Shelf Lives is a small, private imprint set up in 2016 by writer and broadcaster Tony Scotland and musician Julian Berkeley. It specialises in limited editions of short works of new and unpublished non-fiction, usually biographical. The books are handsomely designed and printed in buckram-covered hardback, measuring 218 x 138 mm, with the title and its emblem embossed in gold on the front, and the title and publisher embossed on the spine. The books are intended to appeal, first and foremost, to discerning readers, but also to bibliophiles and collectors.
The first two books, Bazouker (bound in a berry-coloured Wibalin buckram) and Gradual (red), were produced by the master printer and type designer, the late Michael Mitchell, of the Libanus Press, Marlborough, UK. The subsequent five books – Flèche (dark green), Joyride (sapphire blue), Gimcrack (grey), Wulff (claret) and Tommasino (kingfisher) – have been designed, in his spirit, by his collaborator, Susan Wightman. (Mitchell and Wightman are the authors of the Typographic Style Handbook published by Maclehose Press in 2017).
Joyride and Gimcrack have dustjackets with full-colour illustrations conceived and drawn by Sarah Godsill; Wulff and Tommasino also have dustjackets, with portraits of the subjects. Shelf Lives books are set digitally in the old-style, but newly-created, serif text face, Cycles, designed by Sumner Stone, formerly of Adobe. They are generously illustrated in colour, and printed on quality papers by TJ Books, of Padstow, UK.
Each order is carefully wrapped in tissue paper and dispatched in rigid cardboard book wraps.
Click on the PUBLICATIONS tab to find out more about the first seven books published by Shelf Lives, and two further books by Tony Scotland, The Empty Throne (published by Penguin) and Lennox & Freda (published by Michael Russell). And if you would like to buy, please click on the ORDER NOW tab.
Brief biographies of Tony Scotland and Julian Berkeley are on the PUBLISHERS tab.