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This blog is intended to showcase my pictures or those of other photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment - photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful because what is true is most often beautiful..

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« ku # 502 ~ s**t or get off the pot # 2 | Main | still life # ~ scallions, olives, and mold »

urban ku # 167 ~ s**t or get off the pot

Abandoned house at sundownclick to embiggen
For years, I have been a staunch advocate for print-on-demand photo books. Several articles that I have written on the subject - covering the idea, the process, and reviews of various POD printers - have been published on various online photo-forum sites.

Since my first POD photo book (printed in 2003), I continue to make photo books on a regular basis. My belief that POD photo books offer an unprecedented opportunity for the wide dissemination of 'personal' work that might not otherwise ever see the light of day (beyond the walls of their maker) only gets stronger with every book I make. -

IMO, POD photo books are the perfect instrument for wresting the Art of photography out of the halls of academia and back into the hands of photographers.

Unfortunately, while some individual photographers - including a few darlings of the Art world - have delved into the POD realm, no one has attempted to create a POD photo book 'central' where a critical mass of POD book offerings can be perused and purchased. More's the pity because I believe that the probably that are a tremendous number of interesting books out there is very high.

That said, here's my question to you -

Are there 10-15 of you who are interested in making a POD book and offering it for sale on a POB Photo Book Gallery here on the Landscapist - or more probably on an adjunct site devoted exclusively to the sale of POD photo books?

If the interest is there, I'll set it up and help book makers with design and production tips.

The site itself would not be in the business of selling your books. It's purpose would be to display your books and provide a link to a POD printer where a buyer can order the book. FYI, there are POD printers who handle the entire transaction - they collect the money (printing cost plus whatever markup you determine), forward the markup to you, print the book and ship it to the customer.

In the world of publishing, it doesn't get any easier than this. After you design the book, there's nothing left to do - no need to invest in inventory, complete transactions, handle shipping, etc.

Please take the time to consider this seriously.

We've had a good run discussing the medium of photography - its characteristics and its possibilities (amongst many other things). IMO, the time has come to starting doing something that might in some way actually influence the course of things to come in the medium of photography.

Let's see some feedback, please - and BTW, "I don't think that my photography is good enough." is NOT an acceptable excuse. I am familiar with the photography of quite a number of the regulars here on The Landscapist and much of it is more than ready for POD photo book prime time.

Remember - Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Reader Comments (16)

Just an FYI in case you're not aware. The is currently a build a photobook in a month thing about to kick off.

Here's a reference, look for the January 18 2008 entry. Maybe some of these folks would be interested. I guess this is cowardly way of saying I don't have a body of work, but I "know" so people who will.

February 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Allshouse

Well I have been assembling my series to do just this. I have been pre-designing and was going to go thru sharedink. But if you have another avenue, that has the quality of sharedink, then I would ponder this. I believe my images would make a fine book, it is the text that has me stymied at this point. Do you feel captions are enough for the images, with a artist intent statement enough to carry the book idea?

February 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJim Jirka

I just might have to nominate this for "Best Idea of the Year" award. Great idea, how in the world will you find time to deal with it. As I understand, you are merely suggesting a "listing service' via the web, right? Count me in.....let's see how high this thing can fly.


February 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFrank Armstrong

In light of SoFoBoMo I think this is a great idea. I've been spending quite a bit of time recently looking at POD as a result. POD gives me 2 big concerns:
1. getting the format I want in a photo quality. No one seems to do a decent size (10"x8") landscape format. Together with this I want to be able to build a pdf rather than use some crummy online tool
2. getting the book noticed.

Hopefully this idea could help with both: generate some influence with publishers for improving their services for photographers and then serving as a place for all and sundry to come looking.

Great idea.

February 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Doonan

I might, probably, time and energy permitting.

February 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEric Fredine

Sounds like a heck of a good time. Despite my photos not being good enough!

February 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Connor

Count me in. I have a portfolio that I have finished shooting but still need to complete the editing and statement. Maybe this will be the kick in the bum that I need.

February 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTom Gallione

I'd give it a whirl. I think.

February 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary Dennis

I've been following the thinking on this subject here and elsewhere, and have already started putting a book together. I still have plenty of questions, both practical and artistic, and a group of like-minded photographer bookmakers would be a good place to get some answers. For some thoughts on web economics related indirectly to this enterprise, I recommend a short piece by Kevin Kelly.

February 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Durbin

"BTW, 'I don't think that my photography is good enough.' is NOT an acceptable excuse." What a way to find out if your pictures are "good enough." If your wondering if your pictures are good enough, put them in a book and get it on a site like Mark proposes. This blog should be able to provide publicity and traffic to the book site. Then let the market determine if people are interested in your photography. And have the fun and challenge, and artistic experience of putting together your book to boot. There seems to be some level of win no matter what comes of your effort. What a great idea.

February 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gotz

It's funny that you mentioned this. I just finished my first photobook although I haven't decided if offering it for selling with my current POD publisher or using a different one. I'm trying to find which one produces the highest quality books. Maybe you can comment on your POD publisher preferences. I'm also going to participate in the SoFoBoMo. Oh and my rationalization for getting over the "My photos aren't good enough" syndrome was if they are good to be on my blog, where the whole world can see them, they are good enough for a book too. Now if I only could get over the fear "Are they good enough for my blog" I'll be set.

February 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRafa

I've briefly looked into the idea of POD and don't know enough about the quality of paper and ink. I'd love to participate but don't want to end up with the kind of quality you find with the books you get from iPhoto and Apple. Any suggestions and/or experience with good and or great results? I'd really like to participate.

February 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergarrison beau scott

As far as specifically recommending POD printers, I have used several, sharedink being the best quality, not necessarily the printing, because they are using the same HP Indigo press that many of the POD's are using, but their binding quality is better. Having said that, I now use, the pricing has driven that decision, the print quality is as good as sharedink, they also use the indigo, and the binding is quite good, and the price is 1/2 of sharedink's pricing. You can get an 80 page 8x10 hardcover book printed for $35, and a softcover for $22.
One very important photoshop step not to skip while editing images for these books, is make sure you are softproofing your images with the proper profile and tweeking them to suit before sending them off, it makes a huge difference in the quality book you get back.

February 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentershaun oboyle

Shaun, I use too and I'm not too impressed with the quality, although I agree the price is very competitive. What specific profile do you use in order to softproof your images?

February 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRafa


Count me in too. I've had a book idea in the back of my head for a while now and hopefully this will get me moving on it.

February 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJack

I'm a quiet fan of yours Mark. I enjoy your blog entries immensely, I get lost in your images and I follow with interest the comments left by your other readers. I have recently started to think about putting some of my images in a book. Partly to see how they would look on paper (I have never printed any before) and partly because as you've mentioned there's something about looking at printed images over online ones. Anyway, your offer sounds interesting and since Bill Gotz above has ruled out "I don't think my pictures are good enough" as an excuse I am happy to raise my hand and participate in this idea.

January 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCedric Canard

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