I’ve noted that information about independently produced photo books and zines (publications by small publishers or self-published work that is not available via Amazon.com or chain book shops) is often hard to come by. When I go to shops specializing in photo books - such as Dashwood in NYC - the sheer number of such publications I have never heard about always makes me a little sad, because I know there are so many publications I never heard about.
This situation is very similar to the one I was in almost eight years ago when I started to look for photography online. Of course, that means that the solution to this problem is obvious: There just needs to be a blog that lists independently produced photo books or zines. Enters The Independent Photo Book, a blog I started with Hester of Mrs Deane fame.
The idea behind The Independent Photo Book is simple: You email us the information about your independent photo book or zine - following the guide lines outlined on the blog - and we’ll create a post with the information about it. No selection - we post whatever we get, as long as it’s an independent photo book or magazine.
Let me stress that the idea behind the blog is to allow people to not only find out about the book/zine, but also to buy it. So if your book/zine can’t be bought, we won’t list it. And of course it’s great if your book or zine can be bought at Walter’s Mom and Pop Bookshop in St. Middleofnowhere, but that doesn’t help anyone - so you need to send us the link to a page where people can buy the book online.
So the idea behind The Independent Photo Book is not only to advertize independently produced photo books and zines, but also to let people know where/how to get them. In other words, if someone sees a book or zine s/he likes it has to take that person only a couple of mouse clicks to order it.
Of course, both Hester and I are very busy, but we’ll do our best to list books/zines as they come in (so if you stick with our specifications you’ll be saving us time and work). But at times, a little of patience might be needed.
Also, there are probably a zillion things that can be improved, but Hester and I thought it’s important to get the ball rolling, and then we take it from there. Be a bit patient, and in no time there’ll be a great place to look for all those photo books and zines you didn’t even know they existed.
Update (7 Jan 2010): It’s probably important to make this clear - the new blog is centered on solving some of the distribution problems that independent book/zine publishers have. That’s why publications that can be bought on Amazon or in regular book shops are excluded, and that’s also why books that can be bought via Blurb’s shop will not be listed. But if you print your own book (or have it printed) and then have boxes of them in your home, trying to get them out - that’s the situation The Independent Photo Book is intended to address. Of course, we’ll see how this all works out, at this stage, nothing has been finalized, yet.
Update (8 Jan 2010): As you can see, there already are various books listed, all of which you can buy - and some were already bought (as we were told). So if you have an independently produced book or zine to sell send in your info!