Publishing a book. The goal of so many people in the arts, the sciences, and those who aspire to write. I was spurred on to go to Lystra Books after reading the piece by Nora Estheimer on TriArtSpark, a local arts and opinion site put together by Trudy Thomson. I have been thinking about books a lot recently. First, moving and packing them up and then having to unpack and put them somewhere (on wonderful built in book shelves done by Ed Ralston) made me more aware of their physicality. I vacillate back and forth between liking my Kindle and wishing I had a real book. Certainly in many cases there is not a great deal of difference between the cost of the physical book and its digital cousin, an excellent lesson in the value of intellectual property. The Kindle is useful for travel. Second, I have a project that I still don’t know what to do with that I finally made into a Blurb book. That’s not an end, but it is a initial step that hopefully will create some momentum for me.
I follow some websites and blogs using Google Reader, and this morning I happened upon a lot of book news. On Burn, David Alan Harvey had a “Letter from the Editor” that described what he had been up to and what he had planned for they near future (going to Dubai). He also talked about the efforts in the recent past and future plans for Burn Press, which will be a small, boutique like publisher of photography books. He is a smart person and his ideas usually come to fruition in even better form than planned, so watch out for this new outlet for photographic books. David’s ability to attract, inspire, and recognize young, emerging photographers is uncanny. On the Luminous Landscape site there is a nice article regarding Publishing Your Own Photographic Book by Peter Cox. Peter is a photographer from Ireland who aspired to publish a book of his landscape photography. He worked on a Kickstarter proposal, got it accepted, up and running and eventually raised more than $40,00.00 for his book project. This is a must read for any one seriously looking to self-publish their book. Roger May, documentary photographer from Cary (really West Virginia), who is making a book he has titled Testify with photos of the areas he relates to in Appalachia. You can find several articles relating to his experiences in doing this work on his blog.
For those who want some good instruction in laying out a book whether it is an e-book, print on demand, or a traditional book, Mat Thorn has some video webinars that are superb in providing the basics of book layout and design as well as editing and sequencing. They are also quite applicable to building a photographic web site. Sponsored by Blurb they can be found on Vimeo. Delving a bit deeper I found a very useful site called Photosecrets which is published by West Coast photographer Andrew Hudson. There he relates his experiences in the self publishing endeavor and is brutally honest in the estimate of costs and profits. He has worked very hard on his books and has self-published at least fourteen. Mind you, these are traditional books, not POD or print on demand books. This is a much different world of book publishing as compared to the print on demand type of thing.