I did a photography book. A very expensive photography book.
Its a hardback with a glossy dust jacket as above. And it’s big: 13 x 11 inches and 102 pages. Well, just 51 individual pages, but the outfit I used to put it together, Blurb.com, counts the reverse side of a page as a separate page. Cost? $130.00, which includes a 15 dollar profit for yours truly. (Never, ever, ever, give your work away for nothing!) The cost of the high grade premium weight paper alone took my breath away. I paid far less for my one and only copy thanks to a 35 percent discount. Blurb constantly doles out discounts to get you into the fold as a book author. Buyers of the book get no discount, and the price does not include shipping. Standard shipping is pretty cheap and it’s also snail- like. It’s very, very, very slow.
I spent weeks working on it. The software at Blurb has a pretty quick learning curve. If you are computer minded you can grasp it rather quickly. Most of my time was spent sorting through the zillions of photographs I have taken over the decades: film – slides and prints, and digital. Anything uploaded has to be 300 dpi if you care anything about the quality of the photograph on the printed page. A number of elderly slides didn’t make the cut, nor did some of the very early digital shots done on small sensor cameras. Getting my pile down to 500 pictures was painful. Getting it down to 105 (some pages in the book feature more than one photograph) was pure torture. But if 30+ years in journalism (broadcast news-mostly radio) taught me anything, its that whatever you do will be better the second and third time around.
So, why do it, particularly at that price? Well, you don’t have to do a book that large. Smaller is cheaper, but to me, if you are going to do a book of mostly landscape photography, do a big book and big books are enormously expensive. But, again, why do it? I’m well into my 70’s now and the thought of all those thousands of photographs living on internet servers and external drives etc, just going away when the eternal snooze kicks in bothered me. Those of us who worked in broadcast news hate to admit it, but the cold truth is, seeing your work in print gives it a degree of permanence. Digital photography is the same. There’s just something about a matted and framed photograph hanging on the wall and one on your computer monitor. One thing is for sure, I didn’t do it for the money. The number of books I have sold can be counted on two hands and the majority of those are longtime supporters. So, in the final analysis, I guess its a vanity thing.
For a preview of the book online, click on this link: http://www.blurb.com/b/8685495-down-east-north-carolina-rural-and-coastal-photogr
Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead. See you next time.