I’ve seen a lot of Blurb books in my time. No surprise there. I’ve seen books do really well and I’ve seen others languish. I’ve seen books made by the famous, others by the infamous and others still by the totally unknown. Most of us fall prey to the history of publishing, at least to some degree. We think we need to get famous, sell vast quantities and become known. I get it.
But I think one of the most important aspects of a platform like Blurb is for us to make personal objects. The things we make and do when nobody is looking. Last night I was handed such an object and I wanted to share it with you now.
The author is so very talented. He has a career, one he has had for decades. Paint mostly but a five-tool player when it comes to being creative. The entire contents of this book were made in a single day. I was impressed, to say the least. Was there luck involved? Sure, a little bit, but that is always the case. Those things we can’t always control. Light, time, access. He nailed it. But overriding any outside influences what made this was the fact he stopped what he was doing and he went. And he looked, and looked and looked, walking alone just watching the Earth move.
This book screams. It truly screams. But it screams in utter silence. The deafening noise of just being there without making a human impact. Observe, reflect, record. The main ingredient here is light. Super light. Moment. Mood and persistence also chime in. The Layflat format works. And the design reflects, subtly, what makes this format unique. In other words, intelligent bookmaking. Strong use of typography. Strong but minimal design. Simple, clean and gets out of its own way. The subtitle is “Fall,” which means this is book one of a four-book series cataloging the same location over all four seasons. (a great idea)
The world probably won’t see this book but it doesn’t matter. Those who need to see it will. This is a lesson for all of us. We don’t always need to be the reason. There doesn’t always need to be gain. There doesn’t always need to be something other. If you haven’t created something personal for personal reasons I highly recommend it. And here is proof why.
Wow that looks amazing!
I just recently put together a magazine using blurb. Nothing special, I just wanted to see the print quality from blurb and I have to say I am extremely impressed. I am now working on a book. Its harder than it seems once you get started but enjoyable none the less!
Yep, quality these days is super solid. I’m odd in the sense that I don’t really look at print quality much anymore. I look at design and overall feel. And yes, endlessly challenging.
I’ve done a couple Blurb books of my photography, and have managed to sell a dozen or so of each. It’s lovely to see my work in that form and to know that a few people around the world have a copy on their bookshelf. It’s a low friction, low up-front cost way to do this. The only challenge is that even if I add no profit for myself the prices of these books are fairly high for a casual purchase. I’d like to find a way to publish some of my work at between $6 and $10 to remove that friction.
First, congrats. Selling books isn’t easy, so selling ANY is a good sign. Two, Trade Books will be your new best friend. And remember, once completed you can then send them through the Ingram distribution model we offer. If your goal is to sell. Good design is key, so if you aren’t a designer think about hiring something. The price point will be what you are looking for.
Hey there Daniel! Thanks for this post! I’m so very flattered by your words, but truly, not deserved. I’m merely a painter playing with a camera as another way to chase light and find some meaning—quiet, meditative or disruptive—in an world that seems upside down most of the time. And I’m finding that the more I put myself out there, the more chances I have to absolutely luck into a day like the day I made these pictures. Perseverance is everything.
And like I’ve said to you before, I would not be attempting to present my pictures in a these formats if it wasn’t for you and your unending creative inspiration. Its one thing to have hard drives filled with images — but it is quite another to translate them into something to have, hold and feel.
Infinite appreciation for your thoughts, LF
My goal is to peer pressure you at all times. Look, you are one of those people who make me creatively nervous because you show me how much more there is. And you are constantly producing, something I’m in awe of. Glad we are friends.