Last day of April, but I got it done! The leather likes to play with the camera a bit.. to my eye, the first 2 pics are the closest to its actual colours, but I quite like that it changes in different light like plants do. ? Really pleased with how the foiling came out! Thanks to @inkandawl for the #naturewalk #BookbindingChallenge ! Looking forward to seeing everyone else's books…. after a nice coffee. ☺☕ #areyoubookenough #creativeedi
Soooo, hey! Hey there! Hi!
It’s been a while, eh? Anyone still here?!
Way back in… wait, I can’t even remember. Ahem. So. Some time ago, haha, my website encountered its first major update. It wasn’t impressed, so it had a wee huff to itself whilst refusing to play with anyone. I was going to fix it, I swear! But you know how good intentions are… So, instead, I spent a long while working on custom orders, and developing my skills.
Eventually though, I realised that time was ticking away, and the website was still hiding behind a hastily-made maintenance screen. Worse, people were starting to ask about it! So I started working on it again. Yey!
Oh, but then, around three months ago, I had a visit from an old frenemy…
The Perfectionists’ Curse
That’s the one where you never make any progress because you’re too busy finding things that “need” to be fixed. So you might inadvertently spend three hours making a series of tiny aesthetic changes, when you could have spent that time setting up your shipping costs, or taking product photos! Damned curses. Handily, my partner is great at recognising it, and gave me just enough of a supportive prod to get me going in the right direction again. I set a strict deadline, enlisted his help to make me stick to it; and set to work on a new plan.
The specifics of the plan changed a few times, but was essentially, “Write The Hecking Content Already”. And, because that’s far more sensible than letting The Perfectionists’ Curse run riot, it worked.
So, here it is! The Bumblebee Bindery 2.0. It’s not perfect, but that’s cool. I’m learning to leave the “yet” off the end of that phrase, anyway.
So what’s actually changed? (Aside from the fact that, you know, it exists.)
Improved Paper Quality & Sustainability
- All of the books that I make for the shop will now be made using one of three types of sustainably-produced paper. You can read about them in my recent post about paper types.
- Any that are old stock – ie. made with lower quality, less sustainable paper – will be flagged in the product’s description, and reduced in price.
- I’m also looking at the rest of my materials, as well my working practices, and will be posting a full Sustainability Statement soon.
- UK Shipping is now automatically calculated for Royal Mail and/or Parcelforce deliveries, rather than being included in the product price.
- International Shipping is now available! It’s automatically calculated for orders weighing up to 6kg, which is typically a large number of books. On the off-chance that your order exceeds this, you’ll be notified at checkout & advised to contact me for a quote.
- All shipping options, whether national or international, are now either tracked, signed for, or both. This, along with the estimated delivery time, is now displayed at checkout.
Last time The Bumblebee Bindery site was live, I still considered myself a hobbyist, and my prices reflected that. While my books are now more expensive, this is because I’m more accurately pricing the materials, my time, and the level of skill involved.
Having said that, all of my old stock is reduced in price to reflect what you would have paid when it was originally bound. I chose to do this because my skills have developed quite a bit since then, so these older books will have more imperfections than the new stock that’s being made right now.
For the site’s appearance, I’ve updated the colour scheme and generally tried to declutter as much as possible. Once I got The Curse under a little more control, I think I achieved this fairly well.
Hopefully, it’s easy to navigate, and well-behaved across various devices & platforms. Of course, if you do encounter any issues, please get in touch to let me know! I’m not exactly qualified in web development or design – by which I mean, everything I know is sort of clumsily cobbled together out of stuff I’ve found online (sorry, Web Professionals.) – so it might take me a while to find the problem and correct it properly, but I’m always willing to learn something new for the sake of improving usability.
And, Coming Soon…
- More books! (More yey!!) Books like these:
…and like this:
- More blether! (aka “blog posts”)
- Better navigation in the blog and shop (more categories and tags, e.g. to find books by size)
- The portfolio page will be gradually updated to show off more recent works like the ones you see above
- And all the boring but important stuff will be finished soon. Stuff like the Sustainability, Accessibility, and Terms & Conditions pages.
- Finally, if you’re really good, and you wish real hard, there might be the occasional picture of The Bindery Beast! (gasp!) His name is Ghost, and he’s a good doggo. Loves snacks and hugs.