I’ve been publishing my photographs here and on Facebook for more than a year. I have gotten lovely compliments, encouragement, and more than a few people saying I should make a book. I thought it would be easy: pick some photos, see how they look as prints, fine-tune them in post-processing, and then put ’em in a book. I had not factored in the doubts that have come slip-sliding down as I started to make the book. Who do I think I am to make a photo book and self-publish it? Would people actually buy it? For $40 or $50? Geez, things got complicated real quick once I started looking at prices for just 40-50 pages.
And then I printed out the photos. I realized I love about 20 of them, 10 of them are pretty good, and the rest definitely need work and I wonder why I thought they should be in the book at all. Is that it, 20 really good photos in 18 months? Maybe.
Right now I’m in the squishy, soul-searching middle of the creative process. I have the photos, I know the pricing range I’m working with, and the layout I want. But the fear is keeping me from moving forward. What if it sucks? What if no one wants it?
So I’ve decided I’m really just making three books: one for me, one for a friend who keeps asking and one for another friend who is a fan of my photos. If other people want to buy the book after they see it, awesome. I’m just making a book for three people. Looking at it that way took a lot of the pressure off, because I know those two people will love it however it turns out.
Maybe I’m not cut out for self-promotion. Other people would write this post quite differently: “hey, I’m making a photo book and y’all should buy it when it comes out” or something like that. Me, I’m sticking my toe into that water very slowly.
So if you’re interested in a book of my photos that will cost somewhere around $50 with shipping included, one that has these photos and 35 more, with a working title of Water and Light, let me know. I’m aiming to have it published by end February, depending on how my crises of confidence go with the project.
An artist feels vulnerable to begin with; and yet the only answer is to recklessly discard more armor.