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Thread: who do you use to publish your books?

  1. #1

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    who do you use to publish your books?

    just curious, ive looked up self publishers, vanity presses... seems there are hundreds of them out there.

    who do you use?

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Just curious is not high priority

    This question gets asked regularly

    Best to test print some of your own, as I have done a few years ago, then paid the $$$

    Both out of business

    I really like this new book made by LFPF member and very well printed in North America

    I bought it

    New Book: Eleventyone Portraits 1841 to 1950
    where is the monolith

  3. #3

    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I use Blurb and find the results quite good.

  4. #4

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Mr Can... its not high priority but has come up in conversations with a few ole fellow photographers I go to coffee with. So it is a curious question to us old farts from the days of yore.

    once upon a time publishing was not as easy as it is in the digital age. seems every dick n harry can published just about anything regardless of quality of work.

    But as I said... just out of curiosity asking here with so many published photographers n so much talent here I'd like to hear their opinions on houses and what they offer as opposed to others... and of course price is a consideration. Im also curious to the process to assure Im getting what I expect.

    Blurb was mentioned by several people, their books look great too. BUT on the business side... what is the average cut on a book sale? Were you happy with the reproductions or did you have to tweak it several times to get it right? how does that work? scanned negatives arent the easiest to maintain the same quality as a print. Digitals arent always whgat they appear to be either when printed. What looks good on this side may not be the same in the book and that raises alot of concerns on process. Also, what were your out of pocket expenses prior to printing?

    Id love to hear all the details?

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I too, very interested, not just curious

    By the way I am 70, but only 9 in LFPF age, I started when I signed in here

    Show and Tell

    I cannot, books I made were small portfolio travel books, Digi copy of his Large Format color pencil and paper drawing aka Sell Books

    His prints start at $1K, he sells a lot, year in year out, a side gig

    He also needed all kinds of small files for Art Contest entries, a lot of PS work, color match a nightmare as he never lets his prints out of his sight, meaning I had no reference in Post

    He was and is still happy, he cannot find a photographer to replace me, I got out of Dodge, meaning big city
    where is the monolith

  6. #6

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I am not knowledgeable enough to suggest publishers, although I did have a small monograph of my work printed several years ago.

    There are things to consider before embarking on such an undertaking. Some you have mentioned. I'll add a few.

    First, why do you want to publish a book of your photographs? Who is your intended audience? What is your budget? What are your expectations? What degree of quality are you seeking, and by what printing process? How much of your time are you willing to spend on the project? Who will be doing the layout, sequencing, type choice, etc? How many copies?

    I'm sure you will get some good tips from other forum members who have self-published.

  7. #7
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Merg's book is a treasure for me and I'm so glad he published it. I can not give any real advice as I print and publish as well as binding and finishing my own books. I'm up to two now. These are geared at the collector market so to speak because they have original carbon transfer prints and text printed in carbon as well. my editions are small and if I sell some that would be awesome but I do them for me as I love the bookbinding process. My latest book about Rockefeller Forest in the Humboldt Redwoods was just finished, well Edition 1 that is. There will be five plus an artist copy. It is an incredible undertaking and one I enjoy. This was the only way I could produce a book of my 8x20 work. The volume when open is 15x52 inches. It came out very nice.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails E63BFFB6-FF8A-438E-BF81-696CF80A418F.jpg   678BB593-4C75-4E24-98F7-C74E10A33022_1_201_a.jpg   3427A0C7-601B-4B1E-84C1-38716AEE0EE7_1_201_a.jpg   79993FBC-A5F9-4944-86DD-8C7A6E202370_1_201_a.jpg  

  8. #8

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    As Tin Can has mentioned I published a book recently. Over my business life I had collected a number of portraits representing a number of historical events, persons, and techniques. Some of them were otherwise unknown and of slight historical importance and I wanted to have these at least available to public awareness. I had long ago set aside the Mad money for it.
    My specs were
    A hard cover ( I just think a hard cover is more serious; apologies to all)
    Legible for all and especially older readers
    Good reproduction of images
    These drove me to a more traditional printer and opposed to Pint on Demand.
    GET AN EDITOR! who will spell check and offer wording changes for flow and understanding. I was very fortunate to find a former magazine editor now stay at home mother and Master's student.
    Consider an Art Director who will be aware of solutions for layout font etc. I was directed to one by a pen pal Canadian Photographer/ curator/ writer.
    This is probably not what you have in mind but I had the book printed by Friesens up here in Manitoba, Canada. They are very very good at communication and ongoing support and the quality of the materials was very satisfactory. The (Digital) reproduction of the images on the page was for all intents and purposes perfect right off the bat.
    https://www.friesens.com/about/our-history/
    The book, printed, bound, covered with a dust jacket, enclosed in a clear plastic cover, and delivered cost about 45 Canadian per book. My editing and design expenses and other expenses were another 7500 dollars spread over the minimum 250 book printing. So 80 Canadian dollars per book for 250 books or a total of 20,000 dollars. I did not think that the book was marketable at any kind of reasonable markup, but that was not my point. I sell it at cost.

    If you want to make a profit I would at least try to find a traditional printer/publisher. There are many such businesses about. Find one who has an interest in what your product is. If you do not find any interest in your project then decide how serious you are about the product and do it the way you want it to be.
    I suspect you probably predisposed to have a print on demand service and I cannot speak to that in a current way but when I surveyed what to do 7 years ago the print on demand quality simply wasn't in the same league. Which is not to say it is not good enough
    I was impressed by Puritan Capital when I was researching but the US dollar was alot then (and now). and to para phrase the "Old Time Religion", if it's good enough for Ansel then it's good enough for me. See Ansel Adams: At the Water's Edge
    https://puritanpress.com/category/wo...itones/page/2/
    Best Wishes
    Bill

  9. #9

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I've published 2 books over the past years and Im currently working on another 2.

    None of these books is meant to make a profit. My first book "Droomplek / Dreamplace" is a fairly personal document, B&W analog photography. I made a small limited edition (max. 83), hand-made by myself, home printed, Japanese binding, in cassette, with an original FB print included.
    The second book - "Als engelen bestaan... / When angels exist... " - is more documentary. Digital photography showing the magnificent work that so many volunteers perform to help people in need. Printed in 800 copies, offset, hard-cover. Funding came from a local government subsidy, crowd funding etc..
    For the third book I'm the producer and publisher; it's a poetry book with poems from a very special, deceased poet. I was asked to produce and publish this. Funding will be provided by the organisation that asked me to do this for them. It will be printed this autumn in hard-cover, 500 - 1000 copies.
    For the fourth book I'm the photographer, producer and publisher. This is still in an early stage, target for publication is 2nd half 2021. Funding will come from donations, subsidies, crowd-funding etc.
    For all books I team up with colleague artists/photographers (for feedback and advice), a professional graphics designer / art director (fonts, layout, color etc.), a printing expert (paper, print quality, physical appearance of the book) and professional printing companies (except the first book which was hand- / home-made). As part of the process, a good printing company will provide test prints and a book dummy. I also make my own dummies before going to the printer.
    I use Affinity Publisher software to create the books and produce the print-ready files for the printers.

    I've looked at Blurb and other internet-based publishing services. They may be interesting for small editions. I disliked the limited options they offer in terms of sizes, materials, finishing options etc..

    Now, some questions.....
    What is your intent.... make money, enjoy the fun of making a book, sharing your work with people who can appreciate it....?
    How many copies do you foresee making?
    Are you willing to take the funding risk, or will someone else fund it for you?
    Do you have friends willing to help you with their expertise, and if so, will they charge you?
    How will the book be distributed?


    Making and publishing books is great fun and very satisfying! My key recommendation: surround yourself with a good team of experts! Enjoy and good luck!

    See my website: www.ronmoelijker.nl
    Last edited by Ron789; 27-Jul-2020 at 17:22.

  10. #10

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fitzgerald View Post
    Merg's book is a treasure for me and I'm so glad he published it. I can not give any real advice as I print and publish as well as binding and finishing my own books. I'm up to two now. These are geared at the collector market so to speak because they have original carbon transfer prints and text printed in carbon as well. my editions are small and if I sell some that would be awesome but I do them for me as I love the bookbinding process. My latest book about Rockefeller Forest in the Humboldt Redwoods was just finished, well Edition 1 that is. There will be five plus an artist copy. It is an incredible undertaking and one I enjoy. This was the only way I could produce a book of my 8x20 work. The volume when open is 15x52 inches. It came out very nice.
    Jim, so kind of you to mention my book and to know that it gives you pleasure. As a teenager I dreamed of having a book, and sixty years later it became a reality! My publishing experience was similar to that of Bill's, who writes a very thoughtful reply to the question posed by Paul Ron. I was fortunate to have an excellent publisher, a photographer himself; thank you Brooks Jensen of LensWork Publishing.

    Now, to your incredible work and dedication, Jim. I have followed you, for well over a decade, and continue to be impressed by your output and passion. You are the personification of passion; building cameras, printing and binding your own books, and returning from the field to make the beautiful 8x20 carbon transfer prints! Keep it going, and keep well.

    Best,
    Merg

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