Have you ever tried publishing your own photography in a book? I have. The traditional way is to submit a proposal to a publisher and hope there will be an interest for your work. That was a door slammed in my face. Brick and mortar publishers want material that will appeal to the masses while having low printing costs. Photography is very subjective and usually targets small audiences. In addition, publishing physical books with enough quality to do justice for images is expensive.
Most of you probably know about print-on-demand (POD) services such as blurb.com and lulu.com, just to name a few. I've used these services to print very nice books from a vacation. One book cost me $106 and the photography came out great. But it was for personal use. No one is going to buy a book for $106 even if your first name is Ansel and your last name is Adams.
There are other self-publishing options with varying costs. I know one photographer who put up $25,000 to publish his book and he is still working on getting his money back. It was a worthy project but much of his photography time is devoted to marketing the book. It's become a ball and chain. I don't know about you, but I don't have $25,000 or the time to invest in such a project.
I did find very low cost POD outfits but the problem is they are fantastic for novel writers and other types of text publications. I have been unable to find a POD with options for printing photographs and on quality paper.
Recently I was checking out the online courses at a local university and found a new class being offered: "Publish and Sell your E-Books." It just so happens I had an old non-photography project that failed with the publishers and I thought that this was an opportunity to finally get it published.
I thought it would be great to revive a dead project but while taking the course, I began to realize the potential for publishing my one photography project. It's a work near and dear to my heart and while I don't expect it to sell well, I feel it's a story that needs to be told. Thanks to ongoing improvements in technology, e-readers such as the Kindle and Nook, they now have high resolution screens and can display color images.
I also learned you can install free software on your computer and read e-books without an e-reader. That may be old news for most of you, but if you connect the dots here, you can now publish a PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK ON YOUR OWN WITHOUT VIRTUALLY ANY COST.
The course provided the basics for formatting your e-book, converting it to an e-reader file, publishing the book, and making it available through outfits like Amazon. Granted, you're still going to have to market and promote, but no longer are you at the mercy of publishing companies and printing costs.
My non-photography book has been published an is now available on Amazon.com. After learning from the experience I will be reviving my old photography project and publishing that too. My first book cost me $35 for a United States copyright and $125 for an ISBN number. These costs may be optional and may vary depending where you live.
The course? It cost me $99 through the local university. If you don't have that option you can still take the course for $149. Here is the course if you're interested:
I know there must be a few of you who have work that you would like to gt published. And you probably ran into the same obstacles that I have. Thanks to new technologies, you now have the ability to self publish. Sure, I would love to have every chain bookstore selling my big, fancy coffee table book, but that ain't gonna happen. But if you have a body of work that you feel should be published, you're no longer at the mercy of the publishers or other restrictions.