How do you start a photo book business that funds your adventures, travel and lifestyle?

I know this is huge topic to cover but I will just start – adding to it as I go.

I went to this Blurb supported, inspiring photo book seminar in Melbourne with Dan Milnor – and at the end of the seminar all these groovy, self published photo books were displayed on the table.

I looked at them and thought, I could do this.

And if I can do it – then you can do it too.

The idea of publishing a photo book blows my brain. It’s like a natural, evolutionary step for photographers — even if you’ve shot the barest portfolio of images.

photo book business - example book cover
My current Long Lost Photos of South Thailand book cover


Hmmm. Photo Books?

Of course when you start delving into publishing books a whole lot of questions get in the way:

  • Can you make a photo book business out of it?
  • Can you make a recurring income from these books?
  • What do photo books cost?
  • What photo book printing service is the best?
  • What photos will you use?
  • How can you find out how to do it easily?
  • How do you start your photo book?

We’ll attempt to answer most of these!

I’d heard about Lulu, BookSmart, and Apple (using iPhoto), and heard of Print On Demand (POD) – although I’m sure there’s more. The thing is, POD sort of sounds like more what you would use for publishing a novel.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

But then again, I guess publishing a photo based book would be something you’d print on demand.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about self-publishing authors and Print On Demand:

POD fuels a new category of publishing (or printing) company that offers services directly to authors who wish to self-publish. These services include printing and shipping a book each time one is ordered, handling royalties and getting listings in online bookstores. The initial investment for POD services is usually less expensive for small quantities of books when compared with self-publishing.

There is a huge cool factor to publishing your own photo books and/or POD: You get your photo book to the market much quicker, update and revise your content, earn more royalties than with traditional publishing and be your own boss (editorial independence).

So let’s have a look at the options on hand.

Blurb Photo Book Seminar Notes

Here’s some notes I scribbled down at the Blurb seminar that might help:

photo book business ideas

Voilå, my messy, scribbled ideas. (You could take notes all day). Somewhere in there the points were:

  • Make a body of photos / work (specifically for a photo book)
  • A photo book is your story
  • What is the goal of your photo book?
  • You just need enough pictures to tell the story
  • Sequencing controls the flow of the book (and creates drama)

I think the best way to do this is to just jump in head first.

I’m going to do this by documenting, step by step, how I create my own photo book.

Read more on page 2…

Martin Hurley
Martin Hurley

I photograph cool stuff, travel heaps, throw my hand in with art t-shirts, photo books & stock photography + help photographers who hunger for independent financial freedom to make sh$t happen. / Blog / / Instagram / Twenty20 / Hurley Photos

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