How to Self-publish?


Today, a lot of photographers are self-publishing their books. Is this a more viable option than approaching publishers?

Answer by: David de Souza, Photographer and Educator

Initially, no mainstream publishing house was interested, despite due diligence from my side. In the old days, self-publishing was called “vanity press”, but vanity notwithstanding, I felt that I wanted to get the book out to the public, and therefore contemplated doing it myself.

It is always better if someone else publishes and pays for publishing, printing, marketing, and distribution. They have the network, but mainstream publishers have a return on investment strictures that they abide by. If you aren’t a famous photographer guaranteed of selling, they will not be interested in publishing your work, especially since photo books are expensive, to begin with.

But it is only when that fails, or more importantly, if the publisher’s and your vision for the book don’t coincide, that you should look for other options, self-publishing
being one. It is eminently possible to do this now, in the age of digital printing.

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Better Photography.