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Our company

Is Be Held™ a new company?

Yes, we are. We launched in July 2021 – but Be Held™ has been over two and a half years in the making. During that time we’ve been carefully planning, imagining, writing, illustrating and designing a new category of personalised books. Stories crafted for our time. Passion, with purpose.

What inspired you to create Be Held™?

Like all parents, we have first-hand (and hard-earned) experience of the challenges of bringing up children. Like instilling family values and nurturing a child’s strength of character. But modern life has thrown up new challenges. Too much screen time. Not enough book reading. Too few cocooned moments of family reflection. And many more. That’s why we created Be Held™.

Is Be Held™ an educational body?

No, we’re just ordinary parents trying to create extraordinary stories. Our best qualifications are our families. Which, added together, are a motley crew of children that range from 4 to 22 years old. This gives us early years learning and empathy from opposite ends of the parenting journey.

How are Be Held™ books different from other personalised books?

Before Be Held™ was launched, we worked painstakingly to plan a fresh approach to personalised books. To engage young readers for a reason. To gently impart little real-life lessons – in digestible story form – in a way that can be discussed and absorbed through family reading moments. We call it Parenting in Disguise.

What is Parenting in Disguise?

As parents ourselves, we appreciate new ideas to support and engage with our children. We create tools that better equip parents to open meaningful dialogue with a child. To gently deliver real-life learnings and important values (without them realising), which are critical for them to grow into caring, well-rounded human beings. That’s what Parenting in Disguise is all about.

Is Be Held™ sustainable?

Very much so. We truly value the importance of environmental protection. We’re committed to operating our business responsibly and complying with all regulations, legislation and approved codes of practice. We don’t need (or want) a big office. We won’t make unnecessary journeys. Remote working is our choice. We champion physical books in hand, but are an internet-first company. We use paper, but we use it responsibly. We only print ‘on demand’. No wastage. No warehouse full of yet-to-be-sold books. We also align with like-minded print partners, who use only Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) grade paper and comply to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14001:2015, which specifies requirements for enhancing environmental performance.

Why are they called ‘Books for Life’?

Our personalised storybooks are effective tools to help prepare today’s children to live a more fulfilled life. To be the best version of themselves. To embrace ‘Life’ with all its ups and downs, understand the importance of positive values and build strength of character. Be Held™ books are also meaningful gifts in our throwaway society – something they’ll want to keep – and one day read to their own children.

Does Be Held Ltd support a charity?

Absolutely. We wanted this in place from day one, book one. We’re delighted to support Save the Children whose values we share. Their scale, expertise and empathy both in the UK and abroad help protect childhoods that, for whatever reason, have fallen on stony ground. To learn more, visit our charity page.

Our books

How do personalised Be Held™ books help children to learn?

Our BE Books™ put your child at the heroic heart of their very own story packed with adventure, discovery, learning and, above all, fun. This greater personalised engagement helps build a love of reading, but also creates a chance to gently touch on and begin to understand some of life’s important challenges.

What ages are Be Held™ books suitable for?

Our personalised BE Books™ are designed for children aged 0-8. They deliver different benefits and learning depending upon the age of the child. Please see the following three FAQs to discover more.

How do Be Held™ books help children 3 years and younger?

The role of words and pictures is important for very young children. Hearing the repeated sound of their own name. Exploring bright colours. Starting to see themselves in a different context. All these things begin to establish the family reading routine as a platform for learning little life-lessons.

How do Be Held™ books help children between 3-6 years?

Understanding more about the world they’re growing up in is vital for young school children. New characters. New challenges. New worlds. All of these can be experienced as the hero in their own adventure-packed personalised story.

How do Be Held™ books help children 6 years and above?

Embracing their growing sense of self-discovery and expanding their imagination is key for young readers. Placed in the heart of their own mini morality tale, they can explore developing personality traits and understand the consequences of their own avatar’s actions to build strength of character.

Can I add a personalised dedication?

Of course! When you build and preview the book of your choice, simply follow the steps to add your dedication. You’ll find there’s already one written for you, which you can just add your name to. Alternatively, you can take a moment to create and write a personal message of your own, one they will cherish in years to come. (400 characters maximum.)

How much do Be Held™ books cost?

Our personalised books cost a little more than standard books, but with good reason. Each is a print run of one – a unique book for a unique child. Every Be Held™ book provides value beyond simply that of the physical book itself. Prices start from £19.99 for a softcover, to £25.99 for the hardcover version. You can then choose your preferred postage option.

Do Be Held™ offer digital books?

No. We’re all about championing real books to engage children. We believe it’s the best way to gently inform them about important values in this information age. It’s not about more screen time. Or backlit screens before bedtime. It’s about real books in hand, and more meaningful storytime moments. A good old-fashioned book, produced with the latest publishing technology to tackle new and difficult challenges.

How ‘personalised’ are BE Books™?

Our books are personalised in many ways. Firstly, we make it clear the child is the hero of the story by putting their name front and centre in the book title. Their ‘avatar’ can then be tailored to reflect their gender, skin tone, hair colour and hometown. 1 in 5 children wear glasses at some point during childhood, which makes it an important part of their identity – we think it’s important their avatar can wear glasses as well. You can also write your own free dedication, which will be on the first page the child opens. By doing all this, in a way, we think Be Books™ will also personalise their story time ritual.

Shopping for our books

Do you offer discounts?

We certainly do! Whenever there’s a special event – like National Reading Day, or World Book Day or the first day of the Christmas Holidays (Hooray!) – we like to celebrate. Or sometimes it’s just to thank you for supporting our PROMISE, or rewarding your loyalty for telling your friends about us.

Keep an eye on the green announcement bar at the top of our website pages, sign up to our newsletter with your email, and follow our social media accounts to make sure you, or your friends, don’t miss out.

Why do Be Held™ books make such great value gifts?

When you gift a BE Book, you give more than just a beautifully crafted physical book that fuels a child’s imagination as the hero in a popular genre-based adventure. You give form, with function. You inspire that child to engage with and absorb key learning messages, better equip parents to open dialogue with them about everyday challenges and so empower families to face the world together.

How do I place my order with Be Held™?

We’ve practised this purchase journey ourselves, many times, to make sure it’s as easy and intuitive as possible – even if you’re not very ‘tech-savvy’. Simply go to the BOOKS page, click on the BE Book you think the child will enjoy and benefit from most, then follow the simple instructions. If you make a mistake, don’t worry, a little pop-up will help get you back on track. Enjoy your Be Held™ customer journey!

Do longer names cost more?

No, they don’t. (And neither do shorter ones.) But, of course, there has to be a limit to the number of characters. It’s 12 for a name, and 24 for a town name. For some children, therefore, you might have to use a contracted name, or even a nickname!

What’s the difference between hard and soft covers?

Both covers are beautifully made, and contain within them the same fun-packed, thought-provoking personalised adventure story. Both are printed on FSC paper and carefully bound to withstand the rigours of any child’s eager hands. The hardback cover is made by carefully mounting the printed paper to a rigid board. This adds even more strength to the book, and lets it prop up a bit more easily on a child’s bookshelf – we hope for their whole life – and one day to be read to children of their own.

Can I look at a BE Book before I buy it?

Of course. Being an internet-first company, we use the latest online publishing technology to make your purchase as easy, reassuring and rewarding as possible. Once you’ve followed the simple process of building your chosen BE Book, just hit ‘LET’S PREVIEW THIS BOOK!’ to see your little hero in their own personalised story. You’ll then be directed to add your very own dedication to the book’s opening page. (Psst! It’s also a good chance to double-check you’ve spelt all the personalised names correctly. Is that Leslie or Lesley? Be sure.)

How long before my book is in the child’s hands?

Once printed and shipped, your order will take between 1-3 days depending on which delivery service you opt for. Royal Mail 48 (RM48) service takes 2-3 days. RM24 takes between 1-2 days, with 95% arriving next day. We print in batches to improve production efficiency and quality. Softbacks take two working days from the moment a batch closes. Hardbacks take 3 working days. When it arrives, you’ll see that the time has been well spent. Also, please note that orders placed on Fridays after 00.01am won’t be processed until Monday.

Can I track my order?

100%. All orders are sent using trackable services. Our RM48 and RM24 services both offer full online end-to-end tracking for peace of mind. Royal Mail will email you on the day of delivery with options for SMS/email notifications to keep track of the parcel’s progress, and to arrange a delivery slot time.

Can I amend my BE Book once I've placed an order?

Due to the automated systems we use to expedite production of your order, once a book enters the printing batch we can’t make any further personalisation or book-format changes. Sorry about that. However, there is a small window of opportunity to change address details or amend shipping methods up until the point an order is shipped.

If you do realise you’ve made a mistake, please try and cancel the order immediately. If it’s not too late, we’ll do our best to cancel the existing order and provide a coupon for you to create a new one.

This should be done via email: hello@BeHeld.com

Can I replace my BE Book if it gets damaged?

In exceptional circumstances and at our discretion, yes. If a BE Book has genuinely met an untimely end at the hands of an overenthusiastic child, then we’ll happily send a replacement copy. You’ll just need to send us the original damaged BE Book (with photographic evidence and the story of its sad demise!) and for us to confirm the original purchase. After all, we want them to be Books for Life.

Can I get BE Books™ in foreign languages?

Not yet! But making our Be Held™ books available to children around the world in many languages is a big part of our future plans. To make sure you’re one of the first to know when other language versions are available, please sign up to our newsletter or join our community by following @BeHeldOfficial social media accounts.