photo book publishing path – part five

photo book publishing path – part five

The fifth, and final, installment of a five-part series on getting your photo book into print from my photographer friend Sara Frances. Start with Part One.

Getting your Book Out There

Thought you were done, once You’ve done a great design and edited away any little errors?! To make your book findable on the web, on Amazon, in libraries and stores you must have an ISBN (with barcode for the cover) and preferably also a Library of Congress number. The LOC is a free sign-up on line, the ISBN will cost $35 as of last report at Don’t forget to copyright!

John Fielder is a star with his extensive line of fine landscape books and accessories; this image from Colorado Black on White. Note this is a chapter heading page, reading like a story.

Warehousing, distribution, wholesaling, fulfillment

You’re ready for the next part of the game: warehousing, distribution, wholesaling, fulfillment, and PR. Unless you have a huge garage, insured, heated to accommodate several pallets of heavy, bulky boxes, you need a distributor. And are you planning to take orders, pack and ship, take returns, vet stores for their business licenses and payment, collect and report sales taxes, keep track of inventory? Not a wrong answer; especially for a limited, short run doing this yourself makes sense.

Here’s the reason I enjoy John’s work so much: he writes little experiences about his hikes, the weather and unexpected things he encounters in nature. Not just picture books!

A possible distributor

My distributor, Thin Air Collective is run by Melissa Serdinsky (formerly of Perseus and Ingram). She’s decided to go the small business route to help artists, photographers, memoirists, and poets in particular. She’ll do it all the warehousing, order taking, credit card orders, store vetting, fulfillment, and accounting for you for a minimal fee, and I tell you she knows everyone and everything in this highly volatile industry. Both wholesaling (to an outlet that offers books from many difference publishers as a convenient on-stopper to stores) and special purchase sales (bulk purchase to a library system, non-profit, or corporate incentive gift) are under her purview as well. Tell her I sent you: [email protected].

Early on, John decided to fill a niche with a series of self-published, regional interest books. He does everything, including high profile web sales and in-person appearances at special interest events, not just book stores. He’s a consummate promoter.


But you can’t just rest and expect the orders to come in. PR on virtually all books, even by high profile authors, require a hands-on approach by you! Gallery events, gallery or bookstore or other venue talks (don’t expect a fee, and some venues require a minimum guaranteed book purchase or an organizer fee.) Facebook and Instagram are essential. Blog and postings weekly to lure readers with extra content are essential. No, you don’t continually ask, “Buy my book!” You give readers tips and anecdotes and insider information they can’t get elsewhere. Your public wants a connection. Start a mail list for your book: ConstantContact or iContact seem to be favorites. Offer gallery prints as a special deal along with a signed copy of your hard bound edition. Have links that make it easy for people buy. It’s a continuing job, but the public will love you for the value they receive!

Marty Knapp is another fine promoter. He emphasizes fine art print sales, but books and accessories help support his gallery. His email list is probably equal to John’s—and the model for the rest of us as we get started!

Sara Frances

author photo sara francisSara is a many-decades Master Photographic Craftsman out of Denver whose artistic focus has always been book making with images. Her albums won PPA merits starting well before digital capture, as well as for what is believed to be the first ever awarded portrait album. She has evolved from daily, shorter-term studio photography into exclusively special projects of long commitment. Her second hybrid photo/memoir art book, Fragments of Spirit, now published under her own mark, Photo Mirage Books, is available mid-December 2020.

Renewing her lifelong interest in creative writing, she was recently was accepted for Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s Poetry Collective, graduating a year later with a forthcoming hybrid work marrying over 275 manipulated iPhone images with 120 poems: What to Wear to Paradise.

Her three-year quest to learn all facets of the art book industry has influenced her to give back with hands-on publishing classes. She is a judge for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and for Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA.) She teaches for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Denver, for PPA Super One Day seminars, and also mentors hybrid image/text projects.

To find Sara on social media search SaraFrancesPhotographer or email – [email protected]

never stop photographing

never stop photographing

Today’s post is by a guest photographer from Argentina. He says they are running into many of the same issues we photographers have here in the US. Here is NIcholas Tinelli’s take on the longevity of still image creation.

Let me know what you think after you have read the post.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

We will never stop photographing!

Nowadays, video seems to be more popular on a commercial level, with websites and social networks invaded by ads of all kinds, photography sometimes remains on the sidelines. The fact is that although modern cameras also make video, it is difficult for many professional photographers to keep up with the times and offer this type of service to be more competitive in the market. I also believe that the photographer and the videographer are two very distinct figures, or you do one thing or the other. Few people can handle both things well.

So? Is photography in its last days?

I would say definitely no.

First of all there is always a need for new images and if, as a photographer, you can adapt to new technologies and specialize in a niche using the marketing tools available today, you still have a chance to live on your passion full time. Presenting your work well as a professional will not miss the opportunities to grow and create lasting business relationships over time.

nothing stop photography graphic

Nothing Stops Photography – Graphic by Nicholas Tinelli

It must also be said that photography has undergone a great evolution over the years, not only technological, but also cultural, and is increasingly consolidated among the visual and communicative arts. Many photographers find space as artists and have the opportunity to show their projects to the public. It is extraordinary to be able to see many more photographic works printed in high museum-quality than in the past. In addition to the impact they have on the public, sometimes decisive for environmental and social issues. Just think of a photographer like the Canadian Paul Nicklen, who puts photography at the service of the environment.

Documentary Photography

Let’s not forget photography as a means of documentation. It has allowed us to record our recent past and continues to do so today, faster and with more and more people connected to each other who can show their little reality. It is a story, ours, that is also written in pictures and we will always need it. Just think how many photos we accumulate every day with our smartphones to document intimate family moments.

It’s something we can’t live without. And if it will not be by profession, we will continue to carry it on even just as a passion.

For this reason, I believe, we will never stop photographing.

Nicholas Tinelli

Bio: Nicholas Tinelli is a Travel and Portrait Photographer based in Buenos Aires. He runs photography courses and workshops in Argentina and is passionate about writing. Check out Nicholas’s work here.


Personal photography projects can help with your business

Personal photography projects can help with your business

My buddy, Kevin Ames an editor of Photofocus, mentioned that many photographers have trouble monetizing their photography, especially when working on personal projects and asked that I share a few success stories. I did some research and found that this was the way I have built my business over the years. Here’s one of the stories on how I accomplished this. My personal projects are centered around learning a skill I was am trying to acquire. I then leveraging the image I’d created by selling, promoting the new skill — entering in image competition or garnering press. I hope you find these ideas helpful.

Once upon a time in a town near Atlanta …

Was on a visit to Atlanta to visit with my friends Ashley and Liz. In their neighborhood was a favorite restaurant of theirs called Manchester Arms. It was an overcast drizzly, dreary day. As I was entering the restaurant I noticed it had a kind of European pub flavor and I thought it would make a good subject for a new art technique I wanted to master. Despite the drizzle, I ran outside to grab a few frames from a couple different angles. For this particular use, the soft, overcast lighting worked well.

Before After

Here are the before and after images to show the results of my post-processing.

Manchester Arms restaurant in the rain – Before image

Finished art processed in Adobe Photoshop with textures, Blend Modes and masks.

Rest of the Story

You can check out this story more in-depth on my Photofocus blog post.

Dinner was just dandy, by the way!

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

five favorite quotes – marketing monday

five favorite quotes – marketing monday

Five Favorite Quotes – Marketing Monday by Skip Cohen

This is the perfect post to kick off a new week, and while I can take almost no credit for the material, that doesn’t change how much I enjoy sharing quotes that are relevant to so many different aspects of our lives.

For years, I pretty much stopped reading for pleasure or my own personal growth. I was so wrapped up in what I do every day that reading just seemed to be an extension of work. My wife Sheila helped me snap out of that and I read a lot more than I used to and doing my best to make it authors and topics outside of photography. It sounds so stupid to suggest the obvious, that reading can create inspiration, but so often it’s just a simple one-liner that hits home.

skips five favorite quotesSo, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites here on Successful-Photographer. I don’t care how good a year you might be having or how positive a person you are, everybody has had to deal with their fair share of challenges.

  • From Mary Kay AshWe must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you’re aiming, you don’t have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, she cared.
  • From Mark Twain: Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
  • From Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA:  Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.
  • From motivational author, Wayne Dyer: When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.
  • And one of my favorites from Gandhi: Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

No matter how tough a year you’ve had or what challenges in life have been thrown at you, you’ve got to make the time to focus on a little inspiration every day. Most of us take a daily vitamin – well, think of it as a vitamin for your soul. I’m hoping one of these five quotes might just get you thinking differently about some aspect of your business and your goals.

skip cohen headshot
Skip Cohen has been involved in the photographic industry his entire career and previously served as President of Rangefinder/WPPI and earlier, Hasselblad USA. He founded in 2013. Skip is a co-host for “Mind Your Own Business” and “Beyond Technique,” webcasts through, writes for several publications including Shutter Magazine and is actively involved in several advisory boards for non-profit organizations.

good old days – marketing monday

good old days – marketing monday

           Ever Think About the Good Old Days? They’re RIGHT NOW!

Marketing Monday by Skip Cohen

Looking for great quotes from Zig Ziglar, a typo in Google took me into Ziggy Marley! Sometimes we stumble on the greatest little gems when we least expect them! I love what I found:

“I don’t have to wait to realize the good old days.” Ziggy Marley


That says it all. The good old days are right now, and I can’t help but think we all spend too much time missing so many of the moments in our own lives. Photographers are hired to capture those spontaneous moments. A great wedding photographer has the responsibility to be the eyes and with video can even be the ears of the bride and groom. A great portrait photographer is hired to capture the personality of the subject. Landscape photographers stop a sunset, a fish mid-stream, again moments out of time that can never be repeated.

The list goes on and on, yet so many photographers, miss the most significant moments in their own lives with their families and friends. They’re so caught up in worrying about the business they fail to enjoy the most important part of their lives, the reason they’re working in the first place – to enjoy life!skip cohen headshot

Ziggy’s right, why wait to realize the good old days?

Skip Cohen has been involved in the photographic industry his entire career and previously served as President of Rangefinder/WPPI and earlier, Hasselblad USA. He founded in 2013. Skip is a co-host for “Mind Your Own Business” and “Beyond Technique,” webcasts through, writes for several publications including Shutter Magazine and is actively involved in several advisory boards for non-profit organizations.