Marketing and Publicity and PaperLove

June 24th, 2015 by Courtney Murphy | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Marketing and Publicity and PaperLove
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Rachel Hazell, a.k.a. the Traveling Bookbinder

Rachel Hazell, a.k.a. the Traveling Bookbinder

I interned for Rachel Hazell, a bookbinder and paper artist based in Edinburgh. Rachel has been a self-employed book artist since 1998 when she founded her first company, Hazell Designs Books. She is passionate about books but more than anything else she’s passionate about paper itself. Her strong drive to share her passion for paper with others has taken her around the world: she has taught bookbinding and book art workshops in Scotland, Paris, Venice, California, and as far afield as Antarctica.

My work as an intern primarily involved marketing and publicity for PaperLove, Rachel’s online paper art course. The PaperLove e-course is five-week class that explores a range of paper art and paper craft. It is advertised as a course “Developed to enable everyone, no matter where they live, to work with Rachel to develop their creativity through the medium of paper”. Each week of the course is devoted to a specific theme or craft. The themes for each of the five weeks are: paper, collage, word, book, and mail. You can learn more about the course here.

The PaperLove e-course runs two times each year. As soon as my internship began in January I started

Countdown to PaperLove

Countdown to PaperLove

working to promote the March run of the course. Working with a limited marketing budget Rachel and I focused on using social media and electronic word-of-mouth marketing as a way of reaching potential “PaperLovers”. We used Instagram to host giveaways and to advertise the course. (The Society of Young Publishers recently did a feature on Rachel’s delightful Instagram account here.) On Facebook we used the Paperphilia page to share free DIY tutorials as a way of giving potential students the chance to try out paper crafts and get a sense of Rachel’s teaching style.

A large part of my internship consisted of liaising with artists and bloggers who helped to promote PaperLove. I contacted paper artists, collage artists, bookbinders, and bloggers all over the world and worked with them to get publicity for PaperLove. We offered interested artists a five-day PaperLove sampler course and requested that in exchange for the sampler they write a feature about PaperLove on their blog. Artists all over the world took part, including a visual artist based in London, U.K.; a paper artist and author in Delaware, U.S.A.; and a jeweler and crafter in Bucharest, Romania. It was interesting to see what each artist did with the sampler class projects, and the features these artists wrote really helped to extend Rachel’s reach and to spread the word about PaperLove. I also worked to get PaperLove onto craft websites and community sites. It was exciting to see PaperLove featured on CraftGossip did two features on Rachel’s paper art: one feature on PaperLove and a second feature on Rachel’s DIY tutorial on how to make Mini Post Books.

Lemongrass soap lovingly wrapped in book text

Lemongrass soap lovingly wrapped in book text

Interning for a book and paper artist was never ever boring. While much of my work was done from home on my laptop, whenever I went into Edinburgh to meet with Rachel at her studio I got to take a break from my laptop and busy myself with whatever crafty tasks needed doing. One day I used pages cut from old second hand books to wrap up bars of soap for Bed with a View, Rachel’s literary-themed studio apartment retreat in Edinburgh’s Old Town. The next day upon my arrival at the studio I was presented with one of Rachel’s literary sculptures and asked to count the number of blossoms in a paper “bookquet”—a bouquet of flowers custom made from the pages of a book.

It was such a privilege to work with Rachel on promoting the PaperLove course. I learnt so much about marketing and publicity while working alongside Rachel and her PR, branding, and long-term strategy person. I also learnt a lot about paper: I now know all about European paper making methods, the history of writing implements, and I’ve mastered some basic paper folding and bookbinding techniques. My internship with Rachel Hazell has truly been a highlight of my year on the M.Litt. course.

The Changing Face of UK Printing

October 5th, 2011 by | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The Changing Face of UK Printing
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Getting ready to fold...

Martin the Printers is a family run business whose history starts in 1892 and has been dedicated to book publishing since the 1950’s.  They deal with many publishers both large and small, and deal on a global basis.  David Martin gave an enthusiastic talk about the changing nature of UK printing, ranging from the economics of the Euro to environmental awareness.

Since January, the staff at Martins’ have been collectively working for 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.  The demise of the euro has made it cheaper for publishers to use UK based printers.  Costs in the Far East have risen by 50% over the last 18 months, particularly in China and India where a lot of publishers placed their work. Another advantage the UK printing market has over foreign competition is time.  It can take 12 weeks for a book to be printed and shipped back to the UK from overseas.  At Martin the Printers they are now able to complete a print run in 5 days, quite handy when a book is flying off the shelves and more are needed quickly.  This turnaround was really impressive especially when they used to be given 7-8 weeks to print a book.  This means that the UK can now be more competitive and a lot more work is being placed here.

At Martins they have an impressive approach to their Environmental Policy.  By weight they recycle 98% of their waste and reuse products where they can.  They are FSC accredited (Forestry Stewardship Council) and all paper used is approved by them.

Near the end of the talk we were set into groups and given a huge sheet of paper with pages from a book printed on it.  This when folded, becomes one section of a book.  Our task was to fold this paper so the pages were in a consecutive order.  After many false attempts David took pity on us and instructed us how to do it.  Once all sections of a book are together, then the book can be bound.  The spine is glued and then sent to a trimmer to be shingled into neat edges.  At Martins they do four styles of book binding.

I don’t think any of us were quite expecting how interesting paper could be.  This is in no doubt due to David’s own infectious enthusiasm for the topic.  For example when a paperback turns yellow in the sun, it’s because of the poor quality of pulp in the paper.

David left us with a great bit of advice, “Enjoy What You Do,” which he clearly does.

By Aileen-Elizabeth Taylor