Perhaps it's worth adding that there's two approaches, the vanity published Forum year book which is the norm, and then a properly edited Magazine/Journal.
We have an advantage here on APUG because we have some major industry sponsors, unlike the other forums and that needs exploiting for all our benefits theirs as much as ours.
I am going to add my 5C worth, before going mum on the issue, as since Guitstik has volunteered his efforts, I feel it only fair that he be allowed to make the right judgement calls without being pulled from pillar to post.
If this was to become a once a year offering I would really not like to see this become an elitist book. My personal feeling is I would rather see 2 pictures each of 50 people, rather then 10 pictures each of 10 people (just pulling a figure of 100 pictures out of my head and showing each extreme). Yes, there needs to be a qualifying criteria and I also think that the images submitted should be vetted.
Anyhow, just my opinion based on what I have had to deal with in the past
Now, I better go and re-new my subscription (I let it lapse a few weeks ago…)
I think the first question one should ask is what is the purpose of this book.
Is it to promote APUG?
Is it to promote analogue photography?
Is it to increase the number of subscribers?
Is it to make a profit for APUG to invest in the site?
Is it to constitute a nice recollection of members of a community?
Ends do matter.
If you want to promote analogue photography, you consider sections for alternate processes and weird stuff :) although the printing technology will certainly flatten differences.
If it is to constitute a recollection, you allow 1 or 2 pictures of a large number of photographers, and it could be a "how we were" recollection album;
If it is to sell the book itself as a profit for APUG, well, as above, because you will sell at the very least one copy for each participating photographer. More photographers, more sales. Purchase of at least one pre-paid copy could be a condition for participation.
If one wants to increase subscription numbers, again, most participants will yield most new subscriptions.
If you want to promote the site, or analogue photography, then you might aim "high" and go for "quality" whatever that means (and it must be a bet because "beautiful in art" is a very subjective thing). But that can have side-effects. Most photographers feel they are artists, and most artists think they are good artists and the worlds doesn't understand their greatness. A selective process risks to touch nerves and even alienate some (narcissist) people from the site ;)
I don't plan to participate. I feel an honest artisan :) But I think the entire initiative is very interesting.
Reply from publisher
This is the answer I got back from Michael A. Smith of lodima press:
On 7/19/11 8:40 AM, Joel Farris wrote:
I have a large quantity of questions. Some, my own but most have come to me from members of APUG. The most notable being, how many entries may be submitted from one person and how many categories. My personal thought being that each individual should pick the best of what they have and submit just one.
You are correct. Just one!
Another question that relates to the first is how pictures are typically in a book and would they be categorized? Knowing APUG and the artistic world of photography as you do, the number of categories would be staggering. I would definitely appreciate your input on this so that I may answer them on APUG.
Alphabetical order. That way no one can complain. And you can count on many complaining if there is any hierarchy--even one by category (which category would come first?).
Except: color and black and white need to be separated. Otherwise black and white is run as four-color and there is always a strange and inappropriate color cast. To run the sheets twice--once for color and once for gray scale doubles part of the printing cost. We do this ourselves and we can get it quoted both ways.
Now to get down to the real nitty-gritty, cost. I will need to know how many orders you would need to make something like this viable and at what cost per unit. I think that we need to know how big, how many pages, images per page, cover style.
To get a quote, for which we always charge $200 since there is a fair amount of work involved, but for APUG I will not charge anything, we need, as you guessed, some information.
1. Trim size of the book. That is page size.
2. Number of pages
3. Size of print run.
4. Hardbound or Softbound
5. If hardbound: dust jacket or tipped in plate on front.
6. If softbound: flaps?
7. There are other things, but I can fill those in. This is where to begin. When you give me number of pages, include front matter and back matter.
Oh yes, one photograph per page. Ideally on the opposite page there would be a brief bio of the photographer and a small portrait. Which will make the book longer, but so much more interesting and valuable. It would also make it so much emotionally warmer.
If everyone is paying for their own page and an equal share of the front matter and the back matter the cost per person should not be that great.
Other: who will look at all of the scans to make sure each one is proper resolution and has been properly done?
Is this a thread on APUG? If so, send me the link and you can post your email and my responses to it. And you can do that with all of my answers.
Let me know what I don't know.
Note: This is in a questio/answer form.
My response came about because Joel Farris first wrote to me and said that Sean had recommended that he contact me. Sean thought we could be helpful in an APUG book endeavor. Besides being photographers, Paula Chamlee and I are photography book publishers. Go to http://www.lodimapress.com to see the books we have published.
I quickly read the thread to date. I could respond to everything (most postings individually, but it would take several hours. The best way to go for a quality product would be an offset book. Paula and I only publish high-quality books. We have located a printer in China who makes high quality reproductions at a reasonable cost. We have had three books printed there. If I am involved in any way with this endeavor and are given some authority, and I am willing to be involved, I can guarantee a book that everyone will be extremely proud of. No apologies will be necessary by any of the photographers.
In its early days, I used to participate in APUG frequently. But of late I only get here occasionally even though we (Lodima) are now advertiser/sponsors on APUG. So for many folks who have been APUGers for only the last five or six years and who are unfamiliar with our work, in addition to going to our Lodima Press web site, you might want to take a look at http://www.michaelandpaula.com. To see our photographs, look under "Photographs" and also under "Books" where we have many reproductions that are considerably more varied in subject matter than those listed under "Photographs." Alas, our recent work in color is not on our site, Those who think we might only be interested in black and white photographs are under a misconception.
I am happy to answer any specific questions that anyone may have about my views on an APUG book. Best to email me to be sure to get a prompt response.
Michael A. Smith
Sean's recomendation of Michael and Paula's publishing company is enough for me, I would be more than happy to defer to them if they would be willing to take this on. I have no idea what to do nor in what order to it so to have someone with the expertise that Michael has is, in my humble opinion, the best thing to happen to this project. I have every confidence that Lodima press can produce something that we can all be proud of.
sorry to sound like a downer but ....
with print on demand there is a trade off, quality for a lower price and NOT having to have 25000 copies of a beautifully printed book in a storage facility.
maybe this was the scenario several years ago, but i used to be friends with someone who worked at a nyc publisher
( amphoto, aperture type place ) that published photography books ... and she schooled me in the days before POD became popular ...
if lodima press publishes such a book will the people whose work is printed in it be responsible for back-end costs of storage and the upfront costs for publishing the book ? or will there only be a small quantity of books printed, which will in turn increase the printing costs?
while i think it is wonderful that michael and paula are interested in helping with such a book project,
i know that i can't afford the costs affiliated with such a high-end production.
My take on it is that it would be great fun, and most likely would be a book worthy of many hours of browsing. I am behind it, and I will support it however I can within my means.
But the logistics, cost, and politics of the project will be a nightmare. It will more than likely lose money and suffer many complaints about the details of how things were done. It's just how these things go in reality, IME.
So, I think that as much as I am about community in theory and in regards to this Website, what this specific project really needs is a czar-like figure to make all the organizational and logistical decisions, without having to answer to anybody. Democracy be damned; well-advised dictatorship is the way to get a specific project done right...but only if the dictator and his or her advisers are skilled. Therein lies the problem: naming a czar with the raw skill set necessary to get the project not only published, but get it so it is worth looking at...and maybe even break even. The skill most important will be team building – who the czar chooses to surround himself with, and what advice he chooses to take – not necessarily his or her ability to make every decision be the "right" one.
Sean seems like the fitting choice to me. But he is not interested. Nobody else immediately pops out to me. Maybe some sort of compensation (a cut of the gross sales?) would call some suitable volunteers out of the woodwork, or change Sean's mind.
When it comes to selecting work, maybe we could enlist the services of the Freestyle board of photographic professionals to perform the blind selection process, and also get them to sponsor the project, and carry it in the store. (It could be a process similar to how end-of-the-season sports trophies, or "top 100 of all time" lists are decided. Take a hundred submissions, and organize them as a jpeg format "package" that can be delivered to jurists. Ask each jurist to rank their top 10 prints, and assign points for each ranking. Add up the points from each jurist, and select the 50 photos with the most points. I am just making up these numbers as examples. They could be anything.) A group show at Freestyle's gallery could accompany the release of the book. Perhaps a deal can be struck in which once (if) Freestyle are able to recover their investment, the rest can go to APUG. A joint APUG-Freestyle venture. It could work quite well for all involved.
In creating a book worthy of the quality of images being showcased, consider the amount of work required getting copy ready for the printer. Considerations I can think of include:
- collating original artwork, from contributors around the world.
- scanning and digitally preparing files for output.
- typesetting and layout.
- proofing, proofing and more proofing.
Just with the scanning alone, this would be a considerable undertaking of both time and money. Trannies and negs would need to be drum scanned and high-end flatbed scans made of reflective art (prints).
Developing and refining the style of the book is, in itself a large job. Then there is the actual laying out of the book. This would involve many hours of Mac time to get to the finished article.
I do think this is a worthy project, but I'm wondering whether it is something that is too big to be done well, without considerable outlay, (both financial and in effort) ahead of publishing.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F