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Archive 2013 · Submitting book idea to publishers

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Submitting book idea to publishers

I would like to submit work to publishers with the aim of having a book produced.

I have had a 100 page book made from what I believe is the best work from my website and I would like to see if the work can be published.
It is a book of landscapes and wildlife in Scotland so I've been looking at publishers like Lomond Books and Argyll Publishing.

I have the following questions:
Does anyone have experience with these or similar publishers?
Would I need to send the whole book to a publisher or just email a few pictures?
If successful, how will I know if I have a good deal?

Any help is much appreciated

May 29, 2013 at 02:42 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Submitting book idea to publishers

I would contact the publisher themselves and see how they want you to submit. Everyone is different with unequal levels of patience. They'll also tell you if they're taking submissions or not. Some will ask for emailed submission and if they like that may ask to see your book. You may also want to contact a few agents who deal with this to see if they can give you some advice and even rep you (despite having to give up some money over this, having an agent on your side will expedite the process greatly and get you the greatest amount of money out of it). You may want to contact the top tier professional commercial photography society in your area as APA in LA has very good relationships with agents.

Edit: Last time I went to a talk with a bunch of agents and art buyers, most of them sounded completely inundated with submissions from photographers. Many of them seemed to like the idea of a phone call first but the issue is how to get a hold of these people's contact info.

Jun 02, 2013 at 03:08 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Submitting book idea to publishers

I don't intend to discourage the OP. I'm just sharing info I've gathered from a friend who has gone down this route, and who also has friends who have gone down this route, too.

Note, I'm referring to commercial photographers with solid reputations, and some big clients.

From what he told me, typically, the photographer seeking a book deal usually invests more of his own money into the book than the publisher does. Ultimately, these books, regardless of how stellar the content, are viewed as coffee table books, and generally don't receive the marketing from the publisher, nor the acknowledgement from book critics that they might deserve, and are typically seen as a loss in profits.

I also have friends in publishing that have told me numerous times that the agents and critics are very 'friendly', and more often than not, those NY Times bestsellers are the result of a good agent with impeccable powers of persuasion, if you catch my drift. I just don't see that sort of effort going into marketing a photo book, unless it's the photographer doing the legwork.

I'm sure this isn't true for all photo books, especially historically significant ones like Penn, Avedon, Adams, etc., but generally speaking, consider how many photo books you've come across in a bookstore: where they are on display, how many have clearance stickers, and how popular they really are.

See what I mean?

They generally don't make money, and it's tough to get a publisher to run it.

I think you're better off investing a few hundred dollars at blurb.com, and running off a dozen copies or so. I know photographers that successfully run-off books through this service, and successfully sell them, independently. Try that first. If they are a success, pitch that accomplishment to a publisher.

Don't want to see you get burned is all...


Jun 06, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Neven Prasnika
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Submitting book idea to publishers

As a former publisher (in software business now, but still photo publishing related... http://epixeditions.com)....

Send a publisher detailed description of the idea you have, with few sample photos (10-20). Make the introduction short and to the point. If they like your idea they'll contact you and ask for more or arrange a meeting.

They don't want your full book as they're likely to have ideas of their own. Work with them! They're the publishers for a reason.

And of course, make sure they're interested in landscape photography... no point sending landscapes to some niche publishers with different interest. If they've published landscapes in the past, they'll surely check what you have to offer.

My 2c!

Good luck!

Jul 07, 2013 at 02:39 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Submitting book idea to publishers

how many have clearance stickers

All good points - the one quoted, in particular...


Jul 07, 2013 at 07:51 PM

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