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

    7 8.05%
  • less respect for self-published book than traditionally published book

    22 25.29%
  • equal respect for self-published book and traditionally published book

    40 45.98%
  • more likely to buy self-published book than traditionally published book

    4 4.60%
  • less likely to buy self-published book than traditionally published book

    15 17.24%
  • equally likely to buy self-published book and traditionally published book

    41 47.13%
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Thread: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

  1. #21

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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    Tuan, my respect is equal for self-published and traditionally published books, with the same criteria in both instances; to learn, enjoy, and hopefully, find inspiration. In some cases, reproduction quality might be a major consideration. Among my favorite photo books are a few self-published gems that would likely lack the audience and return expected of a traditionally published book.

    Self-publishing often concerns different goals and expectations. I published a book to tell my story of six decades as a fine art photographer, with glimpses of a bygone era. I anticipated a small audience and chose a publisher of high reputation. He agreed to print my text and photographs following my layout, and was on press. Reproduction quality was a major consideration. The resulting book represents the necessary rapport of photographer and publisher.

    As others have noted, traditionally published books are no guarantee of quality, nor self-published books of lacking same. It's not an easy question!

  2. #22
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    If one self-publishes, it is a good idea to get an ISBN number or distributors will likely ignore it. If you do publish without an ISBN, then you can get one and they will supply stickers to be placed within the book later, but before sale.

    Book and magazine distribution is a racket.

  3. #23
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    Maybe this is the wrong place for this. But it's photographic self-publishing.

    I am astounded by today's KODAK email.

    KODAK is offering a 96-page MAGAZINE for $25.23 delivered! Not a subscription, just Issue 2. Issue 1, I never heard of.

    http://store.kodak.com/store/kodak/e...hrome_20171109

    That's real money and kinda dumb marketing in my eyes. Sheese!

    Today's second KODAK email offers Kodak t-shirts...

    Why not tie these products to a roll of film? If not that, just make the magazine digital delivery and give up.

    Now I will make coffee and get really fired up.

  4. #24
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    Thanks. And based on that it would appear there is no impact on the end user. Further any advantage/disadvantage is upon the author. So I guess it makes no difference to me as a consumer, except perhaps as an indicator of the author's level of commitment and dedication to the material by fronting the investment him/her-self.

  5. #25

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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    It used to be that I could browse the better local book stores for material. In the UK I could also check out the bookshops on Charing Cross Road, or pop into The Photographer's Gallery in London. Now it gets harder. The local Barnes & Noble no longer has an 'Art' section, let alone photography.

    'Conventionally' published material has some guarantee of production values. On the other hand I have some personally published works through various print-on-demand services, and they have met the expectations of other work from the same source. Duotone and sheet fed gravure is still the closest to the original print in my view, but I cannot afford the space or cost of 100 original prints 8-)

    For me, self-published books sell based on the work (if I can preview it), or what I know of the author (and there are several on this Forum). Work from publishers representing multiple authors might sell based on the publisher's 'vision'.

  6. #26
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    The web, cellphone, and computers have killed magazines and books along with a lot of other things we use to buy to hold and admire.

  7. #27

    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    The world of books is a large one. There are other outlets like book shows for selling books. I have owned handmade books from artists that sell on the thousands and are highly resellable . A well made book is a work of art and content and quality reign supreme

  8. #28
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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    I think we may be getting in trouble here by conflating different kinds of books that are targeted at different markets. The market for books like Tuan's "Treasured Lands" is different from the market for individual-photographer monographs positioned as art books, which in turn is different from the market for small-run craft books where the book itself is positioned as an art object. We could probably identify other differentiated markets too. The mix of responses to Tuan's poll is likely to be different across these different markets.

  9. #29
    Indiana, USA chassis's Avatar
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    Re: Perception of self-publishing v. publishing

    Publisher pedigree has no monetizable value to me, except (maybe) in a rare example, of which at this time I can think of none. Quality of the physical product, and of the content, are value drivers for me as a potential consumer of a product.
    This is the consumer's point of view.


    However, from the author's point of view, a publisher's production process and distribution chain and relationships often have value worth spending money on. So the goals need to be defined. If the author wants to sell a certain number of books, the various methods of publication will achieve the goal more or less easily.

  10. #30

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    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.

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