The changing face of self-publishing

I’ve written and published two books so far, Cyanotypes of Fabric in 2006 (yep, it really was that long ago) and Digital Imagery on Fabric in 2010. When these both came out the only real option, if you didn’t want to approach one of the main publishers, was to pay a LOT of money to have your book printed, tying up a lot of cash and giving you the problem of safely storing the books. Until you’ve seen 1000 books arrive it’s difficult to visualise just how much space these occupy!

I decided to revise my cyanotype book and duly did the work, adding some gorgeous new pieces by different textile artists, re-wording some sections, adding bits here and there and so on.

Now, one of the problems I came across with both the books was the sheer cost of getting physical books anywhere beyond the UK.  Getting books to potential stockists in the States, for instance, could add 50% to the cost of the books making it uneconomic. So, this time, I wanted to investigate all the options now open to me and boy have things changed in such a short time. The huge influx of tablets, smart phones and laptops has encouraged the emergence of e-books – I was aware of this but hadn’t realised that on-demand printing had also taken off in such a huge and accessible way. A lot of people still want a physical book in their hands so which way do you go?

So, I thought it might be useful if I documented some of the things I’ve found out along the way that might help other textile (or other) artists who would like to produce a book but are a bit daunted by things like ISBNs, e-books and file formats. So, watch this space …

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