Yorkshire print firm Charlesworth Press says it is producing up to 36,000 personalised children’s books every day as Christmas demand for the bespoke items ramps up.
The Wakefield-based firm says it has turned its fortunes around, going from a compulsory voluntary arrangement to a £6m turnover thanks to entering the personalised children’s market. It was most recently commissioned by Wonderbly to produce Keys and Curios, a new journal for Harry Potter fans.
Charlesworth said it had invested £3m this year in state-of-the art printing and binding equipment that can produce 1,800 individual or short-run books an hour. The technology enables books to be personalised for an entire family rather than just one child.
Operations director Lee Hewitt said: “We used to publish a lot of long-run publications but have changed markets to stay in business, mixing traditional bookmaking with personalisation and print on demand.
“Winning contracts like Wonderbly, Mrs Wordsmith and Hooray Heroes, means we can continually invest in our personalisation offering, which has been pivotal in shaping the future of the business. In the past five years, we have seen year-on-year growth in this area and the exciting thing is that customers from all over the world are seeking us out to carry out personalised printing and to work in partnership on product development and fulfilment.”
Charlesworth, which employs more than 50 people, is currently running 24/7 as Christmas draws near and is producing a third more books than the same period last year. It is now looking to expand its services in the US market too.
Mark Gray, group managing director, said: “We have become known for our agility in not only meeting high daily volumes, but also in being able to produce incredibly small runs too. Whether it’s a new author looking to have a handful of test copies of their début book printed or a publisher who wants to print a one-off back-dated title, we have the versatility to do this.”