View Poll Results: Self-published v. traditionally published book. Do you feel... ?

Voters
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  • more respect for self-published book than traditionally published book

    5 8.77%
  • less respect for self-published book than traditionally published book

    14 24.56%
  • equal respect for self-published book and traditionally published book

    28 49.12%
  • more likely to buy self-published book than traditionally published book

    3 5.26%
  • less likely to buy self-published book than traditionally published book

    11 19.30%
  • equally likely to buy self-published book and traditionally published book

    27 47.37%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

  1. #31

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    511

    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    For both fiction and non-fiction self-published is a red flag since the authors often don't see the need for an editor or think that it is all about spotting typos etc. You will still get absolute gems, but the signal to noise ratio is extreme. With books of photography that is a much smaller issue since the buyer is either already familiar with your work or is standing at the table leafing through the book. A good editor would still be an advantage in terms of selecting the final cut of photographs for the book and what sequence they appear in but won't be a make or break thing.

    Right now self published "photobooks" are all the rage and there was even a weekend event for them inside the National Gallery of Victoria, the most prestigious art space in my home town (Melbourne) and one of the top galleries in the country. They are usually at the lower end of the quality range or aiming at a handmade aesthetic but I would say that there is no intrinsic shame whatsoever in a self published monograph of your own photos. Get as much advice as you can and find a printer who is used to printing books of photography.

  2. #32
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    4,522

    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    I'm sort of the equal respect and equally sold on either source of book. I think the idea of a high volume high sales photography book is now ancient history. A Sierra Club coffee table book of Eliot Porter photos would not happen now. The fact that it's reprinted now shows how big an influence it must have been and is only academic or nostalgia now. Life Magazine special books and the magazine itself are no more. Newspapers don't have photographers anymore. The big name doesn't mean big sales or big quality. Likewise we all know quality can vary greatly if someone whos a great photographer but poor in writing or design makes a book with blurb or createspace. Printing tech has improved greatly and there is no reason the mechanical process has to be expensive. I'd be thrilled even for that for from great photographers who make awesome photos but aren't on the radar of museum exhibit catalogs or publishers. There's probably at least a dozen on the forum I'd be game for modest self published books. On the high end, it's a nice way prolific printers to share some nice work too.

  3. #33

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Erie, Colorado
    Posts
    41

    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    Self-publishing is not new. Many famous authors were self-published: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens etc. It wasn't until the middle of the last century that "trade" publishing took over.

    My three axioms of publishing:
    1. Getting a book published by a traditional publishing house is more work than writing the book.
    2. It doesn't matter who publishes the book, it is up to the author to promote and market their book.
    3. The only people making money in the publishing business today are the publishers.

    This is why we started Stearman Press: Shop.stearmanpress.com (How the photo supplies ended up in our publishing company is a long story.)

    The game changer in the last few decades has be Print on Demand (POD). You no longer need to run 1000 copies of your book just to make it available. Books listed on Amazon as "ships today" are often "printed today." This has lowered the cost of entry to almost zero and has resulted in some outrageously bad self-published books.

    There are also the vanity publishers: companies that will publish your book for a price. They can provide editors, cover art etc; all for a price.

    At Stearman Press, we hire professional editors etc. Not that mistakes don't slip through but some of the most grievous typos I've seen were in books from the big guys in the industry. In most cases, the reader can't tell the difference without decoding the ISBN. (Create Space will provide a free ISBN that is registered to them; we buy our own numbers, registered to Stearman Press. Minor detail but something that some book stores and reviewers notice. It also makes it easier to print elsewhere, if the need arises.)

    I'm not sure how POD would work for a photo book. I've heard mixed reviews regarding quality. You'd want to check some of the POD forums etc.

    Speaking of reviews, the only marketing in that really matters today are reviews on Amazon. The more reviews a book has the higher it goes in the search results etc. So if you like an author, write a review.

  4. #34

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    184

    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    Just imagine if Tim Rudman would re-release his toner book as POD or even as an e-book. Even the old toning data would be valuable to those of us who won't pay $200 on used market.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.
    http://www.esearing.com

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