SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO BITE THE BULLET

Over the years, we’ve received many compliments on our website, bookplateink.com. Customers have liked the color scheme, layout, and large selection of designs. However, the website was badly in need of updating, as it was in an outdated platform and not mobile-friendly. We are very pleased to announce that the site is now new and updated, though we’ve kept the same look as much as possible. The process was long and laborious, but rewarding.

More and more people are looking at websites on their tablets and smart phones, so bookplateink.com is now mobile friendly. This also helps us to be found in Google searches. You can feel comfortable knowing that your ordering will be simple and secure whether it’s from your computer, tablet or phone.

The shipping section of our website was no longer accurate and didn’t give our customers any choices. Now, you can choose from a variety of U.S. mail or UPS shipping options. Please keep in mind that US priority mail is often faster than UPS ground, but UPS has better tracking.

Our testimonial page has been updated to include images of the bookplates ordered by the customer offering the testimonial. Customers can also submit their own testimonial online, from a form provided on the right-hand side of the page. Look at the page to see a few of the wide varieties of bookplates our customers have ordered.

The designs on our new site are the same, but we are now showing the black ink designs with a cream colored background, to better represent their look when printed on cream colored paper.

We have always printed bookplates with custom artwork, but now that artwork can be uploaded right on the site, while you place your order.

We hope that these and other changes will help you to enjoy browsing our bookplate selection. Remember, bookplates are a unique gift for your favorite teachers, friends and relatives. We also provide bookplates for memorial or honorary book donations, for hymnals and prayer books in churches, synagogues, mosques, and retreat facilities, and for libraries of all sizes.  Don’t forget to order some for your own books!

Exquisite Venitian Library

20160825_160649This past August, my husband and I had the good fortune to travel to Europe.  We spent a week in Lucerne, Switzerland, attending spectaular concerts at the renowned Lucerne Music Festival and hiking in the Alps with friends. After traveling by train to Italy, we visited Lucca, Florence and Cinque Terra, walking for miles, and loving the history and beauty of the area.

From there, we took the train to Venice, where we took in many of the wonderful museums and explored the city. One of the museums we visited was the Museo Correr in Venice, Italy. The Correr sits directly across Piazza San Marco from Basilica San Marco, and is steps away from the Grand Canal. There is an awe-inspiring amount of history and culture in just this one small area but I am going to focus on one exhibit in the Correr.

20160825_160013Within the museum is the Pisani Library, a room filled with beautiful walnut bookcases that came from the Pisani family palace at San Vidal. The Pisanis, an aristocratic family in Venice from the 12th to 18th centuries, were an important influence on the culture and politics of the time. According to the Museo Correr, they were “the first to set up what might be called a library-museum, in an attempt to endow the city’s publishing industry with its own aura of grandeur and munificent service to the State.”

The bookcases today are filled with “rare manuscripts and printed works, dating from the early Sixteenth Century to the end of the 20160825_155946Eighteenth.” Surrounding the shelves are display cases with beautiful books from the 1500-1600s.

The chandelier hanging above was made from Murano glass in the 1700s. Murano is a series of small islands just outside of Venice and has been home to glass-making since 1291, when the glassmakers of Venice were forced to move there due to20160825_155711 fear of fire within the city and its wood buildings.

It was fascinating and awe-inspiring to view the intricate artwork in books from hundreds of years ago. I’m grateful that people such as the Pisani family valued their libraries and preserved the world’s heritage through books. During this “digital age,” let’s not forget the importance and endurance of the printed page.

Bookplates for authors 101

Although bookplates have traditionally been used to identify one’s books in a personal library, many authors order bookplates from Bookplate Ink to use for book signings and as a promotional tool and thank you gift to their readers, so I thought it might be helpful to new authors (and seasoned authors!) to show some possibilities.

 

 

One popular option is to have bookplates printed with custom artwork from your book(s). Some authors have bookplates with the artwork from the jacket cover of the book at the top of the bookplate or as the background for the entire bookplate. Sometimes artwork related to one element or character of the book is used, along with the author’s name and/or website.

 

12967465_10154844563759466_6679630386450112881_oNew York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater has used more than one design for her young adult Raven Cycle series. Maggie posts photos and offers signed bookplates through her website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Fountain Bookstore. She even posted a video on YouTube about her bookplates. We have seen more than one tweet with a photo from an excited reader who just bought one of her books and received a signed bookplate. Shown in the photo here is a large bookplate created and signed by the author.

 

Brenna Yovanoff is another young adult fiction writerScreen Shot 2016-05-03 at 1.06.59 PM
who recently ordered bookplates for her new book, Places No One Knows, and posted a photo on Instagram. The book will be released later this month, but those who pre-order through the Tattered Cover Book Store will receive a free signed bookplate, as posted on their website. Many authors use a signed bookplate as an incentive for pre-orders.

 

 

GarthSteinBookplate Ink has also printed bookplates for
New York Times bestseller Garth Stein. His latest bookplate is a good example of a design useful for an author who wants a bookplate that encompasses all of his or her published books. As you can see, the jacket covers of his books are shown at the top along with his photo, while his website address is at the bottom of the bookplate.

 

 

If you’re looking for a simpler and more affordable N100NEWoption, another possibility is one of our non-personalized border designs. These bookplates are printed on a non-glossy, cream colored paper and look very classy. At 3×4 inches, they have plenty of room for your signature and a short message. As they’re pre-printed and we keep them in stock, they ship quickly and are less expensive than custom bookplates. Shown here is one of our most popular border designs, N100. It is available as both a non-personalized bookplate or a custom printed bookplate with the text of your choice.

 

11415560_796725990442144_6075978264755982703_oOne creative author, Joanne DeMaio, even adds her own stamp to our design M752.

 

For a more personalized look, many authors order one of our many border designs and have the bookplates custom printed with their name, website address and/or book title. We can also add artwork or a logo to any of our border designs.

 

There are many possibilities regarding styles and sizes of bookplates. If you have any questions, feel free to call 866-483-3830 or e-mail info@bookplateink.com.

 

 

Dayton and the Wright Brothers

It’s exciting to read a book that really makes history come alive and, as a bonus, makes you feel proud of where you live. That happened for me with David McCullough’s book The Wright Brothers. As Bookplate Ink has deep roots in Yellow Springs, Ohio, which is just outside of Dayton, where the Wright family lived, reading about the lives and work of Wilber and Orville Wright seemed especially relevant to me. If you’re not up on this piece of history, I encourage you to read the book, as it’s interesting and very readable. Bookplate Ink has many customers who are authors, so I don’t usually write about any one book or author, but this book seemed more personal and pertinent after a recent trip into Dayton.

WrightHeadstone_fullDuring this visit, we first went to Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, where Orville, Wilbur, their parents, and their sister Katherine are all buried. Woodland Cemetery is a beautiful, wooded expanse of rolling hills, and one of the nation’s five oldest rural garden cemeteries, according to their website. In addition to the Wright family, poet (and schoolmate of Orville and Wilber) Paul Laurence Dunbar is buried there. Including Dunbar, the list of grave Dunbarsites contains a “who’s who” list of important people, all from Dayton: inventor Charles Kettering, John Patterson of NCR, George Huffman of Huffy Bicycles, and George Mead of Mead Paper and newspaper columnist Erma Bombeck, among others.

After visiting Woodland, we explored Carillon Historic Park, a 65-acre campus dedicated to preserving the amazing history of Dayton. Just one of the many buildings located there is the John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center. The Center includes a model of the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop, formerly located in Dayton, which housed the workshop where they built their first Flyergliders and planes. Also in the Center is the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane. As you can see in the photo, a model of Wilbur Wright is shown flying the plane. One of the things that struck me while reading The Wright Brothers is that Orville Wright died in 1948, which seemed amazingly recent to me. The building where the Flyer is housed was designed by Orville, though he didn’t live to see it built. Our tour guide mentioned that his father-in-law belonged to the Engineer’s Club in Dayton and saw Orville there many times. Carillon Historical Park’s Facebook page shows a photo of Orville Wright and Charles Kettering talking at the Engineer’s Club.

I was also amazed that the Wright Brothers were building their first flying machines whileOrvilleHeadstone the automobile was still very young. McCullough’s book mentions Wilbur and Orville being picked up by carriage, not an automobile, when arriving home by train. In fact, at Carillon Historical Park I learned that the patent for the first electric ignition device for automobiles was granted to Charles Kettering of Dayton in 1915. The early 1900s were a time of great inventiveness and industrialism in Dayton. Imagine living in Dayton in 1905 and being able to visit with Paul Laurence Dunbar, Wilber and Orville Wright, and Charles Kettering, all within walking distance.

C111And finally, to tie this all in with bookplates, Bookplate Ink has a beautiful design of an airplane similar to the Wright Brother’s flyer, painted by Dayton native and artist Michael Bonilla. Design C111 is available on white, self-adhesive paper, personalized with your name or the text of your choice.

 

 

New York City Library

My husband and I recently spent a few days in New York City, visiting our son. In addition to visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art (both of which I heartily recommend), we took a tour of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library. What a wonderful experience! And free!

The tour was given by a vivacious, enthusiastic and knowledgeable LIon_Libraryvolunteer, who brought amazing history to life throughout the library. The building was constructed on the foundation of a reservoir, with the cornerstone laid in 1902.

FrontWindows_LibraryBefore you even enter the building, you are greeted by two iconic statues. The majestic lions, nicknamed Patience and Virtue, are made of a rose-colored marble. Once inside the front lobby, the gorgeous huge front windows are worth turning around to view.

The first room we visited was the Dewitt Wallace Periodical Room. According to the tour guide, DeWitt and Lila Bell Wallace spent many hours reading and cultivating articles from the Library’s collection before founding the Reader’s Digest Magazine in 1922. The Wallaces ReadingRoom_Librarygave generously after becoming wealthy and The Wallace Foundation funded the restoration in 1983 of The Periodical Room that served as their informal editorial office. The ornate ceiling looks like wood but is actually plaster. The beautiful murals are described in detail on the library website.

Another highlight of the tour was the Gutenberg Bible on display upstairs. Johannes Gutenberg was the first European to usGutenbergBible_Librarye movable metal type in the production of books, a much faster system than handwriting or woodblock print. The New York Public Library’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible, one of only about 180 produced, was donated by James Lenox, who was one of the co-founders of the library.

 

 
Surrounding the Gutenberg Bible is a set of four arched murals called The Story of the Recorded Word. These murals, created between 1938 to 1942, were part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project.  The first mural shows Moses with the Ten Commandments, as depicted in Exodus of the Old Testament; in the second a monk from the Middle Ages copies a manuscript; the third mural shows Gutenberg with a proof of his Bible; and the fourth depicts Ottmar Mergenthaler at a linotype machine.

This is only a small portion of the artwork and information shown us during the tour. I would encourage you to visit yourself if you are able.

 

 

Creative bookplate ideas

As I’ve written in previous posts, connecting with wonderful people around the world is one of the most fun aspects of the bookplate business. And hearing the creative ways people are using bookplates is icing on the cake.

GramercyPark2Our non-personalized bookplates, which are sold on our site in quantities as small as 20, have become quite a popular item. Recently, Etta wrote about using Design B211 for her Gramercy Park-themed birthday party in the fall of 2013. Gramercy Park is a private fenced-in park located within the Gramercy Park Historic District in Manhattan. According to the NY Times, the park has been fenced in since the 1830s and locked since 1844. In 2012, only 383 keys were in circulation, all given to residents of the historic district. GramercyPark3

Etta ordered copies of the book Gramercy Park, An American Bloombury by Carole Klein from Amazon to give to each attendee of her party as part of a goody bag. Interestingly, since the book is out of print, three different versions came, as shown above. She wrapped each one in raffia with autumn foliage and then placed it in the goody bag with a B211 bookplate attached to the outside of the bag with the respective attendee’s name written on the bookplate.

GrammercyPark1Since Gramercy Park is a well-established garden with mature plantings, Etta felt the gnome walking in the garden bookplate fit the theme perfectly. This lovely artwork was created by John Huchthausen, an artist trained in architecture and religious art who created many designs for the Antioch Bookplate Company in the early 1940s. Etta reported that everyone at the party loved the goody bags with their bookplate attached.

Etta wrote about her party when she ordered another set of bookplates, this time the non-personalized version of Design B253. Etta planned to host a party for her daughter, who was graduating from college in Charleston, South Carolina. Again, each attendee of the party was to be given a goody bag, this time with a book on the history of the college—which was established in the late 1700s—as well as other school memorabilia. B253Etta chose design B253 partly because she likes the inscription in the border, which reads, “A book is like a good friend; my friends I would forever keep.”

Other customers have used bookplates for guests to place in books for baby showers, to memorialize loved ones with a donation of books, for author signings, to put in books as a party favor at a wedding reception….the list is endless. Let me know if you have a unique use for bookplates!

Creative author bookplates

We have had the privilege of printing many wonderful designs with custom artwork over the years, many for well-known authors. We always protect the privacy of our customers and don’t publicize bookplates without permission. Lately, though, we’ve printed several beautiful designs to use for booksignings whose owners have been happy to share. In fact, they are all available on the authors’ websites as a giveaway. We have posted all of these on our Facebook page, but wanted our blog readers who don’t use Facebook to have access. If you do use Facebook, please consider “liking” our page so that you get updates. We will also be offering specials through the Facebook page.

Emily Giffin’s general bookplate

One of our well-known and loyal customers is Emily Giffin, author of Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, and her latest book, Where We Belong. We have printed bookplates for Giffin that are for her books in general, and ones that are specific to each book. She will sign bookplates upon request through her website.

Where We Belong bookplate

According to her site, Giffin has been dubbed a “modern day Jane Austen” and a “dependably down-to-earth storyteller….Her five novels, all filled with her endearingly flawed characters and emotional complexity, have been translated into twenty-nine languages, with five million copies in print worldwide. In addition, three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen, and Something Borrowed has been fast-tracked for an early 2010 shoot by the production companies of Hilary Swank and Edward Burns.”

J&P Voelkel write a really interesting adventure series called Jaguar Stones, based on historical facts about Mayan culture, appropriate for young readers. Books in this series include Book One: Middleworld, Book Two: The End of the World Club, and Book Three: The River of No Return. They recently ordered their second bookplate design from us, with the Mayan theme evident in their artwork.
I found the biographical information on their website to be really interesting:

J&P Voelkel bookplate

Jon Voelkel grew up in Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia. He was not a natural-born adventurer and found life in the jungle difficult, to say the least. Having survived monkey stew, an attack by giant rats, and a plane crash in the middle of the rainforest, he escaped to college in Minneapolis and went on to business school in Barcelona. After working in advertising agencies in Spain, Holland and England, he started his own agency in London with four other partners – one of whom would be his future wife. In 2001, the London Financial Times named him one of the top fifty creative minds in Britain.

While Jon was battling the daily perils of the jungle, Pamela was growing up in a sedate seaside town in northwest England and dreaming of adventure. As soon as she graduated, she escaped to London to take any job with “writer” in the title. After stints reviewing books, writing catalogs and penning speech bubbles for photo-romances, she became an advertising copywriter and award-winning Creative Director.

In 2001, J&P moved from London to rural Vermont, and began work on ‘Middleworld’. In an interesting male/female collaboration, Jon focuses on the action scenes (much of it based on his own childhood memories and the bedtime stories he tells their three children), while Pamela enjoys thinking about the characters and deciding how they feel about things.

When they’re not writing and illustrating their books or visiting schools, the Voelkels are usually traveling in Central America, attending Maya conferences, and studying Maya glyphs.

Maryanne O’Hara’s bookplate

Writer Maryanne O’Hara’s debut novel, Cascade, has just been published, to very positive reviews, including this one by Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and Lake of Dreams: 

“I stayed up very late into the night to finish Cascade, captivated by Dez Hart, a woman torn between competing loyalties: her marriage and her freedom, her sense of responsibility and her desire to live an artist’s fiercely disciplined and passionate life. Past and place come alive in this book; these characters are richly drawn and complexly human. Compelling and fascinating, the story unfolds in such unexpected ways, and with such gathering tension, that I couldn’t stop until I’d read the final, beautifully written, line.”

According to O’Hara, her brother, Michael Bavaro, designed her bookplate to look like a postcard since this is an important element in Cascade. These were printed on a slightly heavier white paper stock, which gives it a nice feel and texture. More information is available on her website.

Meagan Spooner’s bookplate

Author Meagan Spooner’s young adult fantasy novel, Skylark, the first in a trilogy, has also just been published. Skylark has already been selected to be featured as a Young Adult Buzz Book at BEA 2012. According to New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones, “Skylark‘s rich narrative and plucky heroine will transport you into a mesmerizing and horrifying world.” Spooner also co-authored with Amie Kaufman the young adult science fiction romance These Broken Stars. Read more about her bookplates and work on her site