Create: Just Make One

Just make one. As in books. This film was made for professional photographers who watch this channel if there are any. Many of us were brought up in a photo-culture that made us believe there was one way to make a book. Arduous, expensive, grand, and in the hands of someone else.

Print-on-demand technology arrived in the early 2000s and yet it still feels like many of us haven’t utilized the technology enough to fully comprehend not only how it works but how best to take advantage of the specificity. Enter the idea of “just make one.”

An edition of one is a liberating, inexpensive, and strategic thing. Take my word for it because I’ve been using this strategy for years. Not every book needs public acceptance. Not every book needs an offset book run. Not every book needs a fundraising campaign. Not every book needs a publisher. Not every book needs to be a revenue stream.

One thing I often see getting lost in the bookmaking shuffle is the idea that compared to what else we have to do in life bookmaking is supposed to be fun. Yes, fun. There is nothing wrong with that. Not every step of your photographic life has to be life and death serious. Just explore, make something, and move on with your life.

When the time comes to invest in a full-on publishing project, great, but until then explore the tools at your disposal and just make one. These little experiments, some costing less than five bucks, can lead to all kinds of things.

18 Comments on “Create: Just Make One”

  1. Reminds me of Ralph Gibson’s story, in essence self publishing, the Trilogy in particular, by creating his own publishing enterprise. Not a professional, but have self published two books and a zine. It is fun.

  2. I worked for almost 10 years designing and testing the Xeikon print on demand printers.
    https://www.xeikon.com/en
    Watching this video makes me smile and I love the way your piles of books always yield another surprise act. It also confirms that what we achieved with print on demand was really filling up a whole new market, unexplored and which proofs now to be very substantial and solid. It’s not only supplying the industry with PoD products( e.g. labels) but also supports creatives to publish as you said “in an instance” very high quality work which would never been made otherwise because of low volume, low interest.
    Keep on blogging about these things. It’s a relieve to watch compared to all the product pushers on the net.

    1. Reiner,
      I suck as a pusher. POD is such a rush if you will. If we can get beyond industry and ego.

  3. Print on demand is the new samizdat. The potential is enourmous…edgy underground publications. The history in the US is long and reminds me of the self published stuff in the 60s-70s, the scateboard community. Who needs “the man” when you can be your own publisher. Back in the day we used to say the press was free when you could afford to own a press…now anyone can. POD zines, 3d printing, bio hacking in your garage. The future is gonna be wierd.

  4. Thanks for this. I have created 2 books with blurb due to your perspective. It has been amazing. One was a journal for myself. Another was a story photo book of an athlete completing her first 100 mile race. Looking o create a pano Photobook from all my pano I took in 2020 from film to digital. Thanks for helping your dudes keep growing their craft.

    1. George,
      Running book sounds great. Share it when you are done. I’ll do a cycling book at some point.

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