Demystifying the
book-making process.

June 29, 2023

Everybody has a story to tell, and it’s our job to help you find it.

Why do our clients decide that a book is a good idea?

Well, they don’t always, to begin with. What’s involved in creating a book is a bit of a mystery to most people, and fear of the unknown can be a terrible thing. Lucky for them, making books is what we do every day, and we’re really good at it.

Many people worry that maybe they don’t have a story to tell. To this I say, there’s no such thing as a boring story. Everybody has a story to tell, and it’s our job to help you find it, and tell it in a way that your readers will engage and connect with.

Our archives are empty, clients tell me.

To which I say, the best stories aren’t the ones we find in boxes; they’re the ones people tell us. One of the best things about my job is that I get to uncover great stories, and often, even the owners of the business learn things about their organisation they never knew before.

We haven’t got time, I hear.

Sure you do, and we’re here to help. It only takes Hyphen around twelve months to produce a book from sign-off to delivery. I don’t want to brag, but sometimes, if all the planets align, we’re able to turn them around even faster.  We’ll help you identify what you want, then research, interview and write the story. We’ll edit it, then give you time to review it and give your feedback. We’ll hone concepts, take photos, help you choose photos from your own collection, lay out the content, proof it, and give it back to you for another round of feedback. We’ll tidy it, proof it again, clear it to print, and then deliver it to your door. We’ll even organise your book launch if you like. And all in just a year.

Are we old enough to do a book? clients wonder.

Well, maybe not, and there’s definitely a certain gravitas that comes with being 150 years old, but there are perks to being a bit younger as well. It your business is fifty, or forty, or twenty-five years old, then there’s a very good chance the founders are alive and well, and so are their stories. Now is the time to capture them, before they’re gone forever. All things going well, this won’t be the last time you want to tell your story.

Can we afford it? clients ask.

How much does it cost? That’s a how-long-is-a-piece-of-string type of question, but it doesn’t take more than an hour’s chat for us to get a sense of what you like, what you want, what’s important to you and what you need your book to do. And once we know all that, pricing is easy. If money’s tight we can guide you through taking on some of the work yourself. Got a great photographer on staff? We’ll brief them. Got a wannabe historian? We’ll work with them. Got a longtime staff member who’s always wanted to write a book? Lucky you. We’ll be there every step of the way regardless, and make sure that the end result is as polished and professional as if we’d done it all for you.

We don’t want to seem like we’re showing off, clients worry.

This is the easiest problem to deal with. Most companies were born of the dreams of determined people, who worked hard and persevered to begin something they believed in. Their passion was carried forward by other people, who were inspired to innovate, build momentum to grow the business, and fight for it when things went wrong. Storytelling is the perfect vehicle for sharing, honouring and sustaining important memories for future generations. And who doesn’t love a good story? Books have an authenticity and a credibility that other forms of communication can lack, and when supported by interviews and quotes from your community, be that family members, staff, suppliers, stockists, customers or stockholders, all of a sudden you have a very credible platform from which to share the great stuff you’re doing.

Finally, to all business owners I say this: Your business is something you’re proud of. It has an interesting history; your staff believe in what you do; your future is bright. Your story deserves to be told.


Val Montagnana-Wallace