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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

I adore hand made books

TeoStudio Vintage Journals

Hand made books are on my mind and this post shares some links to hand made book sites that I really like.

I was eight years old when my mother taught me how to sew folded pages into a book. I then sewed a cover for the book from cardboard covered with my favourite fabric. The book was then filled with my pencil handwriting - I wrote a precis of the book, A Horse and his Boy by C S Lewis - then my favourite book.

Today there are wonderful papers, threads, cover fabrics and paints, hot glues and findings which mean that anyone wanting to make their own books has a lot of help - yet there are books hundreds of years old which were made only with natural materials of cloth, paper, leather and animal glue.

Why bind books by hand?
Printed books where the covers have deteriorated can be given durable covers - Aren't there some wonderful books in paperback that fall apart so quickly? They can be saved by binding with hand made board, cloth or leather covers.
Binding your own books is a very satisfying hobby and can make you money.
Hand made blank journals are a delicious treat to write poems, experiences, stories and thoughts in - something for your grand-children to inherit.

Pinterest has amazing information and images check out THIS  for
just a little taste.

Teo Studio make hand made books of a high quality with leather covers. I chose them at random - as excellent practitioners of the book binder's art.

Leather is wonderful. I've got a Kobo with a leather cover, how delicious it is to hold - and via smart technology the cover turns the device on and off when I open and close the cover.
Leather bound books are just as lovely as an ebook reader, whether the book is an old classic you have printed by and then bind a leather cover on yourself, or a book you wrote that you bind, or have bound; all leather bound books are precious. is a terrific place to buy hand made books and journals. You could buy a different item for every one of your friends and family and still have more to discover.
Om Mandala Book, meditation book, handmade book, yoga book, mantra book, hindu symbol, spiritual text, sacred text, handmade paper, OOAK
OM - meditation book.
NB some links will expire as the books are sold.

Do you own a hand made/hand bound book? Would you like to?
Have you made your own bound book?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

20 years of Publishing Experience and Flying Pigs

I've done it! I've jumped off the cliff!
The number of people I've met recently who have written books, magazine articles, poems and journals which they can't publish because they don't know how to has pushed me over the edge.
I also feel very edgy when someone says, 'Oh, my mum wrote books, they were in a box under her bed. We threw them away when she died.'
That kind of thing causes me to want to tear my hair out in frustrated desperation - why? 

Because I believe with all my heart that these words should be read by readers, not kept in boxes, on old cast-away hard drives, in dusty laptops and thumb drives hidden away in mouldy handbags in an attic or garage.
The families of writers usually do not know that the copyright or IP of any written works, art works or photographs inherited by them upon the death of their parent or grand parent is their property and that copyright will last for 50-70 years after the death of the creator of that work. 
That means there is plenty of time to publish the work and earn from sales of that work.

My goal in future is to share the 20 years of publishing knowledge I have with as many writers and their families as I can. 

So that books which would never otherwise be published can be put in front of readers as ebooks, as print books, and the writers can be celebrated for the talent they had - of being able to put one word after another in a coherent stream. 
To help I have a new website which is going to be built in a gorgeous Wordpress style by Jocelyn Mozak 
The new site is at

There I will blog about how to publish your book and how to integrate Social Media so you can have a marketing program for your book that will outstrip any marketing plan that a legacy publisher might have for any but the biggest bock-buster novels.
My new QP blog will feature all the books on this site and a fully featured shopping cart so you can buy our books direct from the authors.
We will offer signed digital books and signed hard copy books too.
I have people ready to format books, make covers and edit new writing. All the online retailers are waiting to sell your book. 

In 2015 I also have this goal of being more organised. 
No doubt you heard that pigs are flying this Christmas season? No?
I've got flying pigs all about the place - they eat the cat food.  

Contact me if you are interested in what we can do for your unpublished book, or the book that grandpa was working on up until he died. 
I can also help you escape the huge scam that is Author Solutions. 
Let's have some fun publishing wonderful words.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Five things you don't know about me - the author.

I'm a writer. The lives of writers are supposedly different from those of the average Jane Dow so for your amusement here are some things you don't know about me.
  1.  What my writing desk looks like.

My clean tidy desk - allegedly a century old former Fleet Street London journalist's roll-top oak desk - ready for nanowrimo and the creation of a new novel. It already has dents from blocked writers foreheads hitting the wood.

I'm the kind of botanical nerd who can tell you what this flower is and the name of the tree it is on - and if you can eat the fruits of this tree. 
So what is it? A New Zealand species of tree Fuchsia. It has papery reddish brown bark which has been used as notepaper and could probably be used to make hand made books if you cared to collect enough of it. 
The ripe greenish red berries are delicious if you beat the birds to them. If you eat enough your tongue may feel numb for a while.

      3.  As well as loving creating books I am also a practical engineer and help in our Harmonic Damper Remanufacturing business making rubber parts in jigs like this. These rubbers are for 1950s Buicks.

     4.  My ideal cafe scene includes my journal - currently this hand crafted notebook with the cute textured knitting effect for the cover, coffee and a sweet cake - like crunchy Ginger Crunch - if I can find some made with crunch and not squidge.

     5.  What my ancestors look like. I often wonder what it was like for Mr and Mrs Reid when they arrived in Akaroa, New Zealand in 1835. My earliest migrating ancestors must have had a hard life in the remote South Island of New Zealand. A land of birds - unfamiliar birds with no animal life at all. Thickly forested, rugged and with little food and only the furniture and medical supplies the early settlers took with them, their lives must have been unimaginably hard.