Advice sought. The Photographers Toning Book reprinting options.

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by tim rudman, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    I'm not sure where to post this but this seemed the most appropriate forum.

    I have had many enquiries and well meaning suggestions about the unavailability of this book and the very high prices asked for copies on the internet ($999.99 was the last quote sent to me, although I know there are cheaper copies out there).

    It has been sold out for some time now and sadly I do not have copies to offer. However, I do have the republication rights as the publisher does not wish to reprint what is inevitably seen as a niche and shrinking market.

    I have been sitting on the publishers digital masters for a little while now and am starting to explore options for making it available again. I feel such information should be 'out there' and available and commercial pressures mean that the costs of another run is unlikely to be enthusiastically taken up by another publisher, especially in a recession (although i haven't approached one for some time).
    Digital print on demand seems to be the obvious choice but I have concerns about reproduction quality as faithful and consistent colour printing is especially important in a book like this (hence the unsuitability in my opinion of making available downloads to uncalibrated computers).

    I have seen good and poor books from Blurb and would welcome wider views on this, but I have recently been directed to Amazon's 'Createspace' reprinting service, which is promoted for both new and out of print titles. Does anyone have experience of this please?
    I have made contact and I think that it might prove too expensive for this book as only a few colour images are included in the basic package, extra ones can be individually purchased - this book has 2 or 3 hundred if I remember correctly! Cost might therefore rule this option out unless I could negotiate a deal. However, I would need quality assurances. Does anybody have experience/suggestions etc?
    The link for Createspace is here

    Many thanks in advance
    Tim
     
  2. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    How many copies of a new printing would have to sell in order to make a new printing by a normal publisher viable? Could it be done if 1,000 copies were pre-sold?
     
  3. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I ruined my copy and was sad to find it unavailable
    when I went to replace it a few months ago -- I am
    delving deeper into sepia and would have appreciated
    the book's discussion and examples. I would buy a
    copy if it became available again -- it was a fantastic
    reference for the subject.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Tim:

    If you haver contacts in the retail side of the book business, including with photographic retailers, I would suggest seeing if they would assist you in convincing a publisher to re-print the book.

    I purchased my copy from Glazer's in Seatlle. When I mentioned that it was out of print, and that you had indicated that a reprint was going to be difficult to arrange, the people at Glazer's expressed a high level of disappointment.

    Matt

    PS it is a great book!

    PPS I wonder if Ralph Lambrecht and/or his publisher could help?
     
  5. photovestad

    photovestad Member

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    Have a look at alternativephotography.com/books I don't have any experience with them except as a customer. I just purchased their 2010 calendar which is printed on demand by Lulu.com and that will hopefully arrive any day now. I bought a photo related book a couple of years ago from Lulu (JPG Early Issues) and was happy enough with the quality.
     
  6. flash26c

    flash26c Member

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    Tim:
    There are lots of publishers out there that I think would be eager to print your book. I, for one, would love to have it in any form! DVD or PDF sold from your website would be easy if you are looking to self publish. I wouldn't worry about color reproduction as "every one's results may vary". The pictures are great but I am looking for the information that goes with them! Keep us informed and count me in for at least one copy.

    Ron
     
  7. AshenLight

    AshenLight Member

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    I second the Lulu suggestion. I've also purchased several photo related books from them and was happy with both the quality and delivery.

    Ash
     
  8. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    As a limited consumer of PoD books:

    On balance I think Blurb produces better work than Lulu, based on books I have from both. I have some colour blindness, so some of the subtleties would pass me by anyway :cool:

    I suppose if each illustration included a neutral gray patch any casts would be apparent (to those with normal colour vision at least).
     
  9. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Oh, I think so Chazzy. When it 1st sold out, in the UK 18 months after publication, there was a suggestion from two retailers that they might order 500 each and the publisher was interested at that time. They didn't follow through though.
     
  10. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    It would be nice to think so Ron, but I don't know that is actually the case. Times are hard right now in publishing as elsewhere.

    Secondly, the idea of selling pdfs has been put to me and I do have an open mind but also have reservations about colour fidelity being beyond control and that is important for toning illustrations.
    Tim
     
  11. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I should lock-up my copy whenever photographer/friends are visiting ;-) An extremely useful text. The fidelity of the image colors are so important to this work. Good luck with the reprint.
     
  12. mark

    mark Member

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    I went looking for this book not to long ago and was as disappointed as others to see it was not available.

    The books put out by Lodima Press are supposedly nice-I have not seen one, too expensive-their publisher might be an option.

    PDF from your site would be great. If you have the digital masters I would assume the illustrations and images are there. You could include suggestions for screenereolution etc...
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    How would Tim make money this way?
     
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  15. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    Some sites have password protected PDF files that you purchase the password or else you cannot open the file
     
  16. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Does that mean you can only view the file at that site, or can you download it too?
     
  17. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    Typically you can download the file and print it if you wish. There are all kinds of controls the content owners can put on PDF's if they wish and know how to do it.
     
  18. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    So THAT'S the problem...I've been looking for a copy for a few weeks now, and yeah, I saw that one for $999. Impressive. I second the Lulu option, I've seen good end results from them, so I think they're worth investigating.
    The selling .PDFs option is also valid, but I for one hate reading from a computer screen. Painful after a while and you cant make little notes in the margins. So, if it came in PDF I'd have to have it printed and comb bound so I could read it anyways.
    I'd also give it about a week before people would be emailing it to eachother, but that's another problem.

    Obviously there's demand for it, and it's your work so you should be able to profit from that. I think a good print-on-demand service makes the most sense.
     
  19. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    I agree completely with Fleath. I just discovered this book and I'd LOVE a hard copy but I cannot pay $200 and up for it (not to mention that money does the author NO good). Sometimes it really sucks being late to the game :mad:
     
  20. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    It is some time since I investigated PoD publishing. Even a couple of years ago paper quality was a huge drawback, but I believe that this is an area where great improvements have been made. You might find that though formatting the text should not be a problem, your images may need a lot of work to be optimized for this kind of publication. Also, investigate whether you can recieve a preview copy of the book. In the past many self-publishing dreams were let down by poor print quality.

    Cheers,
     
  21. slumry

    slumry Subscriber

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    I agree with doughowk, the images and their quality make the book work. The text is great but the step wedges and photo images make it all understandable. If the quality can not be reproducted, I would only publish if the book was reformtulated so as to not depend on the images so much. Of course if the book can be sold for $999 a copy, how many need to be sold in order to break even? :smile:
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Could there be some way to combine a self-published printed book, with additional downloadable pdf illustrations where colour accuracy is required?

    The downloadable pdfs might be easily worked into a subscription system, possibly in conjunction with lith printing resources.

    Just a thought.

    Matt
     
  23. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Tim
    I get a lot of digital printing coming in here for foil stamping. It ranges in quality from thick gooey stuff, which the foil simply melts into, to material which is hard to tell from 'real' printing, except that it scuffs.
    I would be inclined to get a friendly nearby printer with high end digital equipment to run a couple of test pages. My experience is that these machines produce very saturated colors and they may bulk up over the thickness of a book.
    Hard to beat a good Heidelberg offset press but my father did tell me once to ride a cow if a horse was unavailable. Most of my books get read and shelved but this one is in frequent use.
    Regards to Millward if you see him
    Mark
     
  24. 77seriesiii

    77seriesiii Member

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    For ease and rapid dispersal, digital releases would be the way to go. PDF files can be locked in a variety of ways which also has the constant aggravation of people looking to bypass said locks and obtaining a free copy. For accurate color reproduction, actual print versions may be the only option.

    One thought, in today's modern age and in the photography world being pushed into the digital age, I would think a majority of the people interested in this book probably have their computer workspace color calibrated. Its a guess but also something to consider for a digital print. Another plus for digital for Tim, since everything is done and unless anything is added, it could feasible go on sale right now from his website. Convert the book to PDF and post it in the for sale section, nothing else to do. Looking for a publisher, finding the right press and one that one that wants to print a niche market book, etc. will take time.

    Me, I like to hold a book and read it, I really dislike reading from a computer screen, there is something to be said about the tactile nature of reading. Ok, I also own a record player, tube amplifiers and maybe even an 8-track...right alongside the betamax. :smile:.

    my .02, I'll take the book however it is released as I cant get it now. Also, I am happy to see Tim is looking for a way to re-release his book.

    Erick
     
  25. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I think you are being a little overly protective about the color. I mean how many people look at the book now under ideal conditions? It is more important that you find an economical way to get it out there. You might want to consider making it a more detailed edition which would improve sales and legacy, since it will probably be the last one ever written on the subject. I am sure you will figure something out.
     
  26. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Thanks everyone.
    Picking up some of the points without multiple reply emails;

    PDFs. I have heard many tales of pirated copies from celebrity chef cooking books (I know people who have emailed them unsolicited to their whole mailing list including me) to academia. I also share the dislike of reading long texts from a screen, as mentioned by several.