About this project
Postbound is brought to you by Billie, Tony, Russ, Cam and Jeff. We created Postbound because we wanted to make it easier for people to give personal, thoughtful gifts.
UPDATE: Buy now to access our Kickstarter pricing discounts. Check out Postbound.com to see our web platform and to start completing your project if you are ready. You can start your project any time in the next year.
Internet Explorer Issues: If you are starting a project and are seeing an error it may be due to a bug that is specific to older versions of Internet Explorer. Our tech team is working on this problem as we speak. Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are free and work great!
We are developing a simpler way for groups of people to create elegant-looking books filled with messages and photographs that are contributed by friends, family, and loved ones. Our books can be given as a meaningful gift for birthdays, holidays, weddings or any landmark event. In a gift context it can be given as something like a special Christmas gift from the grandkids, a Valentine's day surprise, or as a special anniversary gift for Mom and Dad. Postbound books can also be used as a way for a group of people to remember a shared experience or person. They can be used to create a special way to bind shared memories of a school or team experience that is coming to an end or to collect favorite remembrances of a loved one.
Our website takes care of the meticulous and administrative parts of the project - helps you to keep track of who has contributed and sending reminders on your behalf (if you choose) to those who haven't. Then, our book artists bind your messages inside of books that are crafted using colorful, high-end bookbinding materials. We want to help you make something that is visually beautiful while making it easier for you and your co-authors to focus on the most important aspect of your gift: crafting your messages.
How it works
Here's how the process works: You start your book project on our super simple website, postbound.com, select from one of our unique designs, invite people to contribute, and oversee the process of creating your book. After you select your participants, we'll give you a secret link that you can send to direct to your project and some text that explains how they can contribute all of the unique and personalized messages to your gift. As the deadline to your project approaches, we will send a reminder to those who haven't yet contributed. Of course, you can monitor your book's progress at postbound.com, edit submissions if necessary, and send your own reminders as much or as little as you want.
We aim to make the online process as easy as possible, so you can focus on the gift itself rather than on the coordination of your friends and family.
When you are satisfied with your submissions and after you have reviewed the book, our book artisans will print, bind, package, and mail it wherever you'd like.
The binding technique we are using for our first set of books is known as the “Chicago Screw Post." The pages are held together with small steel screws. This enables you to add additional pages to your book anytime in the future.
The Books: Design and Quality
We want your book to be worthy of the time, effort and love that you put into it. That’s why are working really hard to design and make books that are worthy of the words they carry.
Fortunately, most of our team members live in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan, a place with maybe more old-school book publishers and book artists than any other area in the country. We started visiting places like The Bessenberg Bindery, taking classes at places like Hollanders School of Book Arts, taking trips to Chicago and New York to find the best, most unique book materials we could afford. We talked to book artists at events like the Kerrytown Bookfest and learned some cool making techniques at Maker Works. We met a lot of great people, and invited them to join us in trying to make something better. We refined the idea until we thought it was ready to give to other people, which is why we are now on Kickstarter. We want to fuse the centuries-old craft of book bindery with up-to-date web technologies to make a new type of thoughtful gift product.
Good cooks know that you need good ingredients to make delicious food. In a similar vein, we use high quality book boards, fabrics and papers to make our books. Our team has selected cover and interior liner materials from craft shops that cater to small-scale artisans, so the materials we use are distinctive and beautifully designed.
The batch of products that we are producing for Christmas will be focused primarily on the words. Our photo-enabled book will have limited photo capabilities, where the photos options are limited; in this version the photos are intended really to supplement the messages written by the contributors. We are planning to add a line of more photo-centric books later next year.
How you can follow us:
We appreciate your support!
Our Facebook Fan Page: Postbound.Gift
You can also click the 'like' or 'tweet' buttons on the video at the top of the page to help to promote our Kickstarter directly.
Read on for production plan and other details about the project:
We've already invested thousands of our own dollars to get setup - so our bare minimum requirements for completing this project are relatively low. We'll still need more funds to develop new product concepts like our collaborative photobooks and to get our operations as efficient as possible so that we can deliver maximum thoughtfulness. We're hoping to produce a bunch of unique books this winter that will make people really happy.
The primary use of your Kickstarter pledges will be to help us prepare for making a batch of books for all of you to give to someone special during the holidays. Specifically, we be using the funds to:
- Purchasing larger quantities of high-end book materials at bulk discounts
- Paying for some basic equipment to help make our custom book assembly process even more efficient
- Hiring other local book artisans in Michigan to help us make more books
- Explore more personalization options than we can currently afford. We’d like to use 3D printers to make customized letterpress stamps, use laser cutting and photo-etching metals on other types of gifts, options that we can roll out if we reach the $50K funding level.
If we exceed our funding goal we will do our best to deliver even more Postbound sweetness in time for your next big gifting opportunity! If you have ideas for how we can make a Postbound gift experience better please let us know! We’ll do our best to help you give something that is unique, thoughtful, and personal.
Production: We have already setup a small workshop to make our books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We have access to some of our supplies around the corner at Hollander's and can order others from book materials suppliers that we've developed relationships with. With funding, we are ready to pull the trigger on quotes we've gotten to order the materials we need to start making the first batches of books. We've also met with local art students and book artisans who can provide us with spare book-making capacity, if we need it, to help meet our deadlines. Our IT/order system is built and we've established the basis for an efficient production workflow. We have documented the design measurements and the assembly process for our books. We will have a training program. We will be implementing some lean manufacturing practices we first learned about in business school and practiced afterwards, like a kanban inventory system and kaizen. Our goal is to be efficient enough to make our books affordable to the average person without compromising on delivering high levels of quality.
Risks and challenges
We are pretty confident we can do it. At the same time, we recognize that there are risks in completing anything that is not already done. We are taking efforts to minimize those risks. Here is a short assessment.
Overall: We've already built Postbound.com, set up an assembly space, purchased materials and made a number of books to work out the kinks in the process. We have assembled a team of talented people who are committed to spending the majority of their waking hours on this project for the next several months.
Website: Our team includes several seasoned developers who have decades of experience building successful consumer websites for companies like Zingerman’s and Anywhere Costa Rica.
Operations: We have already set up a workshop and have begun working with a wide variety of people who are leaders in the handcrafted bookmaking field. We have made dozens of prototypes and are pretty confident we can streamline the process – at least enough to make it affordable to people who are willing to pay just a little bit extra for a high-quality, personalized gift.
Timing: Because the holidays are generally hectic for all, we recognize that there is a risk that we wouldn’t be able to make the books as fast as people would like. For that reason, we're limiting the number of books we're planning to deliver before the holidays in order to address that concern and to make sure we are rolling out only the highest quality products in our initial
Management and Team: We have prototyped everything, and established a workflow for making our physical products. We have budgets and Gantt charts. The people on our team have experience in their areas of responsibility, be that web development, book-making, manufacturing and starting companies.
Above all, we are really excited about this project and we'll do our best to deliver something our supporters with something that will make our moms proud.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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