Frequently Asked Questions


How big will my book be?

We have a variety of sizes available (W”xH”):

Square dimensions: 5x5, 6x6, 8x8, 10x10, 12x12

Landscape dimensions:  8.5x6, 9x6, 10x7, 10x8, 12x8, 15x10

Portrait dimensions: 8x10, 6x7.5, 6x9, 8x12, 10x12.5, 12x15, 10x14.25

How many pages can I have in my book?

Depending upon what type of paper and book you select—lay-flat vs. traditional, thick or thin pages, felted art paper vs. coated photographic paper—the number of pages in each book varies. Generally speaking, we offer books ranging from 20-300 pages. For career retrospectives, family books covering multiple generations and the like, we do have the ability to publish longer books but typically recommend publishing shorter volumes that can be beautifully displayed in a slipcase or clamshell box.

Is leather the only option for my book’s cover?

No, leather is a popular option (pebbled or textured leathers, soft supple or shiny leathers, and metallic leathers), but we also offer an array of other cover materials including Japanese silk, natural or colored linen, acrylic, metal, and wood. We offer classic books with an image wrap with or without a matching slipcase. Modern Heirloom Books has a style that’s perfect for both your subject matter and your own aesthetic preferences. The best way to decide on a cover material is to hone in on the tone of your book, and then see samples that may fit that tone during an in-person consultation.

What type of paper are the books printed on?

Our lay-flat books are printed on traditional E-Surface paper, specifically Kodak Professional Endura Premier Paper, the most popular paper used by professional photographers. This E-Surface paper boasts accurate color, realistic saturation, excellent neutral flesh reproduction, and great intensity and offers brighter blues, cyans, purples, and reds; it has a Standard Archival Value of 100 years in home display, 200 years in dark storage. A lustre coating is available for an additional fee.

Alternatively, our lay-flat books may also be printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Deep Matte paper, the premier matte paper used by professional photographers. This paper has a lustreless surface that creates tremendous visual impact, and produces rich color with pure whites and sharp text quality. Like the glossier E-Surface paper, it boasts a Standard Archival Value of 100 years in home display, 200 years in dark storage.

Our artistic books, including Old-World leather journals, fabric-covered books in matching sheaths or clamshell boxes, and more, are printed on acid-free felt papers with hand-torn edges. All artistic papers are archival and made with a minimum of 50 percent recycled content, and of a 100# text weight or 80# cover weight stock. White and cream colored paper is available for these books.

What other upgrades are available to add more detail to my book?

Depending upon the style of book you choose, you may be able to add front cover debossing; inside-back-cover foil stamping; black, gold, or silver page gilding; lustre coating to inside pages; hand-torn page edges. Some styles also have the option of a matching sheath or clamshell box to beautifully store your heirloom book.


How much will my Modern Heirloom Book cost?

Our books are as varied as the lives our customers lead, so it is impossible to quote a cost for a “typical” book. Please call 917.922.7415 to set up a consultation and get a project quote.

The One-Hour Heirloom provides a taste of our process and a miniature bespoke book for $1,500, a wonderful introduction to preserving your memories in grand style.

Are my photographs protected?

Your photos will be handled with the utmost care while in our possession. All scanning and photo restoration is done on our premises unless a client agrees to have a large group of photographs scanned by a trusted vendor. We promise to cherish your pictures as if they were our own, and return them to you in the same condition! 

In special instances, we can arrange to bring equipment to your home so that all photo digitization can be done on premises, ensuring your precious pictures’ safety and providing you comfort.

How long will it take to design and print my book?

The full process typically takes between 6-10 weeks. For projects where you are very clear on what photos you would like to include and how a story should be presented, the timeframe is greatly condensed. For projects requiring more planning—interviewing multiple individuals, going through generations’ worth of photographs, or searching multiple family members’ computers and handheld devices, for example—the timeframe is likely to be considerably longer.

Once a book is designed and approved, it will take two weeks (for lay-flat books) or up to two months (for highly-customized artistic books) for finished books to arrive.

So plan ahead, especially for anniversary parties or other occasions where you may want to present the celebrant with a book as a gift!

Can I get a digital version of my book?

Yes, no matter what type of physical book we design for you, we can always provide a digital version for social sharing and archival purposes (fee applies). 

What is a personal historian?

Founder Dawn M. Roode is a professional member of the Association of Personal Historians, aka “The Life Story People.” Personal historians help individuals, families, and organizations preserve their valuable histories, memories, and life stories through oral interviews, curating, and editing. We specialize in creating bespoke heirloom books, though we can refer you to expert APH members who will capture your memories on video, as well.

Often it is the journey of being interviewed—having an open-minded, open-hearted listener to your precious stories—that we are told is the true gift.

Watch this brief video to get a better idea of why you should preserve your memories, and how a personal historian like Dawn can guide you:

How do I get started?

Give us a call at 917.922.7415 to discuss your project, or set up a free in-person consultation to see the myriad options available to you. Read more about our process here, get book ideas here, or sign up below to stay in touch with future promotions and inspiration.