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/lit/ - Literature

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18641453 No.18641453 [Reply] [Original]

Is artisanal bookbinding a market worth looking into
Books these days are so sterile and industrial looking

>> No.18641478
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Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440 A.D., and things have gone mostly downhill since then. With every new innovation of mechanical reproduction, quality is necessarily abandoned in favor of efficiency. Quantity reigns supreme, and the democratization of books has brought with it the abandonment of form and technique. The elaborate woodblock prints and hand-copied scrolls of Edo period Japan, which produced some of the most elaborate and beautiful books known to man, gave way to the movable type printing of the Meji period and hundreds of years of tradition was lost. In Europe, the Gutenberg printing press not only sparked the beginning of the Enlightenment and Protestant Revolutions, but also brought about an end to the elaborate calligraphic styles that had been painstakingly developed by monasteries across the West. Digitalization has created an era of excessive information, where texts in the form of electronic data can be replicated an infinite amount of times and shared throughout the world with the click of a button. While this represents a remarkable achievement of human ingenuity, it does not come without its cost. Homogenization of ideas, tendency towards cheap and low effort content, and a sudden death of the publishing industry are all necessary results of digitalization.

>> No.18641480

No. All artistic handcrafts are dying out. If you find a niche market like LARPers or something, then maybe. There are people on etsy that sell things like this, but in a world of cheap alternatives, shelling out hard cash for things like this is a luxury.

That's not to say it isn't personally rewarding, or beautiful, or anything, but it's just how it is now. If you're interested in doing this for your personal satisfaction, then etsy would probably be best.

>> No.18641482
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Yes, the return to local books and local authors has just begun.

>> No.18641504

But with ebooks, isn't the market for cheap alternatives also dying? Moreso even, since its free to pirate an ebook, whereas there will always be people buying luxury goods.

>> No.18641511

E-books seem to cheapen an author's work.

I feel like I only want to sell physical books and completely ignore the kindle market. I don't even want my books on Amazon.

>> No.18641522

Pirating doesn't affect profits. This has been studied and proven again and again. And yes, there are always people buying luxury goods, but those luxury goods aren't books. Unless you somehow managed to find an enclave of rich, eccentric bibliophiles, your customer base wouldn't be big enough to survive on alone. If you are serious about this, then I'd suggest opening a printer's shop, and offer your special bindings as an extra service.

>> No.18641523

Why though? That's almost like saying you would only sell your films on celluloid because 'digital cheapens an author's work'.
If your output is so shitty that the choice of medium 'cheapens' it then I'd be hitting the drawing board.

>> No.18641532

>E-books seem to cheapen an author's work.
midwit opinion. being an obnoxious intellectual isn't grounds for starting a business.

>> No.18641543
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>I feel like I only want to sell physical books and completely ignore the kindle market. I don't even want my books on Amazon.
Not possible. Someone will just scan and upload it the moment it becomes successful. More likely, it will never become successful because most people prefer to read a book online before they buy it.

My personal philosophy is to simply accept the wu wei of the present moment, and attempt embrace digitalization rather than fighting against it. I think in the near future, the only reason people will buy books is as a physical luxury product-- either to give as a gift or keep in their personal library. If someone wishes to read a book, they can read it online. If someone wishes to physically own a book, and this is a crucial difference, then they have to buy it.

Whats important here, and this is where I think there will be a real market in the future for bookbinders and the like, is that now people are buying the book to own the physical product as-such. They aren't buying the book simply to be able to read the text inside it, since they can do that online. So what should a publisher do to stay competitive? They should pour their effort into limited run, high quality prints. Make books beautiful again, and sell to a much smaller market of art collectors and rich status signalers. The last few hundred years publishing has revolved around cheap manufacturing with small profit margins, but now there is no manufacturing costs in copying a pdf and there is no profit margin either, so the whole momentum of the last three hundred years in publishing has hit a wall. Creative solutions are required, to say the least.

>> No.18641545

>Pirating doesn't affect profits. This has been studied and proven again and again.
Provide proof, because this is extremely counter-intuitive and sounds more grounded in wishful thinking/desire to defend piracy than reality.

>> No.18641546

I mean... if someone scans it and uploads it... doesn't that mean I've already won? Real fans of my work would actually want to buy the book and see my other work if it is good enough to be pirated.

I don't care about getting pirated, that just means people are marketing my shit for me. However, putting my ebook online myself feels like it cheapens my work.

I set things up so I have control over the entire process from start to finish. Ebooks definitely feels like, uhh, not very artisty?

>> No.18641550


>> No.18641559

>this shill again

>> No.18641565

you mean like selling books with a custom binding?
or do you mean offer a service to allow people to send in books that you then bind for them in an artisan cover
either way, I wonder if it's legal to sell your own custom binded book you bought

>> No.18641568

people who pirate usually wouldn't have paid for the product anyway

>> No.18641569
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>Is artisanal bookbinding a market worth looking into
You summoned /Lit/'s resident bookbinder fag and you're complaining?

>> No.18641599

Custom Bookbinding as a service, though I don't know how doable it is to rebind a paperback book

>> No.18641685
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Bookbinding is cool and everything, but not nearly enough attention is paid to interior typeface design, illustration, etc.

>> No.18641689
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>> No.18641715
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It is fun playing around with designs related to your book! Artistry requires you to explore other mediums, even if you're not good at it, because they can produce ideas or feelings that help you in your original format.

>> No.18641879

what kind of paper cutter is that?

>> No.18641896

Triumph 3905

>> No.18642022

>All artistic handcrafts are dying out
No they are not. The thing people miss is that few have ever made a living just doing artisanal work, they subsidized it through more bread and butter type work and that is returning in a big way. Locally we have a few woodworkers, a leather worker, a few tailors, a felter, glass blower (not pipes), stained glass, blacksmith, stone cutter, quite a few potters and probably some I am forgetting and I live in a city of just 90,000 people. They are all doing artisinal level work but do simpler things to pay the bills between the big jobs which let them utilize their skills to the fullest. Teaching classes in their craft is a fairly common way to help pay the bills these days. I personally do wood working but hate doing the bread and butter work and lack the social skills to teach classes so I pay the bills as a wage slave and take on the odd wood working jobs which interests me and provide a challenge. Maybe someday I will get to the point I can live off of wood working but I am not too concerned about it. Ultimately the big high dollar jobs drain me, the customers are demanding and the materials expensive, it is rewarding but I have little desire to work wood by the end of one of those jobs and returning to mindless wage slaving is like getting into bed at the end of a long day.

>> No.18642040

Maybe yes, maybe no. Growing up my Grandmother (born < 1900) would always say "You whistle like a shoemaker". I always wondered where she had seen an actual shoemaker or if it was just an expression. Even by the 80's there were no more shoe makers left. I get that in a modern age of Etsy and self promotion handicraft might be having a renaissance. But I wonder what it would have been like to live in a world where each town or region had shoe makers, book binders, potters etc as per normal.

>> No.18642081

It is coming back!

>> No.18642088

The local leather worker here makes her living primarily as a cobbler, she makes good shoes. We always have had a cobbler here, she bought the old cobblers shop when she moved here. The old cobbler mostly did repair work but did make shoes as well. We now lack a good place for repair, she only repairs her own work. Etsy is a shithole.

>> No.18642090


>> No.18642369

Cool and thoughtful post. I really like the idea that digitization (which is vastly more operationally efficient at conveying mere text compared to paperback books) creates an opportunity for artisans to fill a gap in high quality print media.

>> No.18642375

I'd want to do sewn plain clothbound books but I wouldn't know where to get the materials and paper and printer

>> No.18642480

>If someone wishes to read a book, they can read it online
I'll never buy this argument. This is not true for at least a non-trivial % of my (physical) books

>> No.18642505

elevate books into heirloom status like a expensive watch passed down from generation to generation

>> No.18642692
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Highly based version of Leaves of Grass coming through

>> No.18642972

Imagine how many works would have been lost without the printing press, before it works had to be copied by hand and a selection needed to be made since preserving everything was practically impossible.

>> No.18642999

a laser forge could crank out 100 of those covers in a day.

>> No.18643702

What separates the books you read digitally from the books you read physically?

>> No.18643953

based shill

>> No.18643970

I'm not sure I understand the question.

>> No.18643982

>Is artisanal bookbinding a market worth looking into
>follow bookbinding youtuber
>very skilled clean work
>I have been doing this for NN years, but never managed to make money from it

>> No.18643988

>so I pay the bills as a wage slave
then you're not a woodworker

>> No.18643994

chances are that's exactly how this is done but they say
>fUlLy HaNdMaDe
to crank up the price
marketing is everything and marketing is lies
nobody will find out over the internet

>> No.18644012

>the only reason people will buy books is as a physical luxury product
You're naive, nobody gives a shit about items
This is all about posting a picture on social media and saying
>I bought THIS book made by a disabled BIPOC panda-identifying lesbian transexual Auschwitz survivor. I am a good person. Give me likes so my social credit goes up.

>> No.18644256

Technically I did not say I was a woodworker, I said I do woodworking. Call me what you want, people are willing to pay up into five figures for my work, would rather wage slave and get full benefits than build cookie cutter kitchen cabinets everyday and if I did those cabinets for a living I would likely have to turn down most of the worthwhile jobs due to the shop being full of cabinets and other job obligations. With my current job I can take a month off for a big job, and even if they can not spare me I can quit and find a new job with no issues. The freedom it allows me is hard to ignore. Maybe someday I will be able to live on just the wood working, but those well paying jobs which are not just following a plan are the exception, not the rule and there is a good amount of competition for them.

The other week I got a call from an architect about the possibility of doing some of the furniture for a house they are doing, took a week off to meet with the architect to go over the details and draw up a proposal, made some drawings, a couple models and sent them off, would probably not have been able to do that if I was making my living in the trade. Hopefully the clients like it and pick at least one of my pieces, it will be a great job, they are the spare no expense sorts.

Hope your life is not as bad as you make it sound and you were just having a bad day.

>> No.18644345

Holding a physical book is so much better than a device. In my opinion, of course!

>> No.18644422
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This is something that's extremely difficult to find direct evidence of. We're talking about speculative sales. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and I suspect piracy takes a bigger toll than most people realize.
Since there's no way to gather direct evidence, we have to really on anecdotal evidence. I haven't paid for videogames or movies in years. I have a huge collection of both. Piracy is my main, really my only, source of entertainment. The industry would make so much money from me of piracy didn't exist.

On another note, stop putting blind faith in studies. Use your common sense, if you have any. The sheer number of published studies with flawed methodology, and results that cannot be repeated, is staggering. You can read what scientists say about the problem of bad studies being published. So, when you see a study with results that don't make sense, treat it with some suspicion.

>> No.18644532

>Use your common sense, if you have any.
The reason why people quote these studies and do not apply basic common sense is because they're arguing in bad faith. Welcome to 2021 where all the truth you need is quoting whatever source agrees with you so people see a link and perceive it as authority.

>> No.18644535

Book binding is a viable hobby. If you like leather bound books, you can pouring and bind your own books. Get acid free paper,a special printer, and a few book binding tools and materials. All in all, it's cheaper than a gaming rig, and you can pirate books from libgen and print your own fancy ass leather bound copies.

>> No.18644560

I agree. It's a same science has become so politicized. "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

>> No.18644574

There are some fine presses that seem to stick around that make lavish editions of either classics or new works. The obvious ones are Folio Society and Easton Press, but then you have some others like Arion Press which is richfag territory, as well as some more niche presses like Zagava, Ex Occidente/Mount Abraxas, Centipede Press, etc.
All their books seem to sell out fairly quickly, and then get hefty mark-ups on the secondary market.

>> No.18644625

There is another, now defunct, publisher with affordable leather bound books, and you can find their stuff in mint condition on eBay. I don't want to say their name because I'm collecting them, don't want everyone to buy them, but I'll leave a hint. Their name starts with an F.

>> No.18645334

Then you agree with me, >>18641543 isn't saying that there is no reason at all to buy physical books, but that the reason for owning physical books is purely aesthetic-- its done for the tactile feeling, the smell, the weight, the look of the book on your bookshelf, the illustrations inside, etc. The contents themselves are nice, but we can think of books as interchangeable text blocks that can be just as easily read online. Therefore, the direction for publishers who want to survive should necessarily be to trend towards high quality reproductions of books which will last a long time, look good on a bookshelf, and so on, rather than mass production of shitty paperbacks that can be just as easily read online for free.

>> No.18645340

based common sense poster.

>> No.18645373

I mean, as far as the art market goes buying fine press books is a pretty decent investment. They're more tactile and interactive than artwork, they can be stored more easily, and the fragility of the paper means that they'll accumulate value well as long as you keep them in good condition, since other editions will presumably fall apart over time. As a luxury good or an art investment, it signals a lot more social capital than a designer handbag or conceptual piece, and even if you don't use it purely as a financial investment you can hand it down to your children and grandchildren for several generations.

Another thing to consider, from an industry standpoint, is that expensive books are an easy tax loophole. Donate a couple copies of each run to museums or universities, write it off, and you also get free advertising by saying "X museum keeps a collection of our works".

David Bull (https://youtu.be/K8I2hnR8TG8) is a bookmaker I admire a lot, and he made over 80k on his last series of books.

>> No.18645396

Also, as far as purchases go, dropping $300 for a leather bound, illustrated, beautifully decorated, etc. copy of your favorite book is reasonable for middle class purchasers. It's spending $20 on a new paperback you'll read once that doesn't make sense as a purchasing decision when you have libgen and archive.org at your fingertips.

>> No.18646243

Based anon printing his own library.

>> No.18647450 [DELETED] 


>> No.18647454

For the record, I'm more than happy to help other anons print their shit. Hit me up:

[email protected]


>> No.18647555

The future is DRM technology and people 'renting' rather than owning their own books.
You might not like it, but that's what it is.

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