Thornwillow Charlotte’s Web

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Thornwillow Charlotte’s Web

jun 24, 11:15 am

Kickstarter for Thornwillow’s latest anchor publication launches Monday:

jun 24, 2:42 pm

Got the email as well, I'll be there for that one!

jun 24, 4:28 pm

This release has me wondering about something common to almost all fine presses. The all seem to release children's lit at least once (many of them often). Judging by the way I've seen children treat books, this is curious to me. Is it just nostalgic adults clamoring for things like this? At one time I thought it was mandated by international law that if you start a fine press you must print The Wind In the Willows and or Alice in Wonderland. I looked into it though an no such law exists. Puzzling.

jun 24, 4:36 pm

>3 L.Bloom:

A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest. - C S Lewis

jun 24, 6:27 pm

>3 L.Bloom:

To some extent it is a variant of "dumbing down". There is considerable risk for a private press to publish something challenging or controversial because they are heavily reliant on their very limited editions selling quickly and completely, or near-completely. However, if private presses are willing to treat their potential readership as literate, well educated adults rather than grown up children they will be very pleasantly surprised. Lewis & Dorothy Allen (the Allen Press) proved this many years ago while both the Thornwillow Press and the Barbarian Press follow this philosophy as well.

jun 24, 6:58 pm

A first class children's book like Charlotte's Web absolutely deserves the fine press treatment. I am really happy Thornwillow is doing this project and look forward to seeing what the different versions will be. It is a masterfully written book. E.B. White was a genius. And the illustrations are really magnificent.

>3 L.Bloom: L.Bloom: I think there is little risk of Thornwillow dumbing down it's content. Their track record, both with the Dispatch series and their other anchor publications, speaks for itself. Charlotte's Web will be a nice change to follow after Ulysses. Thornwillow has done several other children's titles in the past. All of them terrific.

jun 24, 7:42 pm

>3 L.Bloom: I really appreciate that they do this — saves me money!

jun 24, 7:59 pm

I've seen it argued convincingly that in many ways it's more difficult to write a brilliant all-ages novel than to write a brilliant adult novel. The latter presupposes a level of sophistication that can allow for difficult concepts and complex allusion, whereas an all-ages book must grapple with foundational concepts in a more direct and straightforward manner. Not that allegory is prohibited, but it must be done in a way that is more accessible. Thus I have great respect for authors who manage this trick, and do not look down on them merely because of the age range of their audience.

jun 24, 8:05 pm

I read Charlotte's Web as a youth at some point. I remember really liking it. And, contrary to the norm, I really liked the movie too. Maybe I was more forgiving of the book to movie pipeline as a kid.

I will definitely be getting at least the paper-wrapped.

jun 24, 9:24 pm

Nothing against children's lit or Thornwillow. I have their Waste Land in the half leather (it's excellent) and am patiently awaiting the half leather Ulysses I Kickstarted nearly 2 years ago. The Ulysses project had my expectations set at a grander scale for the anchor publications. Charlotte's web could pretty easily fit into one of their monthly chapbooks, maybe in two parts.

Moby-Dick for example, would be a project on the level of Ulysses and one (having missed the opportunity to acquire the Arion on account of having not yet been born) I hope to see in the future from Thornwillow.

jun 26, 11:37 am

Subscribed for the half leather as usual.
Ten instalment payments seems to be a new concept, but you can save about 6% by paying in full in advance.

jun 26, 12:21 pm

I pledged for the paper wrappers edition.

Redigeret: jun 26, 12:48 pm

I would normally have pledged for one of the half-leathers, but ended up going with the full cloth. Really like the overall design with the included dust jacket.

Redigeret: jun 26, 11:53 pm

The cost of the half-cloth seems much more expensive this time around. Usually it’s what they charge for what they are charging full cloth for this time.

Edited to add Thornwillow’s response (from the Kickstarter comments) to the question of why that is:

“For a few reasons. First of al, no matter how much we would have liked to, we can no longer afford to make the bindings at the old price. The labor that goes into making a half cloth binding is so much more than it may appear, that we just had no choice. As it is, even at the new pricing, there are tiny margins (which is also why there is no Early Bird tier for this version). Any discount would put it below cost unless we were to compromise quality which is not an option.

With this in mind, we love this binding format and absolutely don't want to discontinue it. So, we decided to make it even better, by adding paste paper boards and letterpress printed paste paper end sheets as well as a gold stamped leather spine label.

On this campaign, mindful of some tiers being higher than in the past, we also decided to offer more installment options to help keep the editions as accessible as possible. And, we added a new format – the casebound full cloth edition, stamped on the cover and with a letterpress printed dust jacket. This version will help keep the edition accessible in a really beautiful hardcover format.”

jun 26, 1:00 pm

I would normally have pledged the quarter-cloth edition. I'm not sure if I want to spend the extra money on the deluxe half-cloth or just pledge the full cloth edition

jun 26, 1:26 pm

>14 const-char-star: I am going back and forth on which one to pick. I love the aesthetics of the full cloth edition compared to the half leather; but at the same time I want a copy with the engraved illustrations.

jun 26, 1:41 pm

The half cloth this time is more elaborate than in the past. This time it has paste paper covers and endpapers, and a leather spine label. I like the upgrade and think it's worth the difference. But the full cloth looks pretty attractive too. I think it's probably more economical to make a full cloth binding than the half cloth, so this shift makes economic sense to me.

I really like the "Humble" edition. That's maybe my favorite.

jun 26, 1:42 pm

>18 FvS: The Humble is my favourite too, but not within my budget unfortunately

Redigeret: jun 26, 1:55 pm

>17 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: The engravings are what gave me pause. I would really love to have them, but budgetarily it was more realistic for me to go with the full cloth in the end. If the half-cloth contained them I probably would have jumped for that one.

Incidentally, I love the design on the paper-wrapped edition. But then I usually do when it comes to Thornwillow.

EDIT: I also love the Radiant design, but it would be tricky to keep clean I'm thinking.

jun 26, 2:21 pm

so many editions!

Redigeret: jun 26, 2:59 pm

Fabulous choice by Thornwillow! Does anyone know if any other publisher has done a fine press Charlotte's Web?

Exciting project... but slightly disappointing designs in my opinion. The paper wrapper is nice. The full cloth is probably the best design and value in my opinion and almost certainly what I'll pledge. The deluxe half-cloth looks great, but nothing in the design makes me think "Charlotte's Web" - same for half-leather and deluxe half-leather. The "terrific" edition is quite nice and certainly relatable to the book, although I'm not a fan of the green Moroccan leather. On the other hand, I think the "humble" edition looks fabulous, but at $3750 it's not going to happen. The "radiant" edition is beautiful, but once again I don't look at it and think "Charlotte's Web". As for the "magnum opus" edition - clearly aimed for those that are fortunate to be inundated in money...

Redigeret: jun 26, 3:04 pm

I went for the paper wrapper early bird, which seems excellent value. This will be my fourth Thornwillow book in this state. I was ready to try a cloth or half-cloth Thornwillow edition but have never read Charlotte's Web so decided not to branch out on this ocassion.

I have no complaints about the paper wrapper editions though. I find them plenty durable enough for reading and re-reading, and they look lovely on the shelf too.

jun 26, 3:09 pm

>22 astropi: Thornwillow is touting it as "The First Fine Press Edition", and I take them at their word on this. At least, I'm not aware of any previous edition meeting the criteria, though it's possible there was a limited run somewhere I'm unaware of.

I agree with you on the half-cloth/half-leather editions - the "electrophoresis" design, while pleasant enough, doesn't really do anything to evoke the book. It was more suited to No Reply's Amontillado release, where at least it looks like a rack of bottles lying on their sides. I would have much rather seen a marbled paper with a kind of web motif, or even one with a craquelure design.

jun 26, 3:10 pm

>22 astropi: TW says this is the first fine press edition of this book, at the very top of the KS page.

jun 26, 3:17 pm

Are all states printed on the same paper?

jun 26, 3:20 pm

Full cloth for me. As usual there seem to be very good values toward that end of the spectrum, though I'd join the chorus of appreciation for the Humble edition.

jun 26, 3:40 pm

>26 kermaier: On the topic of paper:

All of the editions will feature a range of heavy archival felt or vellum finished stock. We are also looking to use mouldmade paper for the very top leather bound tiers, or Crane's Lettra.

One of the enormous problems for us with our Ulysses project was the inability to get the paper we planned. So we are eager to secure what will be needed before locking it down definitively to avoid delays in production.

jun 26, 6:49 pm

>28 const-char-star: That makes total sense. In general I've always been very happy with the paper Thornwillow uses across their editions. The lower end versions feel very sumptuous and the higher ones, especially when they use Lettra, are terrific. I still hope that the day will come when they use handmade paper that they make themselves the way they did years ago, even if it were for just a few tiers.

>24 Shadekeep: I really like all the designs and feel there is a spectrum to appeal to different tastes. The quilt version is very interesting, like what they did for Parable of the sower. I think it's very imaginative and makes sense — a quilt says "farm" to me. I think the half cloth, half leather, and deluxe half leather are actually really sophisticated and do feel appropriate for the edition. Also they are very much in line with their aesthetic (like the Louis Auchincloss Civil Wars edition they did many years ago). Also the endpapers will be particularly interesting. I don't think they tell enough about that part of their designs. You have to have some of their previous titles to know what to expect. Letterpress on top of paste paper is really beautiful. While i understand why so many people like the full cloth version best (the channeling of the original dust wrapper is beautiful. A bit like a facsimile). I actually think, artistically, it is the least interesting of the group. But again, that's why I think they did a great job of having something appealing for lots of different collectors.

jun 26, 7:39 pm

>28 const-char-star: One of the enormous problems for us with our Ulysses project was the inability to get the paper we planned. So we are eager to secure what will be needed before locking it down definitively to avoid delays in production.

Has this been stated before? If so, I must have missed it. I remember staffing issues being discussed as the reason for the delay.

jun 26, 9:09 pm

Glad to be waking up to this one. I haven't read this since I was a child, but I remember liking it. The Strunk and (E.B.) White "Elements of Style" has been a desk companion of mine for decades, so if I am willing to take his writing advice, I should have on hand a sample of his writing. I pledged for the full-cloth; like others, I felt that that was the best option in budget.

jun 26, 11:42 pm

“Charlotte’s Web” is a very special book for my wife and me. Although I am somewhat past the age of consent for Medicare, I can still remember my elementary school class listening to our teacher read a chapter a day during our lunch break. As an elementary school teacher for more than 20 years, my wife read the book to her class every year. I pledged for both the “Some Pig” edition for the (pig) pink binding and engraved illustrations and the full cloth edition with letterpress dust jacket for my wife.

My future copy will be placed next to my Thornwillow Ulysses (whenever it arrives) in my fine press eclectic bookcase.

Two thumbs up for Strunk and White “Elements of Style”!

jun 26, 11:53 pm

>20 Shadekeep: I initially pledged the full cloth, but after sleeping on it, changed to the half leather. I am curious to see how the letterpress endpapers will look like too

jun 27, 7:54 am

>33 Praveenna_Nagaratnam: Sounds like a good choice, especially as that gets you the engravings too. There really are no badly conceived editions in this lot, all have their respective charms.

jun 27, 8:49 am

I've ordered the full-cloth, which looks wonderful and is well priced, especially at the 'early bird' price. Strange that people have ordered the non 'early bird' version when the 'early bird' is still available...

This will be my first Thornwillow book, after watching from the sidelines for several years. Looking forward to seeing one in person, though it seems there will be a 1 year+ wait. The number of different high-end variants which they produce for each book is interesting. One wonders what the business logic is for doing this. On the face of it, it would seem that the time spent working on such books which, it would appear, very few people buy would be better spent working on other titles. But I guess they have their reasons. Maybe they just have a very enthusiastic binder.

jun 27, 12:00 pm

I pledged for the full cloth edition. I wanted the deluxe half cloth, like all my other Thornwillow books, but the price point is too far above previous publications -- couldn't splurge for it.

jun 27, 12:53 pm

Somebody pledge those last 4 full cloth editions so I can stop being tempted to upgrade my pledge. Just sayin'...

jun 27, 2:33 pm

>37 jveezer: Like the Sirens, it calls to you... the LAST cloth...

jun 27, 3:40 pm

>38 astropi: Aaaaand GONE! 👍

jun 27, 4:14 pm

Thank you Disablers!!!

jun 28, 1:17 pm

>40 jveezer: We are here for you :)

It is interesting how "times have changed" -- I supported them in their 2020 'Three War Stories' by David Mamet which I think is lovely - but what I want to point out is that back then, a whopping three years ago, the "early-bird" half leather was $450... brings tears to one's wallet.

jun 28, 3:50 pm

>41 astropi: $450 three years ago doesn't surprise me, nor that it is double today. Believe me, I can relate!

jul 6, 1:26 pm

I see they have taken the Ulysses installment model over to the Charlotte's Web campaign. Somehow $95 per month for the half leather feels a lot more manageable than $950 all at once. I think this is a good strategy and really does make their work accessible to a wider audience. The paper wrapper for $15 per month is crazy affordable. I know its the same amount in the end. But still $15 per month makes getting one of their books painless. And, by contrast $800 per month for the very top tier enables one to think about it more carefully than seeing the whole number in one painful lump.

jul 19, 11:16 am

Denne bruger er blevet fjernet som værende spam.

jul 19, 1:02 pm

>36 kermaier:
I ended up canceling my full-cloth pledge -- I realized I'm not really so excited to have a private press edition of this book, and would rather allocate the funds to other titles. Hope that frees up a copy for someone else....

jul 19, 2:03 pm

>44 jefiyof392: Am I reading correctly that would be $3,750 total? My $.02 I wouldn't buy it if I had any doubts as you won't get anywhere near that amount selling on the secondary market. If it speaks to you and you love it, why not?

jul 19, 5:11 pm

>46 LBShoreBook: The prices for some of these "high end" fine press books is becoming ludicrous. Slap $100 in leather and a ten second foil stamp on the exact same book and add $3000 to the price. Nothing about such books is exceptionally fine. Machine paper, machine printing, essentially a 50s trade book dressed up in leather.

jul 19, 5:38 pm

Denne bruger er blevet fjernet som værende spam.

jul 19, 5:44 pm

Denne bruger er blevet fjernet som værende spam.

jul 19, 5:56 pm

>49 jefiyof392: I have over a dozen Thornwillow books and also enjoy supporting them. They do great work and at $200 their books are well worth it. But how is the $3,750 version more exceptional than the $200 version? If anybody can justify that difference based on the craft, I stand corrected.

jul 19, 6:03 pm

>47 edkennedy: I kinda feel this way also!

jul 19, 6:06 pm

>50 edkennedy: No justification. I have spent far less on one-off fine bindings by exceptional craftsfolk and know that you could get several designer binders to do the job at nowhere near that cost.

jul 19, 6:24 pm

>47 edkennedy:, >52 ChestnutPress: Yes, no argument here. But...others have their own ideas and motivations.

Redigeret: jul 19, 7:04 pm

>47 edkennedy: >52 ChestnutPress: >53 Glacierman: Since we're all good friends, I'm going to jump in and disagree a bit.

At face value, you're right. Is the cost of labor and material of the $3,750 full-leather state really $3,500 more than the cost of labor and material for the $250 full-cloth state? No, of course not. Could you get a bespoke full-leather rebind for cheaper elsewhere? Sure. But I think that sort of misses the forest for the trees. The higher end states are essentially patronage tiers. To boot: Thornwillow actually calls them "patron editions". Thornwillow is a large operation, with large operating costs. The insurance on their building alone must be north of $10,000 per month. How does that get paid for? How do the apprenticeships and trainings and tours get paid for? Frankly, how do the $100 states – which we all agree are a whopping good deal – get paid for? I think >49 jefiyof392: is essentially right in saying, "It gives me pleasure to know that I'm supporting people who are keeping these crafts going." The price may not be justifiable on the materials and direct craftsmanship that goes into the full-leather book alone, but in the bigger picture I think it makes perfect sense.

I don't think the collectors who go for these expensive tiers are being duped. I think they simply have the means and the interest to support the endeavor as a whole – the fruits of which we all enjoy.

jul 19, 7:03 pm

>54 grifgon: Good point. I cheerfully concede.

jul 19, 7:05 pm

I'm going to disagree with the value statements as well. Worth it to you? Maybe, maybe not. To others though, such as me? I find great pleasure in supporting presses and purchasing upper tiers when possible. I subscribed to the Magnum Opus edition of this campaign, and will get great pleasure out of the book once it arrives. Was it worth it? Yeah, to me - but I understand not to others.

I just drove my wife 10 hours roundtrip to her favorite restaurant in D.C. -- that wasn't worth it by most anyone's standards, but she sure thought it was. We both got our money's worth from the experience.

Redigeret: jul 19, 7:20 pm

>56 Objectr: as a long-time married person, it's always worth it to make the significant other happy, isn't it?

And it's worth it to be a patron of the art when one can afford it and find it personally meaningful.

jul 19, 7:38 pm

>57 SDB2012: Ask me this next time I'm weed-eating my yard. My answer varies ;-)

jul 19, 7:54 pm

>56 Objectr: I never learned how to drive, but once I walked 17 miles to take my amore to a restaurant. She had to walk the 17 miles, too, so it wasn't quite the romantic gesture I thought it'd be... Better than the time, though, that I surprised her for her birthday with a ten day camping trip through 118 degree Utah, whoops!

jul 19, 10:20 pm

>59 grifgon:
😂 And I thought I was bad for making my girlfriend (now my wife) wait an extra 20 minutes for the blueberry-red wine sauce I was making to reduce enough….

jul 20, 7:41 am

>60 kermaier: A wise move, marrying someone who understands that fine food takes time. 😊

Also chiming in that the patronage aspect is what adds the value for me. Though I do think the Magnum Opus and Radiant editions are stunning, and kudos to those who are able to back those. To jefiyof392 I would say, if you have the budget for the Humble edition, do go for it. A bit of straw polling in this thread shows that a number of folks find it a stand-out edition, including myself.

jul 20, 11:14 am

>59 grifgon: I’m drawing a hard line at walking 17 miles to eat. If mine ever gets that itch I’ll tell her to find a better man 🤣

Redigeret: jul 20, 1:55 pm

>54 grifgon: Well said. I don't think people that spends thousands on a single book, be it a Thornwillow edition or a Suntup edition or an Arion Press edition etc. care if it appreciates in value! I imagine they purchase it because they want to have it and clearly can afford it. That's one category. I think the second category is likely someone that has some book money (such as those of us on this forum) but certainly is far from being rich. However, that person has a special place in their heart for say Charlotte's Web, perhaps it a favorite or very nostalgic. That person typically can never afford to spend thousands on a book, but Thornwillow is making it possible by a payment plan. So for >44 jefiyof392: I would say -- Go for it! clearly, this book and edition means something special to you and I bet you'll be sorry if you miss out.

>47 edkennedy: Nothing about such books is exceptionally fine. Machine paper, machine printing, essentially a 50s trade book dressed up in leather.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "exceptionally fine" -- are you referring to hand-set letterpress or illustrations or something else? I looked through the kickstarter again and Thornwillow notes the following:

All editions of Charlotte's Web are printed letterpress on heavy archival stock, and feature an exclusive photograph of E. B. White on his farm in Brooklin, ME from his family's archive.

In addition to more than forty letterpress printed illustrations featured in every edition, the Patron Editions will also feature three full-page engraved illustrations hand-stamped from copper plates.

The Full-Leather “HUMBLE” Edition is bound in full terracotta Moroccan leather and features hand-marbled endpapers. The front of the book is stamped in gold with Wilbur, standing up and facing his friend Charlotte, who is stamped on the back. The top edge of the book is gilded and each copy has hand-sewn headbands. It is presented in a suede-lined clamshell box, and each copy is individually numbered and signed by the publisher.

I subscribed to the full-cloth edition. That said, I have purchased their higher tier editions in the past, and I think all the little "extras" including the clamshell box is quite fabulous. Definitely I find all of these far far removed from "a 50s trade book" -- I take it you were being facetious, but I see your point about the huge jump in prices. I suspect a large part of it is simply due to inflation and increasing costs. However, certainly they are making a good margin on those. But, as was noted, money from sales goes into many endeavors, certainly including their non-profit Thornwillow Institute
At the end of the day, as I said previously, if it's a truly special book to someone than it's absolutely worth the price.

ps 24 hours left! They have about $120,000 in pledges, so congrats to them!

jul 21, 11:00 am

Just to chime in here... I agree completely with Grifgon. There is so much more to their operation than the cost of the materials and the value proposition. A binder working alone in their garage can do it for less and in some cases produce gorgeous work. Thornwillow is a completely different animal. Backing one of their books makes you a kind of patron of a much bigger and integrated mission and at the same time puts a beautiful book on your shelf to boot. Lot's of people buy cars, watches, and jewelry that don't appreciate in value and those purchases don't support a greater social good. One gives to charity and one buys things one likes. Here you get to do both. There are big indulgences and little ones and by indulging in Thornwillow, you are supporting the kinds of crafts we all care about at a level that makes sense for you. By offering the installment tiers, Thornwillow is going out of their way to make the books accessible. I think this is great.

I know for a fact that their margins are not great on anything, especially the expensive books. I've talked to them about this a number of times and as Grifgon points out the higher tiered books help make the lower priced ones more affordable but it still doesn't make them wildly profitable . If you take all the money they raised on Charlotte's Web it can't possibly come close to covering the cost of running that operation for a year.

And regarding resale value, I agree with the general sentiment that that's not why most of us are collecting books in the first place. I, for one, am not a dealer trying to buy low and sell high. I often will trade books or sell them at what or even less than I paid for them. Sharing them is part of the fun. I would point out though, that a number of the books I have bought from Thornwillow have in fact appreciated dramatically in value and I think that basically all of them are holding their value more or less. I wish I could say this for my car or the steak dinner I had the other night.

Anyhow, the campaign ends soon and I would encourage anyone who remains on the fence to jump in at whatever level they are comfortable. You'd be doing a good thing.

Redigeret: aug 3, 11:18 am

I am confused as to how all of these editions are going to be completed in any reasonable amount of time. Thornwillow currently does not have any binders to the best of my knowledge. Are they still outsourcing most of their bound volumes?

aug 3, 11:25 am

>47 edkennedy: I agree. As much as printing is still a craft and much more expensive to produce - the mark-ups on the upper tier volumes are more for bragging rights than anything.
As Thornwillow does outsource much of the leather/cover work, the art you are actually getting from 'Thornwillow' is the printing. As much as our differences are stylistic, I have been very impressed with their current printer.

Redigeret: aug 3, 11:29 am

>65 slightlyemo: The campaign makes it sounds like the binding is being done in-house, but I didn't see where it's explicit either way. Viewing their status page, it looks like a number of their hardbound titles are still in the backlog, so I'm not sure how quickly Charlotte's Web will move through the process. It is possible that some of the special, highly limited bindings for this campaign are done by other binders, whether or not the main editions will be done in-house.

Redigeret: aug 3, 11:39 am

>67 Shadekeep: When I left a few months ago they were already outsourcing and based off of the status page you sent me it doesn't seem like much progress was made on the top tier editions at all. Their last in-house binder left recently from what I know, so unless something changes dramatically it is likely that most of Charlotte's Web will not be done in house other than the Paper Wrappers, Printing, some labels, internal images, and the broadsides (with respect to the craft at least, assembly will likely be normal).
I am just begging the question.

aug 3, 11:39 am

>68 slightlyemo: Fair dues, since you have the inside info. I was trying to deduce from the campaign text, which is noncommittal. If you know they are sans binders, then that likely remains the current situation. Hopefully they can expand or accelerate the binding process to deal with the backlog and meet this campaign goal, though frankly most letterpress campaigns (and KS campaigns in general) deliver far later than their optimistic timelines.

aug 3, 11:41 am

>68 slightlyemo: True. Although getting employees to stay seems to be a constant issue, so the likelihood of finding high-quality binders is low.

Redigeret: aug 4, 12:40 am

>65 slightlyemo: A great many prominent fine press releases these days outsource their binding work (if not their binding AND printing work). So I'm sure not entirely sure how Thornwillow's decision whether or not to do this release's binding in-house should be an issue for anyone. I'm sure anyone that they outsource work to would be a highly skilled professional. In fact, it's my understanding that Arion Press (which is generally considered TWP's peer) doesn't bind their books in-house.

So, I'm a little confused. Are you worried about a specific high-end volume you ordered, or are you just concerned for the rest of us?

aug 4, 12:54 am

>71 whytewolf1: I don't know about recently, but when I toured the AP facilities about a dozen years ago, they most definitely had an in-house bindery.

aug 4, 2:18 am

>71 whytewolf1: Arion Press certainly binds their books in-house.

It would be a sad thing if, indeed, Thornwillow needed to start outsourcing their bindery work.

aug 4, 7:08 pm

>71 whytewolf1: I'm not concerned I'm just entering the conversation with a relatively in-house view.

aug 4, 7:09 pm

>73 edkennedy: Yes. I agree it's sad. They most assuredly outsource at least some of their work. I am quite positive there is nobody currently in the bindery.

Redigeret: aug 4, 11:25 pm

Denne meddelelse har fået flere brugere til at hejse et advarselsflag, så den vises ikke længere (vis)
>74 slightlyemo: Don’t be disingenuous, you know exactly the tone you took in >65 slightlyemo:, pretending not to know more than you did.

It’s hard to believe you’re sad about them possibly outsourcing their binding. Your real purpose here appears to be thinly (laughably) veiled criticism of your former employer.

aug 5, 12:46 pm

>72 ultrarightist: >73 edkennedy:: Apologies to AP if I am incorrect about this. But I was told recently that this was the case by a generally reliable source. Perhaps they were mistaken, though.

aug 5, 1:26 pm

From AP's website:

Our production facility includes a letterpress shop with a one-of-a-kind collection of historic metal typefaces, a type foundry now in continuous operation for over 100 years, and a complete hand book bindery, all housed in a 14,000 square foot industrial building in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park.

aug 5, 1:36 pm

We do all of the design, typesetting, letterpress printing, and binding at the press in a complex of 19th century buildings in Newburgh, NY.

aug 5, 2:11 pm

>79 astropi: Ouch $144 a day for a 8-5 job is peanuts and one could probably make more at McDonalds.

That bring said I wish Thornwillow the best and hope they continue to prosper. Really looking forward to Ulysses and hopefully it ships this year.

Redigeret: aug 5, 2:23 pm

>80 Joshbooks1: I dont think that you get 18-19$ /hour at McDonalds..
Thats not bad money for a start..
Average payment per hour in america is 8-12 $..
I dont think it's peanuts..

Redigeret: aug 5, 3:56 pm

>81 Ragnaroek: That's definitely peanuts if you are trying to live in Newburgh, NY where the average price of a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,900. If you made $19 per hour and worked 40 hours a week you'd earn $3,040 monthly. So after you paid for your 1 bedroom apartment you'd have $1,140 to eat ($500 if you are very thrifty), pay bills ($100+ average for basic utilities), and save before taxes (12% tax bracket).

At this income level, things like a car or any kind of insurance would be a luxury.

Redigeret: aug 5, 4:46 pm

>82 L.Bloom:
Oh okay. What would be an normal salary for a normal job in this city then ?

aug 5, 6:19 pm

>83 Ragnaroek: According to it's $44,359. About 20% more than the salary mentioned above.

aug 5, 6:32 pm

>82 L.Bloom: It must be nearly extremely difficult to hire people given wage constraints, cost of living, and the location. It sounds like affordable housing is available and unless something has changed in the last couple of years, NY has very good insurance available on the marketplace for lower income folks. For the right person, it seems like a great opportunity to learn the craft. There aren't too many places to do that. Many people make financial sacrifices while learning their trade. I hope Thornwillow can find some of them.

aug 5, 7:42 pm

If I didn't have a family/live in another state I'd consider taking the job just to learn about it and hang out at Thornwillow lol. I'm sure they hike your pay if you stick around. Also tons of fine presses outsource their binding, it's not like it's a bad thing. The whole point of doing your binding in house is to save money and control every aspect. It costs money, takes more time, and a considerable amount of trust to outsource it. Outsourcing isn't inherently bad as long as the product is great and Thornwillow's product is great so I don't see any problem here.

aug 5, 8:08 pm

>86 ClarenceBodicker: Agreed. I don't mind if they outsource as long as it means I will see the Ulysses 4 volume set that I paid for a couple years ago sometime this year...

aug 5, 8:25 pm

>87 L.Bloom: Completely upside down. Outsourcing saves money and time.

But yes, if you don't care about crafting something from start to finish in one place, then there are plenty "fine presses" to choose from.

aug 5, 8:33 pm

>88 edkennedy: i dont know enough about book binding to disagree with you lol but if it is done to the highest standard it generally does not save money. if the work is cheap and meant to cut costs then yes outsourcing saves money (and in most applications it does) but it’s not like they are outsourcing the work to india.

i dont really care if the binding is outsourced as long as the product is excellent just like i dont care if rick rubin actually recorded the album if the production is excellent. whoever does the binding profits off thornwillow and those costs are passed onto the consumer so unless the work is “cheap” it is more expensive from my limited understanding. id rather them outsource the binding and pay more for it than have them do it in house/on the cheap and not meet the standards id expect personally.

aug 5, 9:25 pm

Many fine presses outsource binding. For an example Barbarian Press, by any measure one of the finest private presses in the world, usually engages an outside binder.

aug 5, 9:38 pm

>81 Ragnaroek: It depends on where you work. The minimum wage in San Francisco is 18.07/hr.

aug 6, 12:18 pm

>82 L.Bloom: Thornwillow does offer subsidized housing to some of their employees, so I’m sure that helps.

aug 6, 4:38 pm

>79 astropi: Mostly true.

aug 6, 4:42 pm

Even if you make 18-19$ per hour at Thornwillow (I made 18.20$) remember that there are literally no benefits at all. You are paying out of pocket for insurance, housing (and while subsidized housing is available, it takes a good deal of your paycheck all things considered), food, etc.... Not exactly an attractive experience on the monetary side of things. Fun experience for learning the craft, but practical?
I did not intended to bring up outsourcing as a topic of general debate, I simply - as astropi pointed out the claim on the website - was clarifying it was a truth.

Redigeret: aug 6, 7:38 pm

>68 slightlyemo: "...most of Charlotte's Web will not be done in house other than the Paper Wrappers, Printing, some labels, internal images, and the broadsides."

Those are a lot of things to qualify with an "other than" isn't it?

aug 7, 7:46 am

>95 booksforeveryone: A bit, yes, especially as the printing of the book itself is one of the items listed.

Redigeret: sep 12, 1:37 pm

The latest interview in the "Minds of The Press" series is with Thornwillow's Luke Pontifell:

Mainly gives some interesting insight into the history of the press, although it does include one notable piece of news as well:

"We have a very exciting new anchor book to announce this fall if all goes well and on schedule. It is a project I have wanted to do for years and it is finally coming together."

It sounds like they're still not continuing any of the potential series they've teased for past titles, which is frustrating, but it does seems like the next book will be a landmark one.

sep 12, 3:13 pm

>97 NathanOv: Yes, Luke! Proust!!! ;)

Redigeret: sep 12, 8:30 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

okt 28, 5:32 pm

Thornwillow provides housing for many of the people who work at the press. I had recommended that the child of a friend of mine take a job at Thornwillow after graduating. The young, inexperienced person made $20 an hour to start and was given housing for $850 per month. This seemed more than fair. The alternative was to go to a place like North Bennet Street School where you'd have to pay $25,000 per year for two years in tuition. I've heard they've hired some new people and are making progress. >grifgon worked there. He might have an on the ground perspective to share.

okt 28, 5:35 pm

But back to the actual point of this thread, I understand that the printing of Charlotte's Web is complete and it is currently being folded and sewn in their bindery. In house. The leather bindings will probably take a long time, but the cloth and paper bindings are likely to come along faster.