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FAQ

Custom Brown Leather Bound Book ith Printing
Leather Bound Recover Book

Traditional Handsewn Binding

Recovered Bound Book

general questions

Q. Do I need any experience to order a custom leather book?


No, you don’t need any prior experience to order a custom leather book from me. I will personally guide you through each step, making the process simple and flexible. It’s helpful if you're familiar with a basic text editing program to adjust the content you want in your book. You can share your vision or reference any designs you like from my site. With over 15 years of craftsmanship experience, I will bring your ideas to life, so you don't need any special knowledge to get started.

Q. Do you bind books with printed text as well as blank journals?

Yes, I can print anything not subject to copyright law. I have handcrafted leather bound novels written by their authors, diaries of relatives, family genealogy books, grandmother’s recipe books, self-published poetry, photography books, social media postings; including blogs and Twitter feeds, doctoral dissertations, and more. I have also re-bound hardcover commercial printed books.

Q. What makes your books exceptional? 

My books are not just a cover they are 100% handcrafted from start to finish in my workshop in Vermont by me. Making custom leather books is a very labor intensive, and patient process. I fold the pages, sew the text blocks, manually round the spines, build the cover boards, and many more steps. Each step requires specialized skill, attention, and experience, but in the end my clients get to hold a book crafted to their unique needs, and specifications. This level of customization, and one on one attention is not always offered by the inexpensive companies. Most commercially available “handmade” books are actually created by machine with only the cover portion customized. 

Q. What sizes do you offer for your custom leather books?

My standard sizes are 6”x 9”, 7 ½”x 9”, 9”x 11 ½”, and 9 ½”x 12 ½” but you are not limited to these sizes. For an additional cost I am able to cut pages to custom sizes.


Q. Does that mean you can bind my favorite newer book in leather? 

To clarify, due to copyright, I cannot print a book under copyright without permission, and hand sew it. I can recover an existing book. You would have to supply your favorite hardbound or softcover book. I will then begin the process of stabilizing, and modifying the book into a leather binding. These books are not handsewn like my printed books, but I still put a lot of time, and care into ensuring quality and physical integrity.

Q. Can you print pages in color or just in black and white?

I can print both in black or grayscale, and in color. However, please note that color will add to the cost of your project. 

Q. Can I add a custom image to my book cover? 

Yes. You should specify what you have in mind in the “Special Requests” section of this webform. There may be size limitations depending on the method of application due to the equipment that I use. We can discuss this, and adjust once I know your ideas. 

Q. Can I have a title on the spine?

Most books allow for a title on the spine but this may not be possible with books with a low page count. You can have it directly on the leather or added with a black label. It is a visual preference. 

Q. Why do your page edges look different than store bought books?

Most mass produced books have been trimmed with a hydraulic trimmer and while they can be hand ploughed, I choose not to. This is to get away from the mass produced feel. My books have a uniquely patented, semi-smooth fore-edge trim, which gives them a subtly aged look and allows for an easy page-turn.

Q: Can I have the pretty gold edges on my pages? 

Unfortunately, no. This is called “edge gilt” which requires a super smooth edge that is prepared with a plough (by hand) or a hydraulic trimmer (mass-prepared by machine). My books are semi-smooth which means that the pages have a rougher edge that is trimmed a certain way to create a handmade look, but is unsuitable for gilt edges.

Q. I see you also do soft covers books. What makes your soft cover books different?

I make long stitch books where you see the stitching visible on the spine. I also make a hybrid version of a sewn text block with a softer cover. This is my own design, and you do not see the stitching visible on the spine like a long stitch. It utilizes a traditional sewn text block. Example pictures are available upon request. 

FORMATING & DOCUMENT SUBMISSION

Q. How should I format my document for binding?

 

While I focus primarily on the bookbinding process, I understand the importance and challenges of proper document formatting. When you decide to proceed with your project, I will provide formatting suggestions to help guide you. You will be responsible for setting the correct page size and margins, and ensuring your document aligns with your desired final appearance While I offer basic guidelines and can assist with initial queries, the responsibility for final document formatting rests with you, as per the starting estimate. 

For those requiring more extensive formatting assistance, I may be able to provide additional help or refer you to a professional formatting service, depending on my current workload and the complexity of your project. However, please note that I cannot always guarantee the availability of a professional formatting service, as their capacity and acceptance of new projects vary. Additionally, please be aware that scanned documents, being image-based, may pose additional challenges, particularly if modifications are required.

 

Q. What file format should I use for my document?

Please submit your final document in PDF format to ensure the layout remains fixed. Word documents (.doc, .docx) are acceptable for initial reviews or if minor adjustments are needed, but the final version must be in PDF to proceed with printing and binding.

Q. Can you help with formatting my document?

I provide basic formatting guidance and can review your document for any issues that may impact the binding process. I can generally assist with adding page numbers, a task that can vary in complexity depending on the software used and specific placement requirements. However, comprehensive formatting services go beyond the scope of standard bookbinding and necessitate a separate discussion and agreement. If advanced formatting assistance is needed, it is subject to availability and complexity and will incur additional costs and time. Please note, I cannot guarantee the availability or capabilities of external professional formatting services.

 

PRICING

Q. Do you have a price list for your custom books?

Every custom leather-bound book or journal I create is one of a kind, and the cost of each piece varies depending on the level of customization involved, and the materials used. 

As of January, my pricing for a 200-page 6" x 9" size, handsewn, hand-bound leather binding would start around $355. Adding additional copies can create savings, but each book still takes the same amount of time, and labor to create. 

For a Custom Leather Covered Book (Recover) the starting price is $270. Books are disbound, stability added, new spine and boards created and hand-bound in leather. (This is for existing books; used or new books that you send)

To get a quote for your specific project please fill out a quote request form.

CONSULTATION

Q. What is the consultation process?

Initially, I provide a rough estimate based on your described requirements. If your custom leather book requires additional planning or specific customization, a more in-depth consultation is available. This process delves deeper into your vision, refining the estimate and ensuring all details are addressed. While not always mandatory, it's recommended for those seeking a precise estimate or who have specific customization requests.

Q. What are the charges associated with the consultation?

After the initial rough estimate, if your custom leather book requires additional planning, there's a nonrefundable consultation charge starting at $60. This fee covers researching nonstandard materials, up to 10 emails for design planning, and creating a tailored quote. If further discussions or planning are needed beyond this, additional time is billable at $30 per half hour.

ORDERING & TIMING

Q. How do I finalize the details and secure my spot for a custom leather bound book?

Once you accept the initial estimate for your leather book project, I'll send you a form with specific questions to capture all necessary details, including your preferred payment method. After you complete this form and the payment type is agreed upon, a deposit will be required. This deposit secures your spot in the queue and allows me to order any specialized materials for your handcrafted leather book.

 

Q. How will I be updated on my custom leather book's progress?

I prioritize keeping you informed throughout the bookbinding process. Expect updates when I begin crafting your leather bound book, as it nears completion, and occasionally during intermediate stages I will share photos to offer a glimpse of the progress.

 

Q. When is the final payment due for my custom leather book?

The final invoice is sent once I confirm a shipping date for your handmade book. After finalizing the payment, your leather book will be shipped, and you'll receive a tracking number for its delivery.

 

Q. What's the typical turnaround time for a custom leather bound book?

Once started, crafting your custom leather book can take between 1 to 4+ weeks, depending on its complexity and the quantity of books. I'll provide an approximate timeline when responding to your quote request or email. If you have a specific deadline, please mention it on the request form.

 

Q. Can I expedite my leather book order?

While I will not rush the craftsmanship of a leather book, I occasionally accommodate earlier timelines. However, rush orders may incur additional fees and aren't always feasible.

SHIPPING

Q. What shipping methods do you use?

Most commonly UPS and USPS. FedEx is not local to my workshop and may have an additional fee incurred if this is your preferred shipping method.

Q. Do you offer international shipping?

Yes. International shipping fees vary from country to country.

Q. Is my delivery insured?

Yes, insurance is included in your shipping fee.


RETURN POLICY

Q. Can I return my custom-made book or journal?

Unfortunately, I am unable to offer returns on custom made items.  

OTHER QUESTIONS

Q. I have more questions. How can I reach you?

I would be happy to answer your questions. Please get in touch with me here

Q. Is it possible to engage your services as a subcontractor?

 

Thank you for your interest. However, to maintain the integrity and quality of my work, I prefer to collaborate directly with the end client. This ensures that I can accurately capture and execute their vision for the book.

Q. Do you maintain an inventory of pre-made blank books?

 

Occasionally, I offer a select collection of handcrafted, one-of-a-kind blank journals in my shop.

 

Q. Why are terms like 'leather-bound' and 'hand-bound' not hyphenated on my website?
 

When I first created my website in 2010, I made a stylistic choice to use a consistent format across the site, which included not hyphenating terms like 'hand-sewn', 'hand-bound', and ‘leather-bound.’ This decision was made for consistency and simplicity in the website's text. While language and style guidelines can evolve, I've maintained this original format to keep a uniform look and feel throughout my site.

 

ordering & timing
shipping
pricing
Consultation
return policy
other questions
Formatting
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