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Thread: who do you use to publish your books?

  1. #21

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Quote Originally Posted by giganova View Post
    My biggest gripe with Blurb was that all the b&W photos has a greenish color hue and were not true b&w.
    was that because of how the pictures were scanned by you? did you see that when you proofed it? Perhaps some color correction in Photoshop may have cured it? when printing via any service... you usually have to do some calibrating to their process. Does blub allow you to do that?

    how about my other questions?

  2. #22

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I've used Blurb to produce a couple of small monographs. The first one I had printed was quite good, but the 2nd book I created (template style, so all pages the same and all photos had been scanned at the same time, and corrected before being swapped out) was less than stellar - the covers had lines through the printing and not the least bit sharp.

    The printing was pretty poor and I wasn't happy at all. To Blurb's credit, they did replace the books and gave me a HB and SB versions, but the utter lack of quality control left a lot to be desired. Would I use them again? I'll be honest - if it was a small run for family friends as gifts, yes I probably would. If I wanted to sell on though, I'd be less sure - complaining about a 50 print run (or more) due tshoddy as the second example above, woulkd be a right PITA.

    Of course, YMMV. Blurb is certainly a quick way to only print what you need, but I'm sure there are other similar companies out there that may do a better job regarding QC.
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  3. #23

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ron View Post
    was that because of how the pictures were scanned by you? did you see that when you proofed it? Perhaps some color correction in Photoshop may have cured it? when printing via any service... you usually have to do some calibrating to their process. Does blub allow you to do that?

    how about my other questions?
    Burb has an unpredictable color shift for monochrome photos that you cannot anticipate.

  4. #24

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I've just sold the last copies of my small run of books featuring around 50 sepia and selenium toned prints. Printing to satisfaction was a challenge.

    The trouble with Blurb and any digital printing is colour consistency and its particularly bad for BnW. It's almost impossible to control small colour shifts through even a small print run since the greys are made up of CMYK and even the slightest shift is obvious in BnW. I had differences in tone in a single run of 25 books, let alone between runs. Pro photobooks are always litho printed often duo-litho for BnW. The exact black and other inks are set from the start and can be tested until correct. Then only those inks are used and the whole process ensures consistency. Litho can use more paper types and uncoated paper in particular doesn't look great on digital. However due to the overhead it's only worth it if you're doing at least 200 and many printers won't even consider it for less than 1000 copies.

    Happy I was able to produce a book, but open a Nazraeli Press book for example and the difference in print quality is night and day.

    I used Mixam print in the UK btw

  5. #25

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Quote Originally Posted by faraz View Post
    I've just sold the last copies of my small run of books featuring around 50 sepia and selenium toned prints. Printing to satisfaction was a challenge.

    The trouble with Blurb and any digital printing is colour consistency and its particularly bad for BnW. It's almost impossible to control small colour shifts through even a small print run since the greys are made up of CMYK and even the slightest shift is obvious in BnW. I had differences in tone in a single run of 25 books, let alone between runs. Pro photobooks are always litho printed often duo-litho for BnW. The exact black and other inks are set from the start and can be tested until correct. Then only those inks are used and the whole process ensures consistency. Litho can use more paper types and uncoated paper in particular doesn't look great on digital. However due to the overhead it's only worth it if you're doing at least 200 and many printers won't even consider it for less than 1000 copies.

    Happy I was able to produce a book, but open a Nazraeli Press book for example and the difference in print quality is night and day.

    I used Mixam print in the UK btw
    thanks giga...

    Yeah I know exactly what you mean about color consistancy thats a good reason to use a better publiching house with all the PITA featurs of publiching a real book. BUt yeah as you say... you get what you pay for.

    The old fellas who arent really digitally in this century form teh old school were curious to the process n since so many people are doing it, they would like to join in the fun of publishing their own works. I doubt anyone is going over 10 copies at most n as far as selling... well they do great work in the darkroom... but scanning is going to be a challenge and may cost more than the books. and to compund the cheap look. mmm yeah but it may be lots of fun as a personal busy project.

    Maybe we will give a go with blurb for starters. Its not all that expensive according to their site prices plus it a print on demand situation.

    thanks for the tips guys.

  6. #26
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I could be wrong but at one point I think I heard Blurb was outsourcing printing to whomever was cheapest at the time, so consistency across different time periods was even an issue. May not matter to most but if you were doing a second printing or just thought you had things nailed down...
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  7. #27

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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I've published 3 books, two with Timber Press (Portland, Oregon) that are still in print and one with Far Country Press (Helena, Montana) that sold 8000 copies before going out of print. Both are traditional publishers with designers on staff. I'm working on another book for Timber, with manuscript and photography due at the end of 2021. None of these involve large format photography, but they're photo-heavy.

    Creating books is not for the faint of heart, and you have to understand that it's very hard to make money from publishing books. My books with Timber are field guides to native plants, all photographed in color with 35mm-size film and digital cameras. They're printed in Hong Kong and what appears on the pages is acceptably close to my originals. I say "acceptably close" because you'll never get ink on paper to exactly match a photographic print or transparency.

    One of my field guides has sold nearly 43,000 copies (as of 6/30/2020) since 2006 and the other close to 17,000 copies since 2014.

    If you go the self-publishing route you have to handle all the marketing and distribution yourself, as well as design and working with a printer. I've done it, in support of my former spouse who was the author, and it's a lot of work.

  8. #28

    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I could be wrong but at one point I think I heard Blurb was outsourcing printing to whomever was cheapest at the time, so consistency across different time periods was even an issue. May not matter to most but if you were doing a second printing or just thought you had things nailed down...

    this was 12 years ago, but when I was trying to correct my B&Ws with blurb as they drifted a little cyan one run then a little magenta the next, I found out that there were several different printing facilities and you had no way of ensuring that your files were sent to the same one on subsequent printings, which pretty much put subtle corrections out the window.

  9. #29
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: who do you use to publish your books?

    I agree, Blurb's black and white is disappointing because of the color shifts, even page-to-page. Sort of inevitable with CMYK on an unsupervised press. Their color work is better, still not stellar. Their subsidiary, Magcloud used to be a great source for short run saddle-stitches publications, but the quality of late has been uneven, depending on the actual plant used (they may farm out the work, I don't know). I had drastically different results from the same files printed by them 6 months apart, and the books were shipped from different loactions.

    I printed with Bookmobile and was quite pleased with the price/quality of the work. They proof the pages--unlike Blurb. They will not do one-off or very short runs, but if you are printing 250-500 books, they are well worth the try.

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