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A hardcover notebook designed to provide the freedom to express & develop ideas in a way that emphasizes what’s on the page.
147 backers pledged CA$ 3,632 to help bring this project to life.
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CA$ 3,632

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MacLellan & Baetz Publishing House aims to produce Canadian made, hand-bound, hardcover notebooks. To do this M&B is raising funds to help purchase the materials required to make them, pay for the initial startup costs, and help build some custom equipment. 

Over the past 6 months M&B has developed a printing and binding process that will be used to release limited edition hand-bound hardcover books. After hundreds of hours and almost the entire back catalogue of Back to Work, we think we have it figured out (book making, not life). During that time I was constantly using my notebook to design, plan and brainstorm ideas. I’ve never been completely satisfied with the notebooks available. For one thing I could never find the size I was looking for; too small and drawing designs seem cramped, too large and the notebook becomes inconvenient to carry around. I wanted a hard cover, so I didn't need a hard writing surface (so few of those in parks and forests). I wanted something for both writing and designing--a notebook that emphasized what was on the page. My focus shifted from the fiction books we are developing to making a notebook that would suit my needs. 

The NAVY M&B Notebook
The NAVY M&B Notebook
RED M&B Notebook open next to iPad
RED M&B Notebook open next to iPad
RED M&B Notebook to scale.
RED M&B Notebook to scale.

I wanted a notebook that would last and not fall apart from wear and tear. I wanted a notebook that would still be around 100 years from now. MacLellan & Baetz Publishing House has come up with a really great notebook and I am proud to say that it was completely designed and manufactured by hand in Canada. 

Obviously there are many different Notebooks already available from other companies. Some of those are pretty great. What makes the M&B Notebook different is that they are hand-made versus machine made. Here are some of the advantages of a hand-made notebook:

  • Easy to repair (The M&B Notebook specifically is very durable but accidents happen)
  • Binding is a little looser allowing it to lay flat on the table
  • Quality control implemented during each stage of production

M&B Notebooks are not designed to be throw away items. They are meant to be passed on to future generations like a watch or straight razor.

Your support will not only help launch the company, but it will be supporting independent publishing in Canada. M&B hopes to cater to book lovers who believe that despite the convenience of ebooks, there is still a market for beautifully crafted hand-bound books. 

One of the advantages of owning a hand-bound book is that they can be repaired if necessary. Each book MacLellan & Baetz Publishing House produces will be backed by a lifetime warranty. So if you spill coffee on the cover, rip a page by accident or have some other kind of accident (preferably not urine related) M&B will take care of fixing it. These are books that will, in all likelihood, outlive you; a time capsule for future generations into your tales, designs, thoughts, theories, fears, hopes and dreams.

A damaged book made in the 1920's on top of a coverless M&B Notebook.
A damaged book made in the 1920's on top of a coverless M&B Notebook.

As you can see from the above example, our methods are essentially the same as the book making methods used 100 years ago. The above book can be taken apart, re-sewn if necessary and attached to a new cover. Check out the photos below for more pictures of the manufacturing process.

Help spread the word on Twitter: #m&bnotebook #m&bpub #handmadeincanada

You can also check out the M&B Notebook Pinterest album for photos you can share with other Notebook lovers!

-Alistair MacLellan, Executive Director. M&B Publishing House.

Music Credit: Kai Engel "When the Lights Came On"

Printed sheets ready to be folded.
Printed sheets ready to be folded.
Sheets folded and placed in correct order.
Sheets folded and placed in correct order.
A notebook waiting to be sewn.
A notebook waiting to be sewn.
Notebook sewn and ready for cover.
Notebook sewn and ready for cover.
First step in making a cover is tailoring the cotton broadsheet. It's actually pretty similar to tailoring a suit.
First step in making a cover is tailoring the cotton broadsheet. It's actually pretty similar to tailoring a suit.
A notebook being glued and pressed. Some of the funds raised will go towards making a press that can handle multiple books at different stages of production.
A notebook being glued and pressed. Some of the funds raised will go towards making a press that can handle multiple books at different stages of production.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge which came across in the development process was consistently producing a quality product that would meet our customers expectations. M&B experimented with various materials to figure out what worked well and what didn’t. There were a lot of mistakes, but each time a new book was finished the design and manufacturing techniques improved. Now that the process has been worked out, M&B needs to scale production.

Since the product is hand-made the only way to produce a quality product in a timely and effective manner is to purchase materials in bulk, making multiple notebooks in stages. The biggest challenge after we get funded will be procuring the best quality materials and transitioning the current process to printing and binding at a larger scale.

One way M&B is addressing this issue right away is limiting the first round of notebooks to the 60 early-bird rewards so there is a bit of a buffer while the transition to larger scale production methods takes place. M&B is confident that producing 60 notebooks by the end of July is completely realistic just based on our current process. Our goal is to scale our output to meet a much higher demand and fulfill orders for the remaining backers.

In order to create a trusting relationship with our customers M&B is going to be sharing the entire production process along the way via email updates and Twitter (https://twitter.com/mbpubhouse). As a backer you will get to follow the production cycle from material procurement, to production, to shipment, so you will know how long until you get your notebook.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $16

    Home Stretch Special! 1 BLACK Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    Limited 19 backers
    CA$

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $16

    Home Stretch Special! 1 NAVY Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    Limited 23 backers
    CA$

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $20

    1 RED Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    2 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $20

    1 BLACK Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    1 backer
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $20

    1 NAVY Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    CA$

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $12

    Early Bird Special! 1 RED Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    CA$

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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $12

    Early Bird Special! 1 BLACK Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    CA$

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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $12

    Early Bird Special! 1 NAVY Hardcover M&B Notebook.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    CA$

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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $16

    Home Stretch Special! 1 RED Hardcover M&B Notebook.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 30 backers
    CA$

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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $31

    1 completely unique M&B Notebook in any colour (not limited to NAVY, BLACK or RED). For those who want something that is one of a kind.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    CA$

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Funding period

- (30 days)