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home | Article Index | What Works: Hardcover Photo Books fo . . .

Books and the Marketing of Jewelry

Hillary's approach, admittedly, is at the pricier end of the spectrum, but she is not alone there. Katey Brunini, for one, has been issuing lavishly-produced hard cover books of her collections for years and it has proven itself an effective sales tool. Just think about it for a moment: what impression would you get if someone were to send you a book, not a brochure or a collection of loose pictures, of their jewelry?
<center>Katey Brunini's book</cener>
Katey Brunini's book

On the less expensive end of the scale, though not by appearances, is the experience of Aaron Furlong of Aaron Henry Designs who has gotten a lot of mileage from the printing of his collection. As you can see from the photos, it makes an excellent sales adjunct.

In his book, as in that of everyone who was interviewed for this article, no compromise was made on the quality of the photography. Unless your photographic skills are at a level considered acceptable for magazine covers, then you need to have your jewelry shot by a professional with a proven track record. Not every photographer can do jewelry; it requires a particular skill set to handle polished surfaces and gem facets. So be sure your picture-taker knows how to capture the best aspects of jewelry. There is no point in undermining your entire effort with anything less than top-notch work.
<center>The Aaron Henry book</cener>
The Aaron Henry book

One person who has the chops to use her own photography is designer Jeanne Johngren whose professional life experience includes fine art photography and music video production as well as her most recent career triumph as a successful jewelry designer. She says she chose to use because, as she put it, "after doing some online research, we decided that they were renowned for their color photography reproduction." (In fairness, I heard no complaints about color reproduction from any of the designers who I know had printed books; that's good news.)

Jeanne reports that she had a test copy printed, made some changes and then printed enough to mail to her core group of retailers and the stores she wanted to get into. The book was "well received" by her current stores, she relates, adding that it did make some stores become interested in buying from her. That, she concludes, made it an effective sales tool. She went on to point out that a well-produced catalogue can be equally effective but felt that having an actual book made more of an impression on buyers than a catalogue or brochure would have.

<center>Jeanne Johngren's book cover</cener>
Jeanne Johngren's book cover

As an editorial professional with more than a quarter century's worth of experience in the field, I can attest to the impact that a book has over other forms of publication. Friends, relatives and new acquaintances would nod noncommitedly upon learning that I was a writer or editor. "Oh, that must be interesting," was about the most enthusiastic response that would get. (Not that I was trying to impress anyone, mind you.) But the minute that my first book was published, my standing in the community noticeably jumped up a notch or two. It surprised even me. You could see it in people's eyes and voices when they would find out that I was the author of a book. It just has a mystique that other aspects of publishing do not.

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