An interesting article by Michael Reichmann in his (very interesting, although skewed toward digital) site The Luminous Landscape, talks about self-publishing.
The article was written in 2005. The solution chosen is not properly POD (which as I understand is a term used to describe technology capable of delivering also only 1 copy, and therefore ink-jet printing) but real off-set printing, the cost for 1000 copies of 100 pages was around $12,000. The client must do some proof-printing to check satisfactory conversion between RGB and CMYK.
Notice in this particular example that means 1000 off-set prints of 100 pages 9" x 12" @ $12 each. 200 photographers might walk home with 5 copies each for a total expense of $60.
If at the end of the day 200 photographers were available for the APUG project this kind of option would look much better than POD.
The printing business that was used, the 100 Books Publishing Company, is likely out of business as the domain name is now available, maybe some other company exists that do more or less the same kind of work. Printing work was very well made in China.
I think the article is very interesting both in itself, and because it shows there is an intermediate way between Print-on-Demand and large-scale off-set printing. This appears to be some sort of "off-set printing in a box" although the process is a bit longer and convoluted than with "conventional" POD (ink-jet printing).
I strongly agree with Michael Smith that it's better to think seriously about off-set printing options rather than going straight for POD. If the number of participants in the project reaches 200 or so, off-set printing seems to me an obvious choice.
I am going to setup a dedicated page tomorrow, an "exploratory book" page to collate the various info discussed so far. Once this page is up I will run some site wide notices to bring visibility to it and the survey.
Following that will also be a dedicated gallery for submissions (to gauge how many will actually submit work). The gallery will also be open to ratings and comments.
If the interest is there, then I would like to see judges nominated by the community who will play a part in selecting the work. The judges will also take into consideration an images ratings and comments.
As for the book layout I would love to see a short "member" bio and technical details on the page facing each image.
Anyway, I will setup the new info page soon and let you know when it's up.
My own opinion regarding Print-on-demand books is that you never know quite what to expect. Granted, I took what's probably the most difficult route and did a book of silver gelatin lith print portraits, which display some pretty crazy colors sometimes, and it's almost impossible to replicate them in a scanned document unless you have a very tight work flow, and I don't...
Originally Posted by Diapositivo
The book had a glossy sheen to it that looked very bad, and the colors were, to say the least, disappointing. I have no experience with Blurb since 2008, and don't know how their product has developed since, but I would also rather participate in a project with a more hands-on managed approach, such as off-set printing.
I'm glad Sean has stepped in to provide some tools and avenues to get the project started, ways to collectively gauge interest publicly without favoring one option over the other. Once we know what the interest is for the book, it'll be a lot clearer what we face price wise, one option over the other.
Thanks to those that have offered help of more constructive nature than mine. I lack both the time, skill, and experience with book publishing to be of any real help.
Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 07-28-2011 at 08:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Back in the 70's and 80's there was a Photography Yearbook published in the UK, to give maximum space for the photograps each just had a title & authors name below them. At the vack of the book they published the details of the photographers & technical info, this saved significantly on space and allowed more photographs to be included.
Originally Posted by Sean
Ian, I had thought much the same to have more photographs in the book. My thought was to place a small pic of the artist and the bio under the artwork presented sort of like what is sometimes done in a magazine.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
I would agree including technical information would make the book that much more interesting (to a person like me at least). Considering a lot of technical issues are discussed on APUG, and the book would probably showcase a wide variety of methods/processes, to me as book primarily for the APUG community technical descriptions/commentary would be a great idea, space permitting.
I'm not an expert on any of the book printing processes but my two cents, I'd rather pay more for a book that contains high quality reproductions.
Regarding submissions, I think I'd probably try to submit a few things for consideration regardless of publishing method if Sean sets up a submission gallery. What I'm still worried about though, is my scanning ability (or I should say lack thereof). I think Thomas alluded to this early in the thread. Would the initial submissions be in the form of low quality scans for example? I have virtually no skill in scanning and also only have a cheapo scanner, no photoshop etc.
My thoughts are that there's no reason to get a high quality scan initially. Once/if the image is chosen then would be the time to get a hi res scan.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
Searching my way to perplexion
I'd agree to a certain degree, but at the same time presumably we want the book to contain high quality pictures that are also up to a high technical standard (ie print quality for example). Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a picture is sharp, well exposed etc if the scan is crap. Maybe I'm overstating the case though. I'm just thinking about times I've seen work by master photographers/printers appear in magazines and they look really lousy, sometimes to the point I think to myself I wouldn't have selected them for publication if I didn't know the name of the photographer!
I'm also in preference of more than a 100 images in a book (with details and bio's etc). It's difficult sometimes to get an impression of a book with 50, 100 or 150+ pages/images in it. I picked Michael Kenna's 'Retrospective''' off my shelf which has about 130 plates in it. Some images are on facing pages and some have an image and blank page opposite. The book is not 'too thick' or too 'substantial'. His bio runs over about 5 or 6 pages at the back.
If an Apug book goes through the 'publisher/litho' route I'd accept they would have the big say in the design and layout and trust their experience fully.
Like Thomas, I'm also crap at scanning and digitising prints and would prefer to send an original to the publisher to be done professionally, even though more costly and hassle
Digital photography is like virtual sex........ you never actually touch the real thing..... or get your hands dirty
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
one of the reasons there was a weird color cast
and the colors of your lithed+toned prints were all off
is because your monitor wasn't calibrated, and there
is a slight chance your images weren't saved in the same color
"footprint" as required by blurp.
what i understand from people i have talked to who use
blurp often, they said things have improved quite a bit in the last few years.