Today I’m taking a step into a new world with the ‘official’ launch of my new blog called IndiePhotobooks
IndiePhotobooks is a new website dedicated to helping small and indie photobook publishers. It aims to inform publishers and self-publishers from different perspectives such as marketing, designing, printing.
I hope it will help to promote a conversation on publishing that I think is sorely lacking today. I made this site with me in mind - the me of 2012 who was just starting publishing with so much passion and motivation, but so little knowledge of the nuts and bolts.
I don’t claim to be an expert, and I know I also have much to learn, but I hope this can promote a conversation and more learning for all. All the information has come from my own experiences - meeting with printers, being on print, and publishing over 50 photobooks in 4 years - and information I have gleaned from reading on the subject.
I will be posting a weekly blog post concerning indie publishing. The blog posts that are already there are:
I have been publishing photobooks now for over five years, and I still struggle with all the complexities when it comes to things like marketing, preparing, blogging and printing. Especially printing.
I don’t know how many of you have come across the book ‘Publishing Photography’ by Dewi Lewis and Alan Ward. It’s a wonderful book, all about publishing and printing. It was a great help to me when I discovered it. The only problem is that it was published in 1992 (when I was 5!) and the book industry has completely changed since. No longer are we printing or selling books in the same way as then. New updated information, available to all, is needed.
Offset printing is something that I have come to learn a great deal about in the last few years. I have made a huge number of mistakes - almost every book I have published has ‘something’ wrong with it. But I also recognise that I have learnt so much in this time too.
I continue to be inspired and in awe of the many amazing small and independent presses out there, and self-publishers, who are choosing to create their own books. But I also know there are many many out there who lack the resources or knowledge to do so. I hope this site can help them in particular.
There are so many websites out there that will show off your photobook to fans in return for a physical submission, but where are the sites that try to inform people about how to make (good) photobooks? Where are the sites that promote an open discussion about techniques and strategies? About selling to bookshops and using distributors? About how to find printers and how to prepare files? About paper and binding?
When I began publishing I knew absolutely zero about printing and, as I said above, made so many costly mistakes. I hope this site can help you avoid these mistakes.
I came up with the idea for this site almost a year ago. I thought it would be easy to do, but I found huge resistance within myself. I already feel like I struggle with The Velvet Cell everyday, so my ego was seemingly unwilling to let me create something new that I also would struggle at. But I battled through and here it is. It’s a bare-bones version of what it could be but done is better than perfect.
I hope in the future it can be a place for discussion, a place to trade knowledge, and a place to learn from others.
In the end what pushed me to complete it was the memory of what it was like for me starting out 5 years ago. I would have killed (metaphorically, of course!) for this information. So, now that I had it, who was I to keep it from others just because I was afraid of it being wrong, or not good enough. There might be things I have gotten wring in my blog posts, but I invite others who might know more to correct me, so I too can learn.
Visit the website here and let me know what you think: indiephotobooks.com
I would love to hear your feedback on the posts and any posts that you would like to have written. Also, please share it with others if you think it would be useful.
Best, Eanna de Freine