On-demand publishing

Edited and updated historical post from www.steers-gallery.co.uk Originally published 30/12/12

Have you tried “on-demand publishing” yet?

It’s an oft-quoted fact that people no longer print their photos.  We live in an age when anyone and everyone is a photographer, and you can upload the most banal photograph of your breakfast to a potential global audience before you’ve rubbed the sleep from your eyes, but people just don’t print their photos, preferring to view them on a smartphone screen, brushing each image aside, glancing but not looking, seen but not digested, instant gratification, instantly forgotten, swipe, swipe, swipe… It seems the humble photo album, that printed link to our, and our family’s past, is now itself, a thing of the very past it used to celebrate. What a great shame that is. 

However, all is not lost. This is where my question at the top of this post comes in. On-demand publishing allows you to design, create and print your own photobook, storybook, notebook or diary in an edition of as few or as many as you desire. 

There are a number of online businesses out there doing this. Blurb, Lulu and Bob Books to name but three, so do some research and choose what best suits your project. I’ve used Myphotobook and Blurb, preferring the latter for it’s choice of styles, sizes and paper finishes and the ease of it’s book creation tools. 

Using Blurb I’ve made a handful of books, some personal (as described in my post entitled “kids grow up”), and some public and there for all to see, critique and maybe even buy (if you choose to make your book available) on the Blurb website. 

So, here’s a brief synopsis of two of my efforts:

“Land. Sea. Sky” is a simple portfolio of colour landscape photographs, with each image accompanied by a brief caption providing an interesting snippet of information about the location. 

“30 Days has September” is the result of a photo-a-day project in black and white which I set myself through September 2011. 

“Land. Sea. Sky” was collated as a set of individual images which, when thoughtfully sequenced became a presentable portfolio. The sequencing of the images in “30 Days” is less contrived due to the nature of the project. At the outset, there was no real plan of definitive shot-list. Some days were quick grabs, others more considered, leading to suggestions for further locations to explore which would begin to inform the sequencing with ideas for images not yet taken, in my mind. 

You can see a preview of both these books on my blurb books page at: www.blurb.co.uk/user/tonysteers

Do take a look and let me know what you think, and maybe have a trawl around the blurb bookshop, there’s a heap of inspiration to be had from the talented folk in there.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *