Traditional Handsewn Binding
Recovered Bound Book
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. How would you like me to send original work that I would like to have bound in a book?
It is best to send your already formatted documents in both Word (.doc/docx), and PDF forms. Formatting your own documents saves you a lot of time, and money. It also ensures that the finished text appears just the way you want it to look. You should add page numbers, and headers if you desire those features. I do recommend page numbers so that I may verify the document stays in the correct order during the process. I will provide you with the specifications I need, and help guide you through the formatting process. If you need additional help, we can discuss options. If I am able, and time allows I can help format, if not I will hire it out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Q. Can I return my custom-made book or journal?
Unfortunately, I am unable to offer returns on custom made items.
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.