“I’m still working on my book.”
“I’m trying to make it perfect.”
“Do you have any coupon codes?”
I’ve heard these lines countless times over the past ten years, and I can say with one-hundred-percent conviction that those who utter these lines not only don’t create interesting books, most of the time they don’t make books at all. I’ve run into the same person over a multiyear timeframe who is working on a 24-page, softcover and can’t pull the trigger. I find this puzzling.
You want a code, follow Blurb on Twitter and you will be a happy camper. There is no such thing as perfect, and the books created with that concept in mind tend to be boring and look a lot like books I’ve seen before. And at some point you HAVE to hit print.(Especially on the test copy.)
“How do you make so many books?” is another question I get a lot. Let me answer that. First, I enjoy the process. With all the awful stuff we have to deal with in life, bookmaking is a joy. I never lose track of this reality. Second, I’m prepared and I’m focused. I don’t spend my life on social, don’t surf the Internet, don’t watch TV and I practice my craft whenever possible. I know how to edit, know how to sequence, have my digital asset management system in place, keep my monitor calibrated which all allow me to get a lot done in a short amount of time.
And I print my work.
I’m just going to say it. If you don’t print your work you aren’t a serious photographer. You might be a seriously online photographer, but who doesn’t print? Amateurs. Nothing wrong with being an amateur photographer, nothing at all, but tossing your images around in cyberspace is what consumer/prosumers do, but making and showing prints is what real photographers do. What real photographer’s dream is to get an online gallery? Answer, nobody. What real photographer wants on those walls of the gallery or museum? Nearly everyone. Those printed pages of the magazines? Nearly everyone. Those books that cement your position in the history of photography? Nearly everyone.
Printing is FUN. And it sure does separate the wheat from the chaff. What’s good? What’s not? Printing makes bookmaking so much easier, and printing these days is SO inexpensive. Even large prints are dirt cheap. I make cheap prints on a cheap printer and paste them in a cheap book, but you can bet your ass by the time I’m done I’ve got my edit and sequence ironed out and my book is that much further along in the publishing process.
Yesterday I printed old Wyoming images. The book is done and off to the printer. Less than a week after returning home, and this while having four additional Blurb tasks on the to-do list for the week.(It’s very doable people.)
And before the consumer society makes this process more complicated than it should be. It doesn’t matter what printer I have, or what paper I use or how any of these things look. It’s just about making prints. Keep it simple and enjoy your success. Good printing leads to good bookmaking. Good luck, have fun.