Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Becoming Difficult NOT to Publish

Are you willing to take a chance on your own work?

When you have a great idea and begin to shop it around to a publisher, you may find yourself the only one who does think it's a grand idea.  These days (and those days too) if it doesn't look like it's going to make a good return on investment quickly, a publisher is likely to pat you on the head and tell you to come back when times are a little bit better.

As if.

Several years ago I self-published a book of Idaho photographs using the online book maker Blurb.  The result was better than I expected, much better, and would fully serve the purpose I had envisioned for it as a major  part of my portfolio. (You can see it here.)  It was fun to make, tested my lay-out and design skills, and I learned a lot by doing it.

And it cost me $80 a copy.

Obviously, if I had planned to market it, it was not going to be a big seller, even if I would settle for even the slightest profit.  (I don't mind admitting I need all the profit I can get.)  But since I had no such plans it was worth it because now I have an eye catching piece to add to my portfolio

Also, if I want to pitch my idea for a book to a publisher, I now have something to show other than just a pile of prints.  And as of today, however, I also found a way that might help me to pay for the publishing myself and be able to offer my book at a decent, sellable price.  Which brings us back to my original question.  If you are willing to take a chance on your work and think you can make a profit on it it's easier to do now than ever before.

This realization came to me when I visited The Luminous Landscape, a hugely entertaining and helpful website for photographers interested in landscape photography.  If that describes you, you should bookmark it now.  Or at least wait until you finish reading this post out of simple courtesy.  This morning when visiting this site, I clicked on a link that stood right out at me:   Self Publishing a Landscape Photography Book by Irish landscape photographer Peter Cox (website here).  He describes his successful efforts in publishing a book he had long wanted to see in print.  The most important part for me was his story of how he received more than enough financing to do it through a website called Kickstarter.  I won't go into how Kickstarter works, you can read that yourself when you go there.  I think if you've ever had dreams of publishing a book or getting any kind of project off the ground you really must take a look at it.  You can learn a lot from Peter's article I mentioned above and then going to his Kickstarter page and looking at his marketing video.
The Gap of Dunloe, Co. Kerry, by Peter Cox
So I ask you again, are you willing to take a chance on your own work?

  * * * * *

And another thing . . . 

I shot this last week on the banks of the Boise River.  I admit to extensive manipulation.  I have yet to come to a decision about whether or not posterity deserves to be left with it or not.  What do you think?

That's quite enough for this week.