Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Market For Limited Edition Books

"When somebody comes to me with their great idea for a photo-book, I try to tell them two things. One is that any photography book, if it is even moderately well reproduced, will cost at the very least three or four times more to print than an equivalent book that is text-only. And print costs account for only one-tenth to one fifth of the sales price. Yet the market for most books of this sort is really tiny. If you can sell 2000 copies, that is considered good business. The second thing I tell them is that most of the photo-books that are now seen by the collectors market as really valuable were not a commercial success when they were first published. Most were remaindered. They then usually decide that perhaps this is not the fast route to fame and fortune they had thought it was."
--Anonymous photography book publisher

Check out this article on PDN's site about the market for limited edition books. This has been a major topic amongst my friends as of late. Christopher Griffith is embarking on a self published endeavor that is very exciting (check out "Blown") and the work of Adam Weiss is very deserving of a monograph in the near future (check out his portfolio called "Love" on his site). Having self-published my book And No Birds Sang in 2002 and only recently finding mainstream distribution at Photo-Eye I can attest to the long road it takes to get there. The fuel for that journey is conviction and tenacity. I really appreciate Photo-Eye's support and those that have purchased the book off of their site these past two months. Read through the PDN article, hopefully it informs and illuminates the market for self publishing and the rewards and pitfalls of endeavoring to do so.

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