Saturday

Self- Publishing

I know of a number of friends who have published their own work, either through collaborations with other artists, university press, online publishers or professional publishers. Initial advice from many is that I look at self promotion, a limited print run and using local printers.

I’ve had some work published myself as part of collaborative projects but didn't have much input apart from sending off work - no fees I was just happy to contribute. So I have been eager to find out more.

Typing ‘self publishing art book’ first took me to the Guardians Sean O'Hagans article 'Self-publish or be damned: why photographers are going it alone', which helped fill in some of the gaps and brought my attention to a number of self-publishing web sites which wonderfully showcase the variety of independent D.I.Y books, I've listed a few here and will add more to the profile page. 

'Self Publish, Be Happy' celebrate and promote self-published books through events, exhibitions, talks, workshops, publication and online exposure. 

'Bookworks' support new work by emerging artists through guest-curated projects, workshops, lectures and seminars, exhibitions and an on-line archive.

'The Independent Photo Book' a blog which announces independently published and/or produced photography books or zines, which are not available via Amazon or other standard outlet.

'Photo Book Show' is a series of exhibitions focusing on the hand-made and self-published photobooks showcasing a wide range of work, from the short run, the limited edition, to the one off and ephemeral photobook. 

So there seems to be a lot of opportunity out there to really do it your self and some of the articles I've picked up so far have helped clarify a few grey areas.

ISBN: An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) needed to sell through booksellers to identify the publisher and to locate the publication from the ISBN database.

Professional publishers: Book proposals must apply to the publisher’s submission requirements and quality checks. Substantial fees incorporate editing, design and promotion. The benefit is exceptional quality and promotion to a wide market.

Independent publishers:  Same as above however these seem more approachable and like to tackle more arty projects. There seems some flexibility but distribution will be a lot lower but aimed more at an art market and an existing customer base.

Printers: Traditional presses and book binding or digital print on demand (POD).The emphasis here is doing it yourself and finding the right printer for you and agreeing on a price, design and print run that suits you.

On-line Publication: Content is uploaded to preset templates for next to nothing. You can place an order or let the store promote the book. Additional fees provide assistance and promotion however printing is automated & quality can suffer although this is improving day-day. Libraries, galleries, universities and traditional bookstores arent keen on them.


All this makes me feel a little more informed and the prospect of doing some type of published book now seems do-able and I realise its not as restrictive as I previously had thought however I’m under no delusions its any easier.

I concede that whats most important is to concentrate firstly on creating a body of new work, I have existing work which I could use but I really want to utilise this book objective to develop a fresh project whether or not this will develop into a publication we will have to wait and see. This blog will hopefully document all of this and give me something to aim for. 
Creative Commons Licence
Unless otherwise noted, copyright of all artworks remains with the artist Hilton Vasey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.