I've made numerous photo books in the past. Hand made single editions that would be impossible to duplicate in multiples of more than three or four due to the time it would take versus the limited amount of money I could sell them for. Most of the results from publishers like Blurb have never fully satisfied me for one reason or another. The available templates are too generic, the print quality is unpredictable, etc etc. The best book I ever created was a small five inch square format hard bound book that I ordered from a company called Photoworks. It was a collection of my Chocolate Polaroids, and the small square format was perfect for Polaroid photographs. The book is bound in a black cloth cover and the quality of the binding is the best I have ever seen from a self publisher. I only ordered two copies of the book and eventually stopped using Photoworks because their books had to be edited and created while on an internet connection instead of with downloaded software like most self publishers use. I got sick of the slow and unstable system they were using so I switched over to Blurb. To make a long story short, everyone I ever showed that small Chocolate Polaroid book to loved it and I decided to order a bunch more to offer for sale. When I went back to Photoworks I found out that they had discontinued that book format. Double Ughs. I can never recreate the book. The saved file for my book wasn't even on their site anymore.
So the whole point of this post is that with all of my past issues with self publishing photo books, I have decided to create some small editions of hand made books without getting overly fancy. I've been thinking about this quite a bit ever since going to the Philadelphia Photo Arts Book Fair in April. I was so impressed with some of the micro publishing that was on display, it helped me break out of my overly traditional concepts of what makes an interesting and collectible photo book.
At this moment I'm thinking about small editions of no more than 50, Themed books made of high quality paper, maybe 16 pages or so with an essay (or two) relating to the images. Signed, numbered and dated of course. The key feature of this series would be their simplicity and hand made nature. Just basic staple bound Zine style, but also consisting of decent archival photo paper, so a bit more than the ephemeral nature of a Zine. I've got a mock up under way, and I'm really happy with it so far. See photo above.