NaBoBiMo: A Look Back

Geez, where did the month go? It’s nearly the end of December, and I never did a quick summary post for NaBoBiMo!

Well, part of that is that I wound up working my first two craft fairs (which went great!). And part of it is that I fell short of my goal, and who likes looking back over not making a goal? Not me!

Anyway. The finally tally was: 16 books (plus loads of prep for the other 14) over about 30 hours. That means it takes me under two hours to do a book, which is pretty awesome! Plus, I learned exactly how much each needs in the way of materials and how many books i can feasibly do in a month without making myself crazy or giving up my social life. (Which also means I learned that I can do more if I do give up my social life!)

I count NaBoBiMo 2012 as a success, if only because I made way more books than I have in any previous month. Go me!

NaBoBiMo Day 19!

Yeesh, the month is getting away from me! Good thing the holiday weekend is coming up. Hopefully I can crank out enough text blocks in time to get them trimmed by the lovely folks at Signature Print Services before Turkeyday.

Anyway! Here’s the status after today:


Up top are six text blocks almost ready to trim. Below are two text blocks ready to prep for binding and four finished books.

Here are the two I finished most recently:


The colors aren’t quite true here, since it’s night time, but the right one has gold fabric and a sort of orchid violet with gold brushstrokes on it. So pretty!

Here are their endpapers:


Not bad!

If I bind two books a day for the rest of the month, I’ll be four short. Since I should be able to bind at least three or four a day over the holiday weekend, that’s actually not too bad! The real bottleneck will be getting the text blocks trimmed.


  • Cutting/prepping of materials: Cover materials almost entirely prepped! About 1/2 of endpapers prepped.
  • Text blocks sewn and awaiting prep: 8
  • Books prepped and awaiting casing-in: 0
  • Total books cased-in: 4
  • Total time: 17:24


Holy cow, I pulled two finished books out of the press today! Very exciting. BEHOLD:


Pretty sweet, eh? AND I prepped two more text blocks for casing in. Woot!

The other thing I did today is finish hacking up all the paper and bookcloth I have — which turns out to only be enough for a total of 25 books. Oops. So my estimates were a leetle off.


My back hurts, gah.


  • Cutting/prepping of materials: Cover materials almost entirely prepped! About 1/2 of endpapers prepped.
  • Text blocks sewn and awaiting prep: 7
  • Books prepped and awaiting casing-in: 2
  • Total books cased-in: 2
  • Total time: 12:30

NaBoBiMo Day 11!

Welp, two books are IN THE PRESS and drying, so as of tomorrow, I will have two books FINISHED. I’m looking forward to casing in more and more books as the month progresses. Because I only have one nipping press, I can only do 2-3/day, so I’m glad to have some in already. Wooo!

The other book-related thing I did today was post a bunch of books over at my Etsy store. Just in time for y’all to start your holiday shopping early! Check it out!

Closeup of Royal Goldfish blank book


NaBoBiMo Day 9!

Slow progress, but progress nontheless! I reached an exciting stage today:

NaBoBiMo: Day 9

What you see there are two text-blocks nearly ready for casing-in! Casing-in is the process of putting the cover on a book. Once the cover’s on, it dries overnight in the bookpress and then is basically complete unless I want to do something fancy like KwikPrint a title on the cover or something.

Woo hoo!

I also sewed up two more text blocks.


  • Cutting/prepping of materials: Some done
  • Text blocks sewn and awaiting prep: 9
  • Books prepped and awaiting casing-in: 2
  • Total books cased-in: 0
  • Total time: 9:05

NaBoBiMo Day 4!

Welp, I’ve now used up all my text paper. Sigh. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the shipment I ordered will arrive tomorrow instead of Tuesday! Gotta think positive.

Here’s the stack:

NaBoBiMo Day 4!

You can see some of the books I’ve done in past months below, there. Some of them are for sale in my Etsy shop, the rest will be up soonish, I hope.

Progress: Eight text blocks done (so, 8 books about 1/3 done), minor prep work for future books.

NaBoBiMo Day 3

Chugging along! I figured out that my time estimate yesterday was off — the dingus I’m using to track things keeps returning the total time, not the time for the session. Phew!

So, I finished two more text blocks today, bringing the total to six, woooo:

NaBoBiMo Day 3

I moved ’em over to a bookshelf so they’re out of the way and not on my workbench. Woot.

Progress: 6 books 1/3 done, minor prep for other books. Total time so far: 4:44.

NaBoBiMo Day 2

Slower today than yesterday, not sure what’s up with that. 3:38 all to fold, punch, and sew two text blocks! Crazy. But then, it’s the end of the week, and I’m pretty beat. *yawn*

NaBoBiMo Day 2

One looming issue: I have enough text paper left to do four more text blocks, and more paper won’t get here until Tuesday. Grr! I haven’t decided what to do about that yet. My preferred text paper is almost impossible to get at local stores. 🙁

Progress: Four books 1/3 done, minor prep work for other books done.

NaBoBiMo Day 1!

So! Today is the first day of my crazypants project, National Book Binding Month! Goal: Bind 30 books in 30 days.

Here’s what I started with today:


I have more supplies on their way (text paper and bookcloth, mostly), but this is most of it.

After 2:38 of work (yes, I clocked it), I have all the endpapers cut up (and the knowledge that I need to buy more endpaper paper, because boy howdy did I miscalculate how much I need!) and two text blocks sewn! Hot diggety!


Progress: 2 books 1/3 of the way done, minor prep work for other books.


While I’ve been running silent on the blog, I’ve been cooking up some seriously exciting stuff!

I’m gearing up to start selling my blank books wholesale — working with a designer (the fantabulous Richard Miller of Calyx Design, go hire that man and tell him I sent you, he’s amazing!), choosing a range of papers and cloths, the works.

And, most importantly: I’ve been planning how best to build up stock. I need a blitz of bookbinding, I realized — and what better time to have a blitz than November, the time of National Novel Writing Month?

I spent ten years doing NaNoWriMo every November, and while I’ve pretty much outgrown it, I miss the fall frenzy of activity. So this year, I’m binding books instead of writing words.

This November, I will bind 30 hardbound, medium-sized blank journals between 12:01am November 1st and 11:59 November 30th. I’ll chronicle my doings here, as well as possibly finishing off the half-dozen or so draft posts I have kicking around.

Tally ho!