My opinion is that democracy should play no role in making such a selection for an APUG book. A "democratic" book will not be an excellent one. My only interest in this was is putting together an excellent book. Otherwise it is just a waste of time. And keithwms, this has nothing to do with my ego. I wouldn't care if my name were mentioned anywhere. I was just volunteering to help produce something excellent.

Most all photography contest have one juror. One. Those things are not democracies. Never. Nor should they be. And if the "majority" would not submit work because of a single juror, even one with extremely wide taste, then they obviously do not ever submit work to any juried contests or exhibitions. And they obviously never submit their work to a critique, since critiques are given by one person. Okay. Their loss.

Egos will be assuaged by those participating in a "democratic" book, but the democratic idea presented here is a weird concept of equality. Everyone certainly has a right to their opinion about which photographs they like, but sorry, not all opinions are equal. Some people only have their likes and dislikes--likes and dislikes that are not based on much more than . . . likes and dislikes.

Anyone who selects an APUG book, whether it is me or someone else, should have a thorough knowledge, and I mean thorough, of the history of photography. And that is for starters. All work viewed should be seen in relation to what has gone before. Some at APUG no doubt have that knowledge, but most do not. They should also have the ability to be totally objective about their own work. And they should have experience as a juror and as a book editor and publisher. if there are others beside myself at APUG who have these qualifications and also the willingness to devote the time required (with, when you get down to it, minimal compensation), then go to it.

Michael A. Smith