Creative: Blurb as Promo

I’m not entirely sure how many promotional pieces I created during my photography career but I’m guessing it was somewhere between fifty and one hundred. I’ve saved some but many are long lost to the annals of my tragic, flawed yet somehow clawingly creative history. Before the Internet, and even long after, print pieces stand out in a variety of ways and continue to prove a power far greater than their length or width.

I made my first Blurb book in 2006/2007. A sample, a test, nothing more. But that first book unleashed a series of events that completely reshaped the last ten years of my life. Right before I quit working as a photographer I was primarily photographing kids, commercially. These shoots were either private commissions or shoots I commissioned on my own with the images ultimately landing at an agency that would then syndicate those images worldwide. In theory of course.(Stock died shortly after.)
The book you are looking at here was my constant companion for several years. Always in my bag, my car, my carry on. Always there as a living, not quite breathing sample of what I could do and what I had already done. Inexpensive, beautiful and filling with teachings, but more importantly a roadmap for clients. Were I still working as a photographer now I would be doing the same thing. Perhaps I would be using a different format, like my magazine series ESSAY, but I would with one hundred percent certainty still be going to print. Maybe more than ever.

Print cuts like a knife through the bullshit noise of the online world. Print is confrontational because it’s difficult to look at IG and a book at the same time. I’ve seen silly people try but it doesn’t work, and frankly anyone who tries to do that isn’t someone you want to work with anyway. Print people tend to be thinkers, planners, people concerned with quality, craft and style. People with attention span. Readers. Writers. You know, the people worth knowing……

This book is a 5×8, Trade book, softcover, with standard black and white paper. About 100-pages. Approximate price…$7.

6 Comments on “Creative: Blurb as Promo”

  1. I was showing my daughter how to bind a book, and we made a little thing out of standard 8.5×11 paper, folded in half. Folio in twos, 3 signatures, 24 pages. 5.5 x 8.5. We glued up a little case with some pretty paper I have lying around.

    Her friend came over and then made a comic in it. Story concept, the friend penciled in the pictures and wrote the dialog. My kid inked it (well, she pooped out after a while and I finished it). Then I glued the spine and glued it into the case and so on.

    But before I glued it, I photographed it. Threw some simple design elements around the pictures, wrote up a colophon, dedication page. Little author blurbs with headshots on the back. Softcover trade, $5 a copy with the good BW paper (and then 25% off with a code).

    They’re gonna get a little stack of books each to sell or give away. I am now a publisher of kid’s books, by kids, for kids.

    The point is, it’s a brave new world and you can just *do* *anything*. Trade makes it crazy cheap. I can MAKE a book for the same or less than I can BUY a book.

    1. AM,
      You are a good day. At least in this ONE situation. Exemplary you might say. And you probably wanted to see it yourself, so good job. I avoided this by not having kids. I’m too selfish.

  2. I have been quite baffled and surprised by giving away my recent Magcloud digest portfolio to people. Something in print seems like a miracle apparently, people are blown away (also because I am awesome, obviously!) by getting a small cheap physical print publication. Gotta make more!

    1. FBJ,
      I always get, “oh, can I keep this?” when I show someone something. And I love saying “No.”

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