Photo Book 101: Blurb and PhotoShelter teach you to publish and sell your own photographic compendium


posted Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 4:59 AM EST


Ever wanted to see your name and photos in print? You're certainly not alone! There's something about the tactile, tangible nature of photo books which has great appeal. With the right photo series-- one whose subject matter has a broad-enough appeal to sell to the public -- it can be a really cool way to tie the bow on your just-completed photo project.

But even in a world with on-demand printing, creating and selling a photo book can be a pretty intimidating task. Doubtless there are many photographers out there who'd love to give it a go, and whose photos deserve the honor of a place in their own beautifully-bound volume. But a lack of know-how and concerns over how to bring the project to fruition means they never take the leap of faith, and their photos must live their lives online, or worse still, locked up on a computer, rarely seen by anyone.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. Pro-oriented online photo sharing service PhotoShelter has cooperated with self-publishing company Blurb for the latest in its long-running series of educational guides, and this time around the topic is photo book publishing. (And not in the simplistic sense of getting a one-off book of your family photos, but rather of creating photo books that are intended for public sale.)


As with their past guides, you'll need to provide your email address to get access to the full 40-page PDF document, but we'd say that's well worthwhile. For one thing, PhotoShelter promises not to sell or redistribute email addresses collected in this way, and you can always unsubscribe later. For another, the guide is packed with useful tips and information on photo book publishing, from defining your goals, choosing your publishing method and creating the book itself to fundraising, marketing, sales and distribution.

And not just that, there are also profiles of five individuals -- conflict photographer Ron Haviv, newspaperman-turned-photographer Will Steacy, celebrity photographer Emily Shur, sports photographer Brad Mangin and lifestyle photographer Evan Joseph, all of whom have walked down the difficult road to photo book publication themselves. Each profile shares useful experiences and tips picked up along the way, giving you a chance to learn from the pros.

To get a free copy of The Photographer's Guide to Publishing Photo Books for yourself, visit the PhotoShelter website.