Friday, January 29, 2010

book idea

Over a year ago, I thought it would be cool to compile a book of images from this Moleskine exchange. Andrea was all for it as well and I got some great, positive feedback from our group's members. I was thinking of sending proposals to several publishers and contacted the Moleskine company several times but did not hear from them (regarding this idea). Ideally, I'd like to see a publisher pick up this book and get it out there to the public. Unfortunately, the market is saturated with art books (some of which boggle my mind as far as how they even got published!) and as we all know, the economy is still crap. Still, I'd like this idea to fly, as it would make an absolutely marvelous book and an excellent way to document this wonderful ongoing project, started by Andrea.

Once again, I'd love to see what people have to say. I'd like to get work from members of the first round as well. Honestly, I'm amazed at the diversity and quality of work from the artists involved, and I try not to take this exchange for granted. We can take this book idea on several avenues - go the self-publishing route (I've been very happy with Blurb so far, though books can be expensive to purchase from that company) or perhaps push for a publisher. I'd love everyone who was and is a part of this exchange to have their work in the book, and see everyone choose their favorite personal work. Please contribute any ideas or options if you can - possible publishers, avenues with regards to publishing, etc. Thanks!


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I'm all for it, though I'm not as an experience artist as the rest of you.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Too bad Moleskine wouldn't get interested, becasue it would be really really cool if the book was published in a moleskine cover the size of the large images, and with the small ones just having more space around them (or two to a page).

thraxil said...

Well, I've self-published three full-color books and one black and white through The color ones were a bit on the pricey side (about $30 for 150-200 pages, softcover when I published them and they've since jacked the price up to the $40 range) with decent quality. The black and white one was only 50 pages and sells for $5.50 and is excellent.

I was happier with the quality of the color books before I got included in the Abstract Comics Anthology that Fantagraphics put out and basically saw what a real publisher with a large print run could do. The anthology is larger than anything I published myself, hardcover, gorgeous, and sells for $25. On the other hand, it took well over a year to make it through the process and was a bit of a headache. And if you're going to be publishing a collection of work by multiple artists, be prepared to spend a lot of time sending out the contracts and stuff that has to be signed and then trying to cajole, herd and track down people to get them to return them by the appropriate deadlines.

Aya Rosen said...

I would really love to see this published. Some of my husband's photography just made it into a book that's going to be edited in sort of a neat way - each photographer is going to have 8 pages or so, the first is a sort resume with a portrait shot of themselves, then about 6-10 photos, so you can get to know a bit about the artist and not just the art.

Blurb is awesome if you want one copy for yourself (or one for each of us, as far as marketing a blurb book, it's near impossible, with book store's commission \ distributor commission the retail price should be about 200-300$ or more.

this might be a good publisher for this project:,info/infoid,submissions/

ballookey said...

If books are pricey, there's also MagCloud (check it out:

I've both bought and designed several of these and they're really great. Not as durable as a book, obviously, but as an art magazine, it's an economical way to share the work.

Sorry for my absence - I'm working on a major deadline at work. Hopefully everyone's as busy as me! ;)

steve said...

Thanks so far for the great feedback all. I like the input and suggestions here.

Mary, pleae, you do wonderful work - you've got nothing to worry about! We all have our own style(s) going on here, which is a good thing. As for the book being published in a Moleskine-style cover, that's exactly what I had in mind, of course only Moleskine could do that kind of thing. I'm actually surprised they've never done any actual book publishing at all yet!

Anders, big congrats on the Fantagraphics anthology - will have to check this out! Lulu sounds cheaper than Blurb, and I think we definitely should stick with color. We'd simply have to limit the number of images. If we went the self-publishing route, through Lulu or Blurb, I'd simply request several hi-res images they'd like to include (with titles perhaps), a brief description of the artist and their work and even some kind of self-portrait. I know that Blurb already includes a copyright statement protecting all the work in their books. Now, if we were fortunate enough to have a publisher interested in making a book of our work, I'd imagine they would do all the tracking down, etc.

Aya, congrats as well to your husband! I really like the idea of having a little artist feature along with several images of their work too! Thanks for the link too. I love Chronicle and have them at the top of my list. They would be a challenge though, considering their popularity and the number of proposals they get each year (been doin my homework on them).

Ballookey, thanks for the suggestion - I don't think I've ever heard of MagCloud. It sounds like a great option, though I'm kind of partial to more of an official book format. Definitely a possibility though! Thanks again.

merrytait said...

How would you (we?) decide what went in?

What about Amazon's new publishing venture?

steve said...

You all decide! Like I said, choose your favorites from you, by you. I'm just trying to get the ball rolling for us in some way. As for Amazon's new publishing venture, I had no idea. Thanks for the recommendation Mary!

henniemavis said...

I'm just slow on the draw here (no pun intended). I know nothing about self-publishing books, have no experience or resources to offer... but for what it's worth, I do think the project sounds fun.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Steve, did you check it out--do you need a link?

The cool thing about Amazon is that it's Amazon.

I've self-published some small run books at SHutterfly and they were VERY nicely done and professional looking but prolly NOT what we need.

steve said...

Not yet Mary, but I definitely will later this evening - sounds cool!

ian russell said...

In marketing terms, I think you need a USP. A Unique Selling Point. If there are so many books already on the market it's better to propose something a bit different from the crowd. I don't have any ideas on what that could be but probably something additional to the moleskine exchange artwork. What else goes into a book? Words, stories, photos, tips.... just throwing out ideas here. :)

Andrea said...

I am still completely in to this idea Steve and am willing to contribute in any way possible. sorry for not responding sooner.

Hi Ian, nice to see you again!

Johnnynorms said...

I'm still up for being part of a book. No experience, other than
the blogging, but if I can help with ideas or feedback on layout, etc..