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Do Book Company

New publishing house from Do Lectures produces pocket-sized guides to inspire and instruct

by Leonora Oppenheim in Culture on 14 May 2013

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“The idea is a simple one,” says Do Lectures founder David Hieatt, “people who do things can inspire the rest of us to go and do things too.” This is the premise of the small yet mighty Ideas Conference, held annually on eco-tour-worthy farms in West Wales and California. Now it is also the mantra for a new arm of the Do brand, the Do Book Company, which follows the addition of the Do Workshops last year. At the helm is London-based editor Miranda West, who previously worked at Random House. West is running this new independent publishing business from East London's Shoreditch neighborhood with welcome support from The Chicken Shed—aka Do HQ—in Cardigan, Wales.

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The Do Book Company launches with five titles. "Do Disrupt – Change The Status Quo Or Become It", written by innovation and environmental design consultant Mark Shayler; "Do Improvise – Less Push, More Pause", a new approach to work (and life), by improv expert Rob Poynton; "Do Grow – Start With 10 Simple Vegetables" by gardener Alice Holden; "Do Birth – A Gentle Guide To Labor And Childbirth" by celebrated midwife Caroline Flint and "Do Story – How To Tell Your Story So The World Listens" by screenwriter Bobette Buster.

Each book delves into the expertise of a previous Do speaker—with the lecture series only scratching the surface of their knowledge. The Do Lectures, now in its sixth year, has a veritable treasure trove of inspirational talks from the world’s best Do-ers, so there’s no shortage of content for editor West to draw on for book titles. The company holds the promise of developing a rich and diverse collection of motivating reads. Plus, new titles are already in the works for 2014.

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There are other motivation-meets-how-to publishing houses and workshop series around the world, yet the Do Lectures really uphold the adage: "It’s not what you do, it’s the way you do it." From keeping it small and intimate, to inviting attendees and speakers to camp together, to the homemade food and freshly baked bread, to the rustic outdoor setup, the Do Lectures cultivated a unique way of opening people’s minds and consequently changing their lives.

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With the launch of the Do Book Company, the rest of the world can access this fantastic knowledge-sharing platform through short reads, in addition to streaming the lecture series online. The spirit and flair of the Do Lectures are embodied in the simple design of the books, which feature lively illustrations throughout the pages. The covers are a series of eye-catching designs by Brooklyn-based designer James Victore—a Do lecturer himself.

Do Books are reassuringly compact and at about 100 pages long, “they hold just enough advice to help you learn a new skill,’‘ says West, ‘’and give you a shot of inspiration to get you started." Do Book Company's titles are available from 16 May, check their website for more information.

Images courtesy of Do Book Company

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