So some one says to me: “Your books are too expensive”. And it does cut me to the quick. I had thought long and hard about pricing. Should I have priced them lower? Had I sent my books to be printed and bound in China, I probably could have sold them for $35 with a reasonable profit if I had ordered 50 000 copies. I don’t have that kind of cash up front. Instead I chose to go with a small printing company in Canberra, who did a fabulous job. Perhaps I could have asked my designer to charge me less, and so on. My books probably won’t get printed in the thousands – I am no Stephen King; but I was never going to appeal to the masses. Yes, it is a niche market, but that niche is larger than we think. It’s just that the niche of book collecting and bibliophilia is not so big in Australia; the disposable cash for expensive books is not here. It’s more generally in the UK or the States perhaps.
The fact is that I don’t want to doubt myself. I know I have a great product.
I have more under the covers, so to speak. The initial perfume of books was going to be about asian binding, as this is really a chinese term. So I already have a manuscript that needs a lot more work, better pictures, but I think will be a great addition to this series. In the last six months I discovered I was now interested in the printers of old and have started to pool together that information to make the next book, Fleurons and Factotums. So perhaps I’ll work on both project simultaneously…..
In the regular blog section I’ll soon post on the production aspects of these books.