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

Books and the Marketing of Jewelry (continued)

But, again, what has changed is the cost of entry. New technologies such as short-print runs, known as print-on-demand (POD) make it feasible for many, many designers to consider this as a worthwhile marketing tool. Just so you'll understand how things have changed, there are even companies that will print your book in 48 hours!

Self-publishing doesn't have quite the stigma it used to in previous decades because the meaning of self-publishing has changed along with the technology. If you had a self-published novel, say, it meant that no reputable book house wanted to take a chance on printing and selling your book. But printing a picture book nowadays is considered an absolutely acceptable route to getting in print.

A terrific online overview of the whole self-publishing scene -- 25 things you need to know -- was published last December by David Carnoy, a fellow who writes about electronics generally. But he did publish a few books and did a lot of the leg work you would want to do before plunging in. Here is the link to his article:

I will quote his first point in full here to give you an idea of how this whole business works.

1. Self-publishing is easy. Here's how it works. You choose a size for your book, format your Word manuscript to fit that size, turn your Word doc into a PDF, create some cover art in Photoshop, turn that into a PDF, and upload it all to the self-publisher of your choice and get a book proof back within a couple of weeks (or sooner) if you succeeded in formatting everything correctly. You can then make changes and swap in new PDFs. After you officially publish your book, you can make changes to your cover and interior text by submitting new PDFs, though your book will go offline ("out of stock") for a week or two. BookSurge charges $50 for uploading a new cover and $50 for a new interior.

Lulu offers very good, detailed instructions for the DIY crowd, doesn't require any upfront fees, and is very popular as a result. Ironically, I used Lulu's how-to content to put my book together for BookSurge, which has very poor instructions for DIYers. Interesting stat: Lulu claims to publish an average of 4,000 books a week.

There is also a great deal of pro and con commentary that is worth reading following the article.

Here is a list of self-publishing companies, but you may want to focus on these popular ones:

Lulu, BookSurge, CreateSpace, iUniverse, Xlibris, Author House, Outskirts

Apple, the computer company, has a service with its iPhoto software that produces beautiful books.

Kodak also has a similar service.

Whatever company/route you choose, it will cost you hundreds of dollars at a minimum and perhaps a few thousand depending on a number of factors. But as everyone I spoke to says, it's worth it.

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And no article on this website that deals with books would be complete without mention of the best jewelry book of recent years, namely our book, Brilliance! The Art of the American Jewelry Design Council." Feel free to model yours on any aspect of ours that strikes your fancy, whether in the way the pictures are laid out, or the way that the content is arranged (intro followed by main subject matter followed by biographicl information about the designers) or even its size. Better yet, buy a copy for inspiration! Amazon is your least expensive route, and it shows up in just a couple of days. Alas, not all Barnes & Noble stores, the parent company of our publisher, carry our book.

But to get back to you, as I said earlier, it impresses the daylights out of people when they find out that you "wrote" a book. And when they see the beautiful contents and quality of reproduction that you as an artist will insist on, it impresses them even more. Make your star shine a little brighter. Get published.

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Many of you who are avid readers of the industry's publications will feel that parts of this article seem familiar, particularly near the top. That's because some of this material about Hillary Randolph was in fact used in an article in MJSA Journal. As a sort of bonus to members of the Inner Circle, Cindy and I give preference to members when choosing whom to write about in those industry publications where we are regular contributors.

So if you are a member, and have some great marketing suggestions that you would be willing to share, Cindy and I would certainly consider using you in one of our articles. Just send us a note. As I said, it's one of the perks of being in the Inner Circle.




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