Finding the Right Photo Book Company

As some of my close photographer friends know, I experimented a few years ago (late 2007) with publishing a collection of my photography, Ineffable Light, using Blurb’s photo editing and design software. While the results weren’t disastrous, they weren’t very satisfying, either. As a photographer who works exclusively in black and white capture and darkroom output, it was already a little frustrating to see grain turned into pixels. But what I wasn’t prepared for–after more than 100 hours spent on adjustments to my color profile (for black and white!), my gamma setting, and various other monitor and software concerns–was that I ended up with a book filled with images that were substantially darker than their originals, often digitally banded, and scarred by a very faint magenta hue. In spite of hundreds of dollars invested in the project, I put it on hold indefinitely, until I could find a digital publisher I and those interested in my work could be satisfied with AND afford.

Now that the insanity of the past year is finally settling down, I’m revisiting Ineffable Light and reconsidering the publisher question. Blurb has gone through several major updates, and countless reviews of late seem to reassure me that many of the problems I encountered three years ago have now been solved. In doing my research, however, I stumbled upon an outstanding, side-by-side review of POD publishers that fellow photographers might find helpful. The review dates to April 2010 but has been updated as of February 2011.

(The cover from the original, unpublished version of Ineffable Light)

So where does that leave me now? I was relieved to read that many of Blurb’s old problems didn’t surface for this guy, which echoed much of what I’ve read lately in other forums. I was also happy to learn that there’s a reliable, high-quality alternative in Inkubook, but I have to say that the pricing scheme would make my 110+ page book ridiculously expensive. So, Blurb, you’re going to get another shot from me.

Don’t screw it up this time.

For those who are keeping track, the revised version of Ineffable Light, which I hope to finish and FINALLY publish by summer, will include all images from the following series: “Eleusis,” “But One Man Alone…,” “Echoes of Narcissus,” “Eros” and “Aletheia,” and “Into the Dark.” Stay tuned….

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~ by ericplaag on March 4, 2011.

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