The private Publication tells your personal story just as you want it. Researched and written by a professional who takes time for the craft, the mix of research depth and overview. Vivid, authentic, detailed and lively storytelling requires closeness. It also requires distance and a sense of what matters for the reader of your story at the same time. Not every anecdote that seems indispensable at first is important.
The result is a book that you conceived, got written, designed and printed. In just the format, paper, layout and cover you have chosen.
In the course of my work over several years, a network of colleagues who work reliably and on schedule grew. As a client, you get everything from conception to printing from a single source: advised by me, supported by photographers, proofreading, image procurement, layout and printing.
Your book is only available to those who receive it from you on a special occasion. There are various reasons for limiting your book to a hand-picked small circle. It may be that your topic is too special for a larger audience and thus the book trade. Or it is too personal and therefore only meant for family, friends, business partners or your children. You want to memorialise an event, an episode of your life, a journey, perhaps your house or yacht? In England and the States, private printing has a long tradition as a serenely told, lasting memory.
SANTA CECILIA – A kind of luck
In 2016, a 96-page monograph about a classic Knud Reimers mahogany motor yacht from 1938 was produced. It invites friends of the owner’s family to meet an unusual boat, the Santa Cecilia. In addition, she makes familiar with a special chapter of nautical culture: the commuter yachts in New York waters and the career of a naval architect with quite a character in Sweden at the end of the 1930s. The book charts the boat’s course through the 20th century.
Striking black and white photos show the charm of the historic 35 Fots Salongsbåt. They document the effort, loving attention to detail, the craftsmanship and many of unexpected discoveries during the restoration. The book tells how six tonnes of Honduras mahogany over frames of ash and steel can grow on you, how they become part of a happy amphibious life on and along the Elbe.
12 mR Yacht HETI
An advertisement for a noble watch says that its owner enjoys using it, but basically he keeps it for the next generation. Well, a wristwatch can be forgotten in the drawer for a while. But this is not possible with a 23-metre-long racing yacht made of mahogany over steel frames.
Hermann Eschenburg, a timber merchant from Lübeck, had them rigged up in 1912 as a summer pastime. In the book, I sketch the milieu of the prosperous merchant family, as Thomas Mann described it in Buddenbrooks, also inspired by the Eschenburgs, up to the miracle that Heti still exists at all after the twentieth century, which was marked by wars and crises. The yacht had seven names and eight owners when it was repaired a while ago for twelve Hamburg admirers.
Today, sailors and spectators alike delight in the charm of the antique. It is a celebration when the sailing anachronism with its awkward rigging performs the almost forgotten sailing festival from Eschenburg’s time. But basically, the Hamburg Maritime Foundation as the ninth owner of Heti and the twelve sensible friends of the sailing yacht HETI e.V. are merely preserving Eschenburg’s sailing festival for the next generation.
The book was researched and written by me over the course of several months based on my concept in consultation with Philipp Schilling, the chairman of the yacht’s operating association. The appeal of the task was to unfold the historical panorama, consisting of the family history, the famous boat class, its renowned designer, the Hamburg shipyard and the stations of the boat in the hands of changing owners. A challenge was the generally understandable description of the tension between restoration and necessary concessions to today’s operation. The association then took care of the image acquisition, layout and printing itself. The 75-page book was published on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the Heti in May 2012.