NEW! Options for Publishing Your Own Book!

posted on 8th of july, 2013

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.

Comments (18)

Posted by Haotian on August 08, 2013
Thank you for your information especially regarding cost. :)
Posted by Extrared on August 07, 2013
Great information. This will help me with a project, too.
Posted by Clifhaley on July 29, 2013
This is a very informative and useful post, Wisconsinart! Great work.
Posted by Karenfoleyphotography on July 25, 2013
Great information, thanks so much for sharing. K-
Posted by Arisha108 on July 24, 2013
Thanks for posting this info, it's given me a few ideas on how to handle a project I'm working on :)
Posted by Nansaidh on July 21, 2013
Great article!
Posted by Tomatika on July 14, 2013
As my uncle use to say "People never sleep!" Congratulations! and many more.
Posted by Lenutaidi on July 13, 2013
Shared on Facebook.Interesting and useful!Future is almost.
Posted by Wisconsinart on July 12, 2013
Wow, thanks Mudplucker! But the real "biggie" will be publishing my photography project. It's been sitting for a number of years now and I've run out of options. I know I'm not the only one who has work they want to have published, hopefully this option works for others.
Posted by Mudplucker on July 12, 2013
Wisconsinart, i just bought the ebook on Amazon, thanks !!! So anyway i downloaded it to my Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 inch tablet and it works perfectly, even the screen rotation works properly when i flip my screen. Being in Illinois i might even get up to see a Packers game in the fall now !!! And i will take my camera of course too ! thanks for the ebook info, this has been very useful rather than learning the hard, expensive way !!!!!
Posted by Adeliepenguin on July 11, 2013
Hmmm.....now you have me thinking:) Thanks for your insights, and the course info.
Posted by Wisconsinart on July 11, 2013
Mudplucker, the book is titled "The Unofficial Green Bay Football Guide." I think this is the wrong community for that topic. :-) You can keyword search off that title if this link doesn't work:

My Book

I'm hoping to have my first photography book published in a month or two. I'll throw up a blog when it's out there.
Posted by Gheburaseye on July 11, 2013
I studied as comic artist and I'd like to create a comic book! I created some short story some years ago (subject, screenplay and storyboard are ready) and a serialization but I don't know if there are someone in POD ready to publish them.
Posted by Mudplucker on July 11, 2013
this might be just what I was hunting for Wisconsinart ! Where can we get a link to your book on Amazon ? I might buy it just to see what I'd learn in the class and to check out your work !
Posted by Egomezta on July 11, 2013
Thanks for sharing, great blog.
Posted by Alvera on July 10, 2013
Useful and shared on fb. Good to know. The paper-book end is near.
Posted by Peanutroaster on July 09, 2013
My book "the Quotable Westie" was done with CreateSpace and I don't think I t cost me anything. I layed it out in Lightroom which was very clunky and lead to the cover being a bit stretched because LR doesn't have standard book sizes. Its basically a small photo book and CreateSpace is geared toward print so the quality of the color images is not the best but for an inexpensive promo piece it works. I can buy the book for $2 and use for marketing and I've managed to sell about 25 on Amazon. Unfortunately the e version of the book looked terrible so I don't offer that.

My cousin on the other hand wrote some religious book and went with "christian" self publisher - Tate Publishing and they soaked her for four grand. She hawks them outside of supermarkets but will have to sell about 1,000 to break even.
Posted by Suyerry on July 09, 2013
Great Information, Thanks for sharing.

Comments (18)

This article has been read 1693 times. 11 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Jhanganu.

About me

My greatest passion is landscape and fine art photography. However, stock does provide a challenge in itself. I enjoy coming up with new ideas and concepts and learning new techniques. In the end, each compliments the other. The things you learn from one can apply for another and you grow with the craft. I have over 30 years experience with different kinds of art and freelance endeavors and have yet to become tired or bored with finding new ways to exercise the creative side of me. Thank you for visiting my profile and I hope your time here will be a reward in itself. I am located in Wisconsin... [Read more]

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