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Author Topic: My beautiful book!  (Read 25793 times)
russell a
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2009, 09:41:11 AM »
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Quote from: DavidSpivak-Focus Magazine
Incorrect.

The book has been printed by my publishing company in a contract between my publishing company and the printer. His book has an official ISBN that links directly to my publishing company. The book has been paid for by people who have ordered it. To be published is to have a book printed and have it put into circulation. It is available on Rabbi Sinclair's website, my website, and photobookconnoisseur.net. It will soon be available on Amazon.com. People can order the book today and have it delivered tomorrow from either Rabbi Sinclair's, or three of my own websites.

Do I understand correctly, then, that you are the publisher?  In the ordinary scheme of things, this would mean that you assume the risk of printing, production costs and provide for marketing and distribution.  Is that the case?  My understanding is that your authors assume this role.  Aren't your authors the ones who initially are "the people who have ordered it"?  This is what is normally referred to a a "vanity press". I have included a link the the wikipedia entry.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanity_press

Note that the wiki entry points out that "vanity press" should not necessarily be taken as a derogatory term.  It's a legitimate business.  My only goal here is to call the LL readership's attention to the fact that it may be very difficult to recoup spending $20K+.  A while back Brooks Jensen of Lens Work had an article on photo book publishing and how few books are profitable.  Mainstream books that are not celebrity oriented have a track record of becoming remaindered at the speed of sound.  An author needs to have a clear marketing plan and audience in mind if their goal is profit.  Michael Reichmann, for example, has his workshops, this well-attended site, and his gallery as outlets for his self-publishing.
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DavidSpivak-Focus Magazine
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2009, 11:03:14 AM »
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Quote from: russell a
Do I understand correctly, then, that you are the publisher?  In the ordinary scheme of things, this would mean that you assume the risk of printing, production costs and provide for marketing and distribution.  Is that the case?  My understanding is that your authors assume this role.  Aren't your authors the ones who initially are "the people who have ordered it"?  This is what is normally referred to a a "vanity press". I have included a link the the wikipedia entry.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanity_press

Note that the wiki entry points out that "vanity press" should not necessarily be taken as a derogatory term.  It's a legitimate business.  My only goal here is to call the LL readership's attention to the fact that it may be very difficult to recoup spending $20K+.  A while back Brooks Jensen of Lens Work had an article on photo book publishing and how few books are profitable.  Mainstream books that are not celebrity oriented have a track record of becoming remaindered at the speed of sound.  An author needs to have a clear marketing plan and audience in mind if their goal is profit.  Michael Reichmann, for example, has his workshops, this well-attended site, and his gallery as outlets for his self-publishing.

I'm not really 100% vanity because I pay for the marketing costs of the book and I handle all of the distribution and orders. I'm a hybrid between vanity and subsidy, though the author retains all the rights to his or her book.

I am sure many here appreciate your "community service" in trying to alert them here that if they spend x amount of money on publishing a book, they shouldn't expect to break even, however; if you have x amount of money that you are willing to spend on a book, I highly doubt that a photographer doesn't already know that it's unlikely they'll make the money back or even make a profit. However, they can recoup some of the costs associated with the printing by placing their book in front of as many collectors as possible - which is why we include advertising in Focus Magazine for 6 issues and on our websites as part of any package deal. I am also hopeful that we'll be able to attend Photo LA in January and sell these books to collectors... I already have two more books coming in this year from two other photographers.

Anyway, there are several reasons why a photographer may pay for the printing of his or her own book, even if they can get a deal with a commercial publisher, the only way for a photographer to have absolute, 100% total control over his or her own vision is to publish their own book. And this is why many photographers choose to do this instead of going the commercial route. We help them do that, help them pay less money and do all the work for marketing and handling all orders for the book. Hopefully soon we'll be able to get Seasons distributed on newsstands.
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Gellman
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« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2009, 11:44:01 AM »
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I think it is a delightful change of pace to read on this forum about a bit of hybrid "vanity publishing" as opposed to another "vanity camera purchase". For the price of a D3X or a 1DS MK3 and some glass, Yaakov has put a distinguished body of work out there for all to see, with no greater odds of financial successs than many of us can expect when we purchase expensive equipment. Based on his past, I'm guessing that financial success is not at the top of Yaakov's list of life goals, otherwise he would not have given up a lucrative career as a theatrical producer, moved to Jerusalem, and become a rabbi. (Yaakov was the original producer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)

Personally, I really don't care how much it cost for Yaakov to finance the publication, although I understand why others may be curious. What I want to know is how did he light the beautiful portraits of the other rabbis and scholars that appear on his web site.

So Mazel Tov Yaakov! Your images are stunning and grounded in emotion that is rarely so beautifully expressed.

John
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luong
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2009, 10:10:21 PM »
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Quote from: russell a
His book was printed, not published.

 Self-publication *is* publication. There is nothing dishonorable about self-publication, in fact two of the most respected nature photographers of our time, who happen to write for this site, Art Wolfe and William Neill, have both self-published. Not to mention of course our gracious host.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2009, 10:12:00 PM by luong » Logged

jasonrandolph
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« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2009, 10:45:51 AM »
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Seems like this guy is self-promoting as well.  He's been spamming photography sites and email lists where he was never been an active participant trying to drum up sales for his book.  Now, I don't have anything against promoting one's own work; we all do that when we post photographs for comment/critique.  But to show up without any prior participation feels more like exploitation of some free advertising to me.  And, while this is a free site and he has every right to do so, I've been very turned-off by his approach, to the point that I won't even consider buying his book.  It's a shame too, because his work is pretty good.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2009, 08:22:04 PM »
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Quote from: jasonrandolph
I've been very turned-off by his approach, to the point that I won't even consider buying his book.  It's a shame too, because his work is pretty good.

Ditto. I wanted to react to the spamming, then looked at his pictures and decided to shut up: the last time I was so immediately impressed was when I discovered Stephan Vanfleteren. I also read most of what Yaakov has posted and was amazed by the quality of his prose. And that, despite the fact that his opinions and subjects are as foreign to me as they could be. He is, without any doubt, a very gifted and talented artist. I would have bought his book in a minute, had I stumbled upon it... but blatant self promotion is my ultimate turnoff.
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JDClements
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« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2009, 08:27:52 PM »
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Quote from: PierreVandevenne
I would have bought his book in a minute, had I stumbled upon it... but blatant self promotion is my ultimate turnoff.
I say you are cheating yourself, then. You like it that much, but are not going to obtain it because the author is not modest enough to just keep quiet and hope people stumble across this work? Is "subtle" self-promotion okay for an artist? No promotion at all?

I must admit that this attitude makes no sense to me.
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Gellman
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« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2009, 03:28:21 AM »
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Yaakov obviously spends more time shooting and producing art than hanging out on Internet message boards. Could this explain his initial ignorance of discussion forum etiquette? He apologized on this forum almost immedialely, and even offered to take down his posts if they were innapropriate, yet Michael and his elves have let the posts stand. Hopefully, some here who seem so eager to take offence at a minor breach of etiquette by a previously unheard of artist, who is way out of the mainstream, and producing beautiful work, will consider cutting the rabbi a little slack.

John
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 04:00:34 AM by ncjohnboy » Logged

JDClements
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« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2009, 07:02:35 AM »
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Quote from: ncjohnboy
Yaakov obviously spends more time shooting and producing art than hanging out on Internet message boards. Could this explain his initial ignorance of discussion forum etiquette? He apologized on this forum almost immedialely, and even offered to take down his posts if they were innapropriate, yet Michael and his elves have let the posts stand. Hopefully, some here who seem so eager to take offence at a minor breach of etiquette by a previously unheard of artist, who is way out of the mainstream, and producing beautiful work, will consider cutting the rabbi a little slack.

John
Exactly. He also explained -- in this thread -- his misunderstanding of a discussion forum: that he thought of it as a "bulletin board" rather than a like a room full of people, which is perfectly understandable. People just need to jettison their psychological baggage and enjoy the art.
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2009, 10:22:52 AM »
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Quote from: JDClements
Exactly. He also explained -- in this thread -- his misunderstanding of a discussion forum: that he thought of it as a "bulletin board" rather than a like a room full of people, which is perfectly understandable. People just need to jettison their psychological baggage and enjoy the art.

If this was the only instance of this, I would tend to agree with you.  But the same posts, and the same long story, found their way to my email inbox because he has been copy-and-pasting it to other places too.  And this wouldn't necessarily draw my criticism either, until I realized he is only posting for personal gain.  He hasn't spent any time on the boards here asking questions or answering others'.  And my guess is that we'll never see another post from him when his book has come and gone.  If anyone gets monetary gain from the boards, it should be Michael.  I still think the postings are out of line.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 10:23:47 AM by jasonrandolph » Logged

PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2009, 04:08:54 PM »
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Quote from: JDClements
I say you are cheating yourself, then. You like it that much, but are not going to obtain it because the author is not modest enough to just keep quiet and hope people stumble across this work? Is "subtle" self-promotion okay for an artist? No promotion at all?

I must admit that this attitude makes no sense to me.

Well, the author basically copies and pastes his message his "shameless plug" in several places (I have seen it three times, one of them in addition to this one, is indexed by Google). Seems he himself doesn't think typing a personalized message is worth the trouble. As an artist trying to promote his work,  a request for comments, some info on his creative process or even a simple link to his web site, where people could then have discovered his art, and eventually bought the book, would have been more appropriate imho.

I also have stuff to promote, also have children to feed - though not as many  - but I could not imagine pushing my stuff that way. Let stuff, art, whatever promote itself on its value, or through sincere, heartfelt, communication. But not on copy paste.
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JDClements
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« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2009, 04:44:52 PM »
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Quote from: jasonrandolph
my guess is that we'll never see another post from him when his book has come and gone.
I'll consider that my loss, but I can't really judge a person to be at fault for that.
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JDClements
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« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2009, 04:52:16 PM »
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Quote from: PierreVandevenne
Well, the author basically copies and pastes his message
Like making a poster, then photocopying it and pinning to a different bulletin boards around the neighbourhood. Except easier.

Quote from: PierreVandevenne
his "shameless plug" in several places
Why should he (or anyone) feel any shame when promoting themselves? I don't agree with the concept that there should be any shame in self-promotion.

I recognize the opinion being expressed here by yourself, jasonrandolph, and others. I just can't see the problem (as in, how does it harm anyone?), so we can agree to disagree.

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yasinclair
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« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2009, 12:39:42 AM »
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If you factor in the amount of time and money I spent on the project, I am making nothing from the sales of my book. All I wanted to do was to let people know that it exists. If I should have 'introduced' myself I have now done so with this post on this website. I must say that I feel rather hurt by the accusations of being a moneygrabbing spammer. I am not. I worked for ten years on this book and all I would like is to see from it a little naches (Yiddish, untranslatable -- example -- feeling a parent has when one of the children succeeds)
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JDClements
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« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2009, 07:21:41 AM »
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Yasinclair, count me among those who appreciate your joyful exuberance and your efforts to multiply it.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2009, 08:11:14 AM »
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When I read the first post, I got this overwhelming sense of "You too could improve your life, gain spiritual enlightenment, and make a great book (or whatever) if you just join a religious community, spend thousands of hours poring over ancient texts, and doing the beads-and-rattles thing with a bunch of fellow burnouts."

A 1950's comic, comparing a lengthy newspaper article on a street accident to his own very short article said "Woman, streetcar, foot slipped, there you are."

I appreciate these kinds of books and the effort that went into them, but I don't accept the religious arguments, since that's not enlightenment, it's just religion.
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2009, 11:15:52 AM »
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yasinclair, no offense was intended by my remarks.  In fact, I'm glad to see that you are here and participating in the discussion.  I think we all can learn from others' experiences, so please, I think you have a lot to offer the discussion.  As I said elsewhere, the images are quite good.  If my comments were hurtful, my apologies.  I hope you'll continue to post here and add to the ongoing discussions.  And by all means, continue to share your experiences.
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Gellman
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« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2009, 06:08:48 PM »
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dalethorn - Were we looking at the same posts? Yaakov Sinclair has made no reference to religion in any of his posts. He has not even identified himself as a rabbi, although others have done so. He just signs his name.  

Perhaps you followed the link to his web site and read some of the commentary that accompanies some of the photos. This commentary does contain some religious stuff. After all, he's a rabbi. But if you don't go for it, then stop reading and just look at the pictures. While religion may not represent enlightenment to you, it does for many others. Whatever floats your boat is fine with me as long as you remain tolerant and respectful of others' beliefs. [The remainder of this post has been removed by the author.]

John
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 01:22:28 AM by ncjohnboy » Logged

dalethorn
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2009, 11:00:00 PM »
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Quote from: ncjohnboy
dalethorn - Were we looking at the same posts? Yaakov Sinclair has made no reference to religion in any of his posts. He has not even identified himself as a rabbi, although others have done so. He just signs his name.  
Perhaps you followed the link to his web site and read some of the commentary that accompanies some of the photos. This commentary does contain some religious stuff. After all, he's a rabbi. But if you don't go for it, then stop reading and just look at the pictures. While religion may not represent enlightenment to you, it does for many others. Whatever floats your boat is fine with me as long as you remain tolerant and respectful of others' beliefs. However, I find your implication that Yaakov's religious beliefs and lifestyle amount to a "beads-and-rattles thing with a bunch of fellow burnouts" to be insulting and offensive, and I'm not easily offended. I think you owe him an apology and some respect.
John

You're wrong.  Completely wrong.  I didn't look up the "information" elsewhere, I got it from the post.  You say "followed the link", I say "got it from the post".  Same deal, unless you want to redefine the Internet as red balloons or whatever.  And BTW, if you go around demanding respect or apologies, you won't get them from anyone I know.
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Gellman
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« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2009, 01:20:24 AM »
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This seems to be headed in a flame direction, which was not my intent, and for which I apologize for any involvement.

dalethorn - Please check your PM folder. I sent you a PM.

John
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