Photographer? Happy Snapper? – Why Not Create and Publish Your Own Personal Photobooks
The title of the post may be a little misleading. I apologise. However, don’t give up. It may strike a chord.
Obviously the title will appeal to photographers, professionals or keen amateurs or just point and shoot snappers like myself, but a photobook is something that writers should think about too. Okay, let’s backwind a little…20 years.
If I had suggested 20 years ago that you should collect ‘50 of your best snaps‘ or ‘50 of your most stunning, exhibition quality photographs‘ and lay them out in book form in a decent desktop publishing programme…then add a sprinkling of text throughout the book to run alongside the photos (not just descriptions of the photos themselves but maybe poems, quotes,observations, funny comments etc etc) you would have said to me “Steve, it will cost a fortune. No one can afford that kind of thing. Think of the printing costs alone!” And you would have been right.
But look at the opportunities today. First of all you would say “Well, I’m already doing that by uploading my photos to ‘this’ or ‘that’ website where all my images can be displayed in galleries, folders, you name it. And they are all free. I’m already doing it thanks very much.” And you would be right again.
You could also have replied “I only have to go into Jessops (R.I.P.) and take my photos and they have a service there that does exactly that, make instant (well, sort of) photobooks which I can have printed out.” And you would be right again.
So, what am I banging on about?
I’m actually talking about creating and self publishing your own ‘real’ books….well designed and laid out and typeset books, black and white or colour, nicely bound, matt laminate (I love Matt Laminate….I also think it’s a fabulous name for a film actor, but I digress).
It need not be a massive book. I should look ‘quirky’ ‘arty’ ‘different’ and definitely ‘a different shape’….square and small maybe? Definitely small rather than large. Print 200 copies digital, and promote it like crazy. A book like that would sell in Waterstones (apologies to anyone outside the UK who is not aware of Waterstones, the book store in the UK)
I know if I went into my local Waterstones and saw it, and it was reasonably priced I would buy it.
I’ve seen several ‘odd’ books like this, I’m sure you have too, so it’s being done. (One thing to mention also for writers thinking ‘this is not for me’, the photos need not be the main focus of the book, it could be the text but with quirky photos)
The thing is to really promote your 200 books. Personal promotion works. Having a quirky subject works too. If you want to create a name for yourself ‘locally’ make the snaps relevant to your area. Get quotes from people in the street. Hand them a leaflet you’ve already created with the book title on…the cover design already on the leaflet…and tell them they will be in the book and the release date.
Interview a couple of ‘leading lights’ in your area….maybe a member of a local weird band…..someone with a ‘following’.
Word of advice. Do not give any of these books away. Make this a ‘premium’ book. If they want one they will have to buy one. Maybe also type on the cover of the book ‘£1 from every book sale will go to the Dah Dah Dah Charity for Dah Dah Dah’ (that might work in your favour too).
End result….if you sold every one you would have recouped most, if not all, of your money. Trust me, you can do this. You will have raised your profile as a serious ‘arty book writer/photographer’….and you can still upload all the images and text to websites afterwards if you like.
Did any of that make sense? Or entertain? Or sound reasonable? I hope so. You could do it. I know you could.
If there is any part of the above you think you couldn’t handle and would welcome someone else to do it for you, maybe publish your book please get in touch….. all the contact details etc are on the website…. www.writegoodbooks.co.uk