Killer app: Bell & Bain proves it has the right recipe for Nom

Rhys Handley
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone started Pinch of Nom as an online space in which to share slimming, cost-effective recipes. Amassing a Facebook following of 1.4 million people and counting, the project was always destined to break out onto the printed page.

What was produced?

Following a book deal with Pan Macmillan’s Bluebird imprint, Allinson and Featherstone compiled 100 recipes into a 272pp full-colour book.

What did the job entail?

Bluebird assigned 188-year-old Glasgow book printer Bell & Bain to print a run of 30,000 copies on a 10-day turnaround for release in mid-March. This quickly “snowballed” and a further 30,000 copies were quickly ordered, followed by 100,000 and so forth.

Bell & Bain printed the initial run of 130gsm Lumi Silk text pages of the hardback books on a KBA Rapida 145, before folding on its Stahlfolder and MBOs, then binding on its Muller Martini Corona perfect binder and Diamant casebinder.

What challenges were overcome?

Although Bell & Bain’s experience is extensive, the demand for Pinch of Nom did put the Scottish company through its paces. It drew on experience printing cookbooks for publishers such as Bloomsbury and Harper Collins to make sure the print quality was at its highest.

In order to cope with the order size as it ratcheted up quickly, the team showed its dedication by working through the weekend in order to get the books ready for shelves in time for release.

Managing director Stephen Docherty said: “Bluebird was desperate to get the books out in a hurry and, though the initial run is larger than we would normally do, we make books and we make them well. People sometimes forget what we can do, and this was a great opportunity to remind them.

“It was quite an enjoyable experience for our very experienced team. I don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but there is probably no one else in the UK who knows this trade quite as well as we do.”

What was the feedback?

Pinch of Nom is now the UK’s fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began, selling 210,506 copies in its first three days on shelves. According to Docherty,
Bell & Bain’s sales are currently running £1m ahead of last year, in no small part thanks to taking on the project.

On their Instagram page, Allinson and Featherstone wrote: “We got a special delivery this week, a copy of our book! It’s made all of us proper emosh. How pretty is this? We never thought we’d have a book published by a proper publisher. It’s so pretty! We’ve been so lucky to have worked with such an incredible team.”

Do you have a Killer App? We are interested in special, difficult or simply fabulous print jobs. Contact Rhys Handley on 020 7501 6388 or


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