I have to date published 3 books of my images, being “Dalienutopia”, “The iFlower Series” and “Surreal”. These were all done through different publishers, as I was (and still am) exploring which one would ultimately be the best one for me.
“Dalienutopia” was my very first book. The title is a play on the words “Dali”, “Alien” and “Utopia”, the word imagery I was aiming for is the strangeness of Salvador Dali juxtaposed against the backdrop of a Utopian world, in an alien surrounding. Close to where we lived at first in Perth is an area called the Baigup Wetlands, which is mainly a swampy area where you’ll find silvery grey gumtrees with exposed roots sticking out of the water, and lots of native birds. It really is a strange environment to find yourself in, and I was reminded immediately of Dali’s famous “Swans Reflecting Elephants” painting.
Here is the link to the book “Dalienutopia“, the publisher is Blurb (http://www.blurb.com). If you click on the link it brings you to the Preview page, and if you click on the shopping trolley below the preview pictures (please make me happy and do so!), you can purchase the book for yourself.
My second book, in 2012, was “The iFlower Series”, at a time when I was so enamoured of flower photography that I simply couldn’t walk past a single flower without whipping out my iPhone 4 and snapping away at it from every conceivable angle. I’d had problems using Blurb’s “Booksmart” template, and in the end a techie from Blurb had had to reset the template for me online as I couldn’t get in to edit my pictures. So, not wanting the stress of going through that again, I decided to try out Lulu instead (http://www.lulu.com). It was easier to navigate, however I found the quality of the paper wasn’t as good as Blurb, plus it offered fewer size options. But, it was cheaper.
Here is the link to preview and purchase “The iFlower Series“, again please do check it out, thank you!
My third foray into self-publishing was the surreal “Surreal”, this time published in 2013 by Mixbook (http://www.mixbook.com). Mixbook claims to be have of the easiest user interface, and indeed it was a doddle creating my book using their templates. The price was more expensive than Blurb or Lulu, however. With Lulu I was able to get a 52-page book for just over $15, but for a similar price Mixbook could only offer me 20 pages. At the time I published “Surreal”, I was into my surreal phase of photographing everyday images and then distorting or blending them with other elements to create a sense of the unreal…some of the images are quite unsettling!
Click the title to preview and purchase “Surreal“. Thanks for looking! :-)
Here is a handy page with a run-down of various Print On Demand Book Publishers, and their pros and cons. 3 years ago, when I started researching Print On Demand, the list for the Top 10 was very different and included Blurb, Lulu and Mixbook…the story is very different now, judging from this current list http://online-book-publishing-review.toptenreviews.com. Just goes to show how we live in exponential times, and things move by so swiftly and change happens so fast, that if you stood still and blinked, you’d be passed by in an instant. The article might be of use to you if you are considering going down the route of self-publishing yourself. Self-publishing can be as simple as creating a book for your own enjoyment, and that of your family and friends, or it could work out to cost $$$$ in marketing and advertising if you’re wishing to conquer the world.
This article here provides a useful insight into the pros and cons of “do it yourself” publishing i.e Print on Demand, as opposed to applying to mainstream publishing houses. Of course, this is only one of many articles online that discuss POD. It seems that everyone is a writer/photographer/artist/poet/actor/musician/etc today!
As for myself, no, I still haven’t found the Holy Grail of POD book publishers. But I seem to have fed my self-publishing daemon and have managed to move on to other projects and aspirations. I may come back to this at a later time, as I would like to see my books available on mainstream sites such as Amazon…I understand having a Blurb book these days comes with inclusion into Amazon’s listings. But, my first and only experience creating my book on Blurb wasn’t particularly stress-free, and I’m not quite ready to go through that again just yet.
There is one POD publisher that I would like to use, as I’ve not found any other that offers printing on matte paper. I love magazines that use matte paper instead of the usual glossy paper (Frankie is one of my favourites). It just gives the whole magazine a more organic, handmade feel, like some arty journal. The publisher’s name is Artifact Uprising, and they offer a surprising number of templates and styles you can choose from. However, as I live
on Mars in Australia, their FAQ points out that it will cost me $68 (!!!) to send just ONE book to me. Which makes it economically NOT viable for me to go down this avenue. To those of you lucky enough to be living on this planet, I would recommend that you check out Artifact Uprising. Definitely one to watch!