The idea of publishing a book of images is something I think most photographers have pondered from time to time. However publishing a monograph in the past was not always an easy task, especially when so many photographers were vying for the editor’s eye. But today, that situation is changing. Now the photographer can become the editor.
What am I talking about? Good question. What I’m getting at is the notion of self-publishing through what’s known as print-on-demand technology. Currently there are a number of excellent online presses offering excellent opportunities for photographers (and writers) to get their work in print. Two that readily come to mind are Lulu and Blurb. Both companies offer an array of printing formats including: softcover, hardcover with dustjacket, and spiral bound. An added benefit with this type of publishing, is many of these companies offer marketing services where you set the selling price and they function as order fulfillment companies, sending you a check for profits on your sales. For and additional fee, many of these companies can provide you with an ISBN so you can market to third parties such as retail booksellers like Borders or Barnes and Noble.
This type of publishing can be useful to photographers in a number of ways. One way is that of providing custom, professional perfect bound portfolios for sending to potential clients. Or, you could simply publish a book and give as holiday or birthday gifts. Many portrait and wedding photographers take advantage of these services in order to present their clients with a beautifully finished product of their event. I also see this as a great opportunity for the fine art photographer wanting to produce a monograph. This is what I’ve done with part of my Incongruity series. I anticipate publishing my second book sometime later this year.
Dustjacket from my monograph Incongruity: found american cultural objects.
© 2007 Terry Ownby