Growlygracepress's Blog


While I have the ‘right’ to bookbind I don’t have the ‘right’ to expect people to buy it.
August 30, 2013, 9:33 am
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Again work with me on this.
The idea I had about the ‘right’ to bookbind was actually about the sometimes fraught relationship I have with artists.
I allowed myself to become defined as a bookbinder who makes books for artists, they had big fat arts council grants and they are an absolute hoot to work with.
So the books that I made, that were seen in exhibitions would not be made if it were not for the artist commissioning it.
I now get my name on the wall besides the book, to be honest I never really cared because I like the cheque better.

What I was thinking is this. Do I need the artist?
I used and still do rant at artists that are really going for ‘it’ that they actually need a book designer in the mix. Yeah I can bind it but if they really want to make a book a book. Get a book designer in. Getting someone who has some web development chops is no substitute. That way the books looks like web shots and the type is a dead give away.

So it comes to this. I don’t need an artist to ‘do’ the covers.

But the bottom line ultimately is I have no ‘right’ to expect people to buy them. What I can do is make an attractive object, that functions well at a price that is agreeable.

I don’t think the craft shops and galleries are the way to go. The mark up is 40% plus the vat! If you want to know why the stuff is so bad and priced so high thats why.

The 19th century reformed craft guilds are at the root of all the problems we have with craft. So the Guild of lady bookbinders is not coming back. Good thing to.

The turn your name in to a brand and get the stuff manufactured in China has become yet another way for women to feel bad about them selfs. Thank you Kirsty Althorpe.

So I need another way to get the books to the market.

I think what I am looking at is the selling of bookbinding services. The people who need to buy my books are the people who need to give gifts. They need to give gifts because they are part of a social circle that are rating each other on what the gift they are giving at christenings, birthdays, weddings, civil partnerships, retirements and gap years. Whatever the occasion is I reckon that a handmade book is the answer.

So I just need to find these ladies.

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