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Question: My interest level (select all that apply!)
I would submit a photo - 47 (49%)
I would volunteer - I don't have publishing experience - 8 (8.3%)
I would volunteer - I have publishing experience - 5 (5.2%)
I would buy the yearbook - 31 (32.3%)
I have no interest in participating in any form - 5 (5.2%)
Total Voters: 54

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Author Topic: Luminous Landscape 2008 Yearbook  (Read 8481 times)
feppe
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Oh this shows up in here!


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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2009, 01:27:05 PM »
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Quote from: azmike
Sorry to have seemed a wet blanket.  Here's a suggestion. You could simplify the workload by distributing the complete page preparation to each contributor.  That is, the editor & cat herder specifies that (for example) it will be a standard sized landscape book and each contributor may send to him/her one 2888 pixel by 2475 pixel (that's the Blurb dimension of a full page bleed for the 10x8 book) high-quality, sharpened jpeg in sRGB.  And the editor just page loads these.  Each contributor could do with the 2888x2475 as he/she chooses (image(s) and words).  The editor might offer suggestions toward content consistency, etc. The editor would do the cover and intro, etc and have the Blurb account.  That sort of addresses the workflow issues.

The problem with that approach is that then we get as many different layouts as we get submissions - it would make for a very jarring visual barrage. I'm sure the average LL forum member can provide a ready-to-print high quality sharpened JPEG resized to proper dimensions, so this wouldn't cause extra work for the volunteers. This should be image only, and any descriptive text should be separate plain text to be added later for consistency.

The main thing left is the layout and editing. I don't know how easy the blurb UI is to use, but I'd imagine it has some basic templates we could incorporate.

Quote
Couple of final thoughts:  At $50-75 I doubt there would be too many purchasers beyond contributors.  And if this book were to carry the Luminous-Landscape reference (as opposed to "Harri and Friends Yearbook") you're gonna need Michael's blessing.

I agree completely about protecting and preserving (and promoting) the LL brand, and take it very seriously. Obviously I/we would not go forward with this without Michael's blessing.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2009, 05:20:13 PM »
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Quote from: feppe
The problem with that approach is that then we get as many different layouts as we get submissions - it would make for a very jarring visual barrage. I'm sure the average LL forum member can provide a ready-to-print high quality sharpened JPEG resized to proper dimensions, so this wouldn't cause extra work for the volunteers. This should be image only, and any descriptive text should be separate plain text to be added later for consistency.

The main thing left is the layout and editing. I don't know how easy the blurb UI is to use, but I'd imagine it has some basic templates we could incorporate.

My view is that we need to keep this very simple.

How about setting an exact pixel dimensions like 3000x2200 that represents 300 DPI at the right print size for the format we decide. All the submission that do not exactly match this are simply rejected.

If this is done layout is litteraly a one hour job for the main pages of the book, what remains are the front and back pages, and intrductory pages, plus potentially a few pages at the end with the technical details, names,...

All in all a 2 days work at most. Really.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2009, 07:38:30 PM »
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Bernard,

First, there needs to be some explicit clarification about what "this" is. I would think it can't bear the Luminous-Landscape imprimateur without at the very least the consent of Luminous-Landscape. This automatically means that L-L would need to devote some resources at least to vet what's being done in its name, the prior issue for L-L I would imagine being whether this activity fits its role and purpose.

If it's not an L-L product, then I suppose one possibility is that it could revert to being a product of X members of the L-L Discussion Forum, with a very clear disclaimer about its relationship to L-L per se beyond that. Again something best discussed with Michael.

Then once it's "status" as a product is determined, something needs to be clearly articulated about its purpose. It could be anything, starting from a random collection of 150 images (if that's the number) which X photographers thought worthwhile enough to put into a book for others to see. That's the simplest reason to produce a book, but it's also why people post images on the internet. So is this "raison'd'etre" enough to grab peoples' attention and wallets? If not, then one is into thematic content and the editorial aspect becomes more pronounced and time-consuming.

If everything were really as simple as dumping a bunch of JPEGs into a canned format and letting the printer go at it, you may be right about the work estimate, other than for what I just mentioned above. But it may not be quite that simple. Have you seen the quality of blurb books? They're not bad, but there's better, and presumably there's file prep stuff which could be done to optimize the quality of what goes to blurb if they were the selected platform. Then you are into a question about whether all the submitters will produce quality and colour-managed consistent input to the printer, and who will make sure of that. With a bare minimum of specs and coordination you can produce a book which I expect will show what you get at that level of effort. You may not be totally thrilled with the outcome. Quality always demand effort and costs money - in just about anything I've ever laid my hands on, and I'd be surprised if this were an exception.

Let us turn to sales. How many copies, what profit and who gets it? If there were 150 contributors and each contributor bought at least one copy for the self-satisfaction of having a publication with a sample of their work in it, that would sell 150 copies. Maybe a number of people would buy several copies so they could hand them out as gifts on special occasions. So if on average we sold two copies per contributor, that's three hundred copies. And then there may be a number of sales beyond the contributor pool, depending on the marketing arrangement, which someone will need to proselitize and supervise, even if an outfit such as Blurb were to do the fulfillment. Over a period of a couple of years there may be several hundred more books sold, depending on the marketing, the level of interest and the quality (the product would need "marketable features" to pull this off). It's a competitive undertaking in an economic environment which really sucks and shows every sign of remaining that way for quite a while. Optimistically, there may be several thousand dollars of profit in it, but let's face it - this would be more for artistic emjoyment than anything else - which doesn't make it an invalid activity of course - but it does put a premium on quality, so one is back to whether a very non-organized, virtually random motif, implemented by Blurb, would really cut it, when one is trying to square the purpose with the product.

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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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AndyF
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2009, 08:26:37 PM »
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The printed images themselves may be a problem.  Out of 150 contributors, it will be a minority that have a calibrated monitor, can accurately softproof the image that will end up being printed by Blurb, and will provide a jpg that will print as they intend on the first release of the book.  The majority of contributors may find the image is not the work they intended, either in colour tones, dark detail, etc so the collection of images could undershoot what everyone wants to achieve.

Has anyone bought the Leica Yearbook, and have thoughts on it's image quality - especially if you were a contributor?  It would be interesting to hear their opinions of the book, and experiences in getting images right.

Does Blurb offer test prints of individual pages?

I see one person, Sam Edge, has published the ICC profile for the printer they use, on his website http://www.bonsai-photography.com/

Andy
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2009, 11:04:26 PM »
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Quote from: MarkDS
First, there needs to be some explicit clarification about what "this" is. I would think it can't bear the Luminous-Landscape imprimateur without at the very least the consent of Luminous-Landscape. This automatically means that L-L would need to devote some resources at least to vet what's being done in its name, the prior issue for L-L I would imagine being whether this activity fits its role and purpose.

If it's not an L-L product, then I suppose one possibility is that it could revert to being a product of X members of the L-L Discussion Forum, with a very clear disclaimer about its relationship to L-L per se beyond that. Again something best discussed with Michael.

Hello Mark,

Good points.

It would only make sense with the LL logo on it, no meaning otherwise IMHO. So we do indeed need to validate with Michael whether his issue is time, or whether there is something else to it.

Quote from: MarkDS
Then once it's "status" as a product is determined, something needs to be clearly articulated about its purpose. It could be anything, starting from a random collection of 150 images (if that's the number) which X photographers thought worthwhile enough to put into a book for others to see. That's the simplest reason to produce a book, but it's also why people post images on the internet. So is this "raison'd'etre" enough to grab peoples' attention and wallets? If not, then one is into thematic content and the editorial aspect becomes more pronounced and time-consuming.

As far as I am concerned - assuming that my image would make it through a possible selection process - the pupose would be self promotion.

Quote from: MarkDS
If everything were really as simple as dumping a bunch of JPEGs into a canned format and letting the printer go at it, you may be right about the work estimate, other than for what I just mentioned above. But it may not be quite that simple. Have you seen the quality of blurb books? They're not bad, but there's better, and presumably there's file prep stuff which could be done to optimize the quality of what goes to blurb if they were the selected platform.

No first hand experience, only a happy friend who has had a pretty nice book published with them. What would be the better options?

Quote from: MarkDS
Then you are into a question about whether all the submitters will produce quality and colour-managed consistent input to the printer, and who will make sure of that. With a bare minimum of specs and coordination you can produce a book which I expect will show what you get at that level of effort. You may not be totally thrilled with the outcome. Quality always demand effort and costs money - in just about anything I've ever laid my hands on, and I'd be surprised if this were an exception.

This is indeed a valid concern. One answer could be the link to the Blurb ICC profile provided below, as well as clear guidelines regarding the way to proceed to do at least:

- request that all submission be made according to the Blurb (or what ever provder we would use) standard (sRGB if I am not mistaken),
- a minium level of softproofing with the provided ICC profile be done to be able to debug the most glaring issues before they occur.

Quote from: MarkDS
Let us turn to sales. How many copies, what profit and who gets it? If there were 150 contributors and each contributor bought at least one copy for the self-satisfaction of having a publication with a sample of their work in it, that would sell 150 copies. Maybe a number of people would buy several copies so they could hand them out as gifts on special occasions. So if on average we sold two copies per contributor, that's three hundred copies. And then there may be a number of sales beyond the contributor pool, depending on the marketing arrangement, which someone will need to proselitize and supervise, even if an outfit such as Blurb were to do the fulfillment. Over a period of a couple of years there may be several hundred more books sold, depending on the marketing, the level of interest and the quality (the product would need "marketable features" to pull this off). It's a competitive undertaking in an economic environment which really sucks and shows every sign of remaining that way for quite a while. Optimistically, there may be several thousand dollars of profit in it, but let's face it - this would be more for artistic emjoyment than anything else - which doesn't make it an invalid activity of course - but it does put a premium on quality, so one is back to whether a very non-organized, virtually random motif, implemented by Blurb, would really cut it, when one is trying to square the purpose with the product.

To me, this is a cost center aimed at self promotion. I would not expect any revenue from a single image in a book anyway.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2009, 07:23:40 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
No first hand experience, only a happy friend who has had a pretty nice book published with them. What would be the better options?
Cheers,
Bernard

For "better" being quality - not price - there is Pikto here in Toronto: Pikto Books; for example, an 8.5*11 inch linen hartd-bound book for 100 photographs in 10+ copies would come to about 135 US per copy. I've seen their output and it is first-rate. To compare, Blurb 8*10 inches with premium paper would be about 40 to 42 US per copy - hugely less expensive but quality not as rich. Michael's Bangladesh book was published by 100 Books Publishing Co. and they do a truly excellent job (I've seen both Michael's prints and the book reproductions), but there is a fixed cost of USD 9000 for 1000 copies; so one could order 300 copies in which case the cost would be only USD 30 per book, but the 9000 needs to be fronted. I've come accross several other companies doing this, but I haven't seen their product. e.g. I've heard of people being satisfied with Lulu.com but I can't get into their pricing - something buggy on their site or my privacy policy and theirs' don't cohere.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2009, 03:12:01 PM »
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A pity, but it looks like there is little consensus about the relevance or practicability of the project, it appears to be a dead end.

I will probably proceed with my own projects then.  

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 06:14:29 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2009, 09:27:33 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
A pity, but it looks like there is little consensus about the relevance or practicability of the project, it appears to be a dead end.

I will probably proceed with my own projects then.  

Cheers,
Bernard

I've done some Blurb books for my own 'coffee table' and liked the results.  One of my books can be previewed at http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/288261 (previews are limited).

In my opinion, Blurb is the way to go.  I'd recommend the largest format, 13x11 inches.  An 80 page book would be $75 plus whatever profit was to go to the LL endowment fund.  A 120 page book would be $89 before profit.  Since this is print on demand, there is no minimum order.

It will come down to using sRGB at 300 dpi and only a few page layouts to minimize the editing and organizational work.  We'd probably use the landscape templet having an 8.2 x 6.5 inch photo with caption beneath it.  The caption is limited to about 400 characters using 10 pt font.  There is a portrait version of this templet as well.  There is also a layout having four small photos with captions; this could be used to identify the contributing photographers.  So we'd probably be looking for fifty photographers contributing two photos + their own portrait.  Early pricing could be set at no profit so that the contributors could purchase their own copies immediately; thereafter, a profit would be added to the price.

I once attempted to get my local camera club to make such a book and was surprised by the lack of interest there as well.


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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2009, 06:38:24 PM »
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Quote from: MarkDS
For "better" being quality - not price - there is Pikto here in Toronto: Pikto Books; for example, an 8.5*11 inch linen hartd-bound book for 100 photographs in 10+ copies would come to about 135 US per copy. I've seen their output and it is first-rate. To compare, Blurb 8*10 inches with premium paper would be about 40 to 42 US per copy - hugely less expensive but quality not as rich. Michael's Bangladesh book was published by 100 Books Publishing Co. and they do a truly excellent job (I've seen both Michael's prints and the book reproductions), but there is a fixed cost of USD 9000 for 1000 copies; so one could order 300 copies in which case the cost would be only USD 30 per book, but the 9000 needs to be fronted. I've come accross several other companies doing this, but I haven't seen their product. e.g. I've heard of people being satisfied with Lulu.com but I can't get into their pricing - something buggy on their site or my privacy policy and theirs' don't cohere.

Thanks for the pointers Mark.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Morris Taub
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« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2009, 02:18:49 AM »
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Quote from: gordonsbuck
I've done some Blurb books for my own 'coffee table' and liked the results.  One of my books can be previewed at http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/288261 (previews are limited).

Hi Gordon, I registered on the Blurb site, tried the link you gave but it tells me there's such page or something...

M
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« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2009, 10:01:16 AM »
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Quote from: momo2
Hi Gordon, I registered on the Blurb site, tried the link you gave but it tells me there's such page or something...

M

Thanks for the alert.  I was logged in to Blurb at the time and the link must be my own.  Try this one
http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/288261

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