Monday, December 24, 2012

My Hand Bound Book!

My first hand bound book! Hand sewn with linen covers and glossy dust covers. Stephanie Pulford did the majority of the sewing, though I'm proud to say, I did the first six! Chris Beer cut out the cardboard for the covers and trimmed the dust covers, but even with lots of help, it was still one of the hardest things I've ever done (and still is, I've got about nine more to go). 

 These things are really turning out to look like actual manufactured books.  Since I ran out of endpapers, the last few will have endpapers with handmade paper purchased from the art supply store, so that might make them look a little more unique. Each book is 4x8 inches. 

I'm sending a number of these with my agent Abigail Samoun so she can give them to editors and art directors in Boston and New York in early January. These are strictly self-promotional and are not intended for traditional publication. If all goes well and I don't screw them up, I'm making 18 and 18 only. The story is only 18 pages long and wordless (24 if you include the title page, dedication and so forth), a pirate adventure with my favorite model, Ella (some of the pages can be seen on my website in the children's section). I'll probably put the whole story on the site eventually.

I had hoped to get these things finished last month but the digital printer kept screwing up my pages. The whole process of getting the things printed properly took months for a number of reasons I'm too exhausted to go into. 

so here they are with dust covers and all: 

This one has end papers made of handmade paper bought from the art supply store:

Here's one of the spreads: 

Another spread:

 The linen bound cover:

And my messy workspace that is currently taken over our dining room and part of our living room:

I really didn't know quite what I was getting into. I'd never done anything like it. 

There's a good deal of satisfaction in making books that look like actual books from the ground up. I've loved books all my life, and they've been such a part of my life that the experience of making one from scratch feels miraculous, like manufacturing a lightbulb or a door knob on your kitchen table. I've always been fascinated by making objects in multiples assembly line style by hand, like Gepetto's workshop or Santa's elves. 

And last of all, bookmarks:

I had them printed, and then Stef's plus one, Morgan Jenkins put in the ribbons. I found this special hole punch at Michael's that makes these two little parallel wedge-shapes, that the ribbons fit snugly inside. 

I've thought of putting out a cheaper, digitally printed version, but I'd have to charge at least 10 bucks a book, softbound, which seems like a lot for a tiny paperback. I'm thinking I'd want to add some kind of incentive to make it worthwhile, maybe a little sketch or something.  If you're interested in something like that, give me a holla!


  1. Jed-The posters you sent were under the Christmas tree. When my kids got them they were so excited! They're to be hung in their room. :)

  2. Yay! I didn't realize they were gifts for your kids! I'm so pleased. And I'm very glad to have Mike's book.