2017: a whistlestop review of another rollercoaster year

First things first, a hearty THANK YOU to each and every person who bought one of our books or helped make one for someone.  I hope it made them laugh loudly, smile widely, and maybe even shed a happy a tear or two.  Special thanks to those who took things further and proposed marriage within their book, got a tattoo of their Symbol of You, and to the gentleman who requested to be buried with his book. I’m humbled and a little lost for the right words. At the heart of The Book of Everyone is a special mix of personalisation that we like to think brings people closer in some small but significant way and it’s mighty rewarding to know this formula is working – if at times to the extreme! 

Help! My dog ate my book:

Since launching The Book of Everyone a few years back, one of the things we’re most proud of is our customer satisfaction rating, and 2017 was no different.  We sent 200,000 books around the world and our Customer Happiness team did an incredible job ironing out bumps in production and delivery. Each year we get some truly amazing customers who go beyond a thank you and tell us how much their books meant to them. We also get some customers who politely let us know where things don’t quite go to plan. In both cases our Customer Happiness team dip into their monthly ‘Fantastic Fund’ and send a suitable gift to say thank you or to put things right. This year an overzealous dog took a bite out of their owner’s book. Here’s what our team sent them to ensure it didn’t happen again with a complimentary second book.

“Never test the water with both feet.” Say hello to Wise(ish) Words for 8-16 year olds.

We’re not the sort of company to rest on our laurels. One of our big projects in 2017 was revamping our original Wise Words for kids and creating another two versions complete with their own beautiful visual styles; graffiti and collage. These were created by our wonderfully talented designers Estefania and Daniela. You can see Daniela working her magic in this short video.

 

If you have a young person in your life that would appreciate some cheeky yet heartfelt wise(ish) words then check out the book here. It’s free to make and personalise.

2018 will see fabulous new additions to the Wise(ish) Words range such as Wise(ish) Words for Parents – something close to our hearts as all of the founders are dads and therefore quite aware there are no rules and that all words on the subject of parenting are Wish(ish). For me having a baby is kind of like having a blender with no top to it.  My wise(ish) advice would be to stash wet wipes in every corner of your life: your glove compartment, kitchen drawers, your garage, your bedside table, in your jacket pockets, in your trouser pockets… everywhere. You will need every last one of them.

3 Wise Words for Christmas

To launch Wise(ish) Words for kids we collaborated with award-winning photographer David Boni and the national charity for sick children, WellChild. David shot a portrait series of people who all work with kids in different ways; from a lollipop lady to a children’s law barrister They all shared their three wise words as a kind of survival kit for the next generation. You can see the often poignant, sometimes hilarious and always beautiful portrait series in our online gallery.

Celebrating legends in Glasgow

As a personalisation company set on creating individual books for every customer, we thought we’d do the same in our marketing. In Glasgow we gave over 100 outdoor advertising placements to our customers to personalise to the people they made their books for.  We spent hours on the phone listening to the stories behind every book and learning about the legends who star in them. We then immortalised them on billboards, bus sides, and bus stops all over town.  Take a look at some very proud legends with their billboards here and you can share your own virtual billboard celebrating a legend in your life here.

80,000 like-minded curious folk

In 2017 we passed the 80,000 Facebook fans mark. Now, I know that doesn’t put us in the same league as the Biebers of this world. But what we love is that our following is as passionate as we are about digging up curious and interesting facts. If you weren’t aware that the centre of the Milky Way’s smells like raspberries and tastes like rum, or that artificial Christmas trees were invented by a toilet brush manufacturer, then you’d best pop over to our Facebook page and get your grey matter massaged. We don’t claim raise your IQ but we are particularly adept at filling gaps in dinner party conversations. We’ve also created a lovely book of postcards based on our most popular social posts that we give away to any kind folk who introduce a new customer to us.

Personal videos hidden in every book. How’s that possible?

Every book created gives the lucky owner access to their very own online Gift Box. Here they’ll find a complimentary digital version of their book as well as access The Colony, our online ant farm, where they can follow all the antics of their ant namesake  – yes we name an ant in honour of every book recipient. This year we added a free feature where our customers and their friends can leave personal videos in their loved one’s Gift Box. Literally thousands of singing, dancing, celebratory videos have been uploaded so far, hopefully making that special occasion even more memorable.  

When I look back on 2017 we have much to be proud of for a small company dedicated to spreading a big dollop of personalised wonderful around the world. We also face fresh challenges in 2018 where there’s no room for any complacency. Like many start-ups we’ve hit a few bumps in the road. 2018 is going to be fun and it’s going to be tough but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  

(I lie, a little less tough would be nice. We’ll save that for 2019.)

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