Beautiful books – unique, personal and collectable

If you have a Kindle, put your hand up! There’s no escaping it, e-readers are everywhere. I love mine; but I love books more. It’s just that sometimes for a trashy holiday novel, or a quick reference read, they are the handy choice. But, if you want a cookbook, a travel guide, or something meaningful to share with the kids, print wins. Hands down. Same goes for pretty much anything that you want to keep or cherish. We’ve been looking at examples of stand-out, jaw-dropping books that, for whatever reason, command a premium price at the till, and a prominent place on your bookcase.

 

Visually stunning

Hand-signed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and limited to 998 copies worldwide, this “SUMO-sized” collector’s edition of “The Murals of Tibet”, by Thomas C. Laird, is breathtaking. It comprises 498 pages, with 6 foldouts, and even comes with its own foldable bookstand. The £10,000 price tag might also take your breath away.

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For the fans

Something for followers of the fantasy drama TV series Game of Thrones. ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ from George R. R. Martin, and expertly illustrated by Jonathan Burton, is the first in a series. It comes with a wealth of features and extras, is printed in black and gold throughout, includes a fold-out map and printed end papers. At £135 it’s not exactly a snip but would make for a fabulous gift for a GOT super-fan.

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A testament to scarcity

Scarcity adds value, that’s a given. So, printing just 100 copies of this cleverly crafted version of the number one bestseller and winner of the Booker Prize 2019 “The Testaments”, by Margaret Atwood, is a clever tactic.

Amongst other special finishes, it comes housed in a clam shell-style box and is clothbound with debossed text on the front. At £500 per copy, it’s in reach of many and is set to deliver £50,000 of revenue for its publisher Penguin.

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First and different

No special finishes or unusual paper choices, this version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is valued at a whopping £5,000, even though it’s been read, enjoyed and has some “bruising to the edges”. Why? Simply because it’s a first edition and, while unsigned by the author herself, it has the name “Joanne Rowling” printed on the copyright page, instead of the normal “J.K. Rowling.”

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Special effects

Adding special effects or finishing to a book might up the cost, but this could be mitigated by an increase in its desirability and shelf appeal.

“Written in Blood”, by Chris Carter, has a sprayed edge which looks like, you guessed it, blood! It comes in at a reasonable £16.99 RRP. 

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The classic

Charlotte Bronte’s classic “Jane Eyre” is given a tactile twist with a laser-cut jacket on a textured book with foil stamping. Each copy to be individually numbered, and with a guarantee that no more than 10,000 copies will be printed, each hardback is currently on sale for £12.26. 

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Some of he best book cover designs

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According to the Publishers Association, UK consumer book sales climbed 7% to £2.1bn last year as people "rediscovered their love of reading" in lockdown. Whatever format those books take and however people choose to ingest, read or listen to them, that has to be great news all round.

 

Prime’s Bookcase service, combined with print-on-demand, helps authors and publishers to market, produce, and deliver their products directly into the hands of the reader. We are committed to the environment across our 5 UK sites and have manufacturing partners across Europe, in the US, and Australia. We are Forests Matter, FSC® (FSC-C001648) and PEFC Chain of Custody certified and have been ISO 14001 certified since 2008. We are always keen to talk to publishers about how we might improve both their green credentials and their bottom line. Please do get in touch if you’d like to join the conversation.

 

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