One of the things that I used to like about bookbinding, and that carried me through the time consuming process of making a book may sound counter-intuitive: I liked that it took so long. The step I liked the most was tearing the paper to size. A mindless and repetitive work, but one that freed my mind, and I could keep on tearing paper and completely loose the sense of time. I generally liked the thought that making my book will just take as long as it will.
I am writing in the past tense here for a reason. This changed for me gradually, when I tried to make money with selling journals. Just through the exercise provided by binding many books, I got faster and thus more economic. And I enjoyed my progress there. But by keeping track of how long I needed to fulfill a task, my thinking about making books changed, too. It became important to make books fast and make many of them, so that I could earn enough money by selling them. This didn’t quite work out. Although I streamlined my process and developed several “series” for which I made several similar books, I still felt I couldn’t even charge an amount that would give me a minimum wage.
So when my time for my work became less, and I couldn’t afford to expoit myself that much, I changed my attitude and thought I would rather make few books, but those really with attention to details and then charge a decent amount. – I still think that is the right way to go. But at the same time Büchertiger Supplies was getting more important as part of my income, the kids required more time, I still wanted to make art, had my solo exhibition that summer. Long story short: I more or less stopped making blank journals about one and a half years ago.
The free slots in my schedule nowadays are very rare, and I need to be economic with my time. When I follow a link in an email, and it goes to a video clip that is 10 minutes long, I wonder whether these are well invested 10 minutes. – Unfortunately that does not necessarily stop me from watching a stupid video…
I need to be this strict with my time. More often than not the combined time I have in one week for everything that is neither looking after the kids nor Büchertiger Supplies amounts to one day usually not in one block, and I can tell you, that makes it actually feels like less than an hour. (That was the time I first wrote before adding up all the time spent here and there.)
In that time I want to make art, catch up with blogs, catch up with reading, update my own blog, and sometimes even talk with my husband.
I miss the time when a could do something, and let it last for as long as it would take, without thinking whether the time was well invested. It seems a long time ago.
Today I planned to make a book. Yesterday I put together some suggestions for a custom order, and while looking through my stashes, digging through wonderful fabrics, leather and ribbons, I decided to make just one of all those books that I did not suggest to my client. And just upon forming this idea in my head, I realized that I had not looked after my Büchertiger Studio & Press shop in ages. Well, since one and a half years to be precice. I have books on my “need to be photographed” pile that were made more than two years ago. All these books, well made, but made so long ago. I want to make different books now.
So I decided to make a big clearance sale: I want to find new and loving homes for these books. Everything is 50% off! Even all those books that I listed for the first time today.
My plan is for this promotion to go until end of March, and I hope to make some space for new books this way. Just go to my Etsy Shop, put everything you want to buy in your cart, and during checkout enter “CLEARANCESPRINGSALE” as your coupon code to get 50% off everything. Please help me find new homes for my little darling books!
Some of the books that I felt were not good enough to be sold for various reasons, but too good to be tossed got listed heavily discounted in a special “sale” section of my shop. The clearance discount even is valid for those, so that you can get books for as few as 20 or 25% off the price I initially had in mind for them.