While at Paula's and my Lodima Press booth at Photo LA several people stopped by to tell me about this thread.

After reading through it entirely, I agree with Jorge. The announcement that David made is premature.

By email, I have asked David to make no more postings or announcements or responses about this without my approval of every word. He does antagonize people and if I am to be involved in this in any way, that can no longer happen. I will be talking to him shortly.

My history with David: When the first Inked magazine came out, I read David the riot act. To say it was terrible is an understatement. Since them, however, and much to my surprise after such an inauspicious beginning, Focus magazine, the magazine that Inked transformed into, has actually become quite good in many respects.

Not long ago David asked if Lodima Press would partner with him in a business helping photographers publish their books. He would handle all business matters. Lodima Press would take care of the creative side. There are still questions Paula and I have regarding this and before anything gets started, those questions will be answered and any problems resolved.

I do not know how much money photographers will save working with us. I do know that if Paula and I are involved we will strive to help them have the best book possible given the budget constraints.

Paula and I do consult with photographers about their books. Our fee for this for the past six years has been $1,500 a day (no matter how long the day is) and was never $3,500 as Don Miller wrote earlier in this thread. Paula and I met Mr. Miller one day at his home in Kansas. We thought we had a fine meeting. but ever since then he has had a derogatory attitude toward us. We cannot understand why. His misstating our consulting fee is, I would think intentional, or else he has a faulty memory.

We print books in Belgium because, Salto, the printer we use is, in our opinion, the best printer in the world. Almost without exception the photographers whose photographs we have printed have told us that the Lodima Press book of their work has the best reproductions of their work ever. Because of the decline in the dollar, printing books with Salto in 600-line screen quadtone is very expensive.

Will the reproductions in the books Focus Fine Art publishing prouduces have reproductions that fine? I cannot say for sure, but probably not. But will they be good? Yes, at least I hope so.

it is an interesting thing about printing books to the quality Lodima Press does. Most people do not see the difference. And of those who see the difference, most do not care. But Paula and I are fanatics about quality and so we continue to print our books in Belgium.

Printing in Asia: Some Asian printers are very good. We pritned a book in China (CrashBurn Love: Demolition Derby) a book that did not need 600-line screen quadtone, and the 200 line screen duotone reproductions are excellent. Since Lodima Press only works with Salto, we formed another imprint, BackStreetBooks, for printing books in China.

Anyhow, I hope that explains my involvement in this a bit. Paula and I are traveling now and will be until the end of January and so I may be unable to repond to any further postings to this thread. For my part, I would let the thread end. Better, I would have the entire thread deleted and would ask David to start over with a new announcement when his web site about this is up and running and is fully functional.

Michael A. Smith