A Pro Photographer's Guide To Self-Publishing Photobooks

Self-publishing a photo book can be a daunting endeavor. In this video from The Photographic Eye, hear from photographers who have self-published with minimal upfront costs and even turned a profit.

If you'd like to know how to self-publish and sell photo books without spending your own money, this video includes an interview with British documentary photographer Edward Thompson.

Thompson is an accomplished British photographer who covers environmental issues among other topics. His resume is impressive, including lecturing and appearances at the prestigious V&A Museum in London.

Over the years, Thompson shot a number of long-term photographic projects, initially without the intention of publishing photo books. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that he began looking through and cataloging his extensive body of work.

Many publishers require a large upfront lump sum to print a short run of photo books - often out of reach for photographers looking to publish personal projects. Crowdfunding gave Thompson the ability to offer pre-orders for his books without any upfront costs coming out of pocket.

Zines are another self-publishing option without the burden of high costs. Shorter print runs of less than 100 copies can get off the ground for less than £100 - a great way to recoup expenses with a smaller commitment.

The conversation develops interestingly from there, with insight that should have viewers taking notes and finding inspiration to get their own work published.

Kim Simpson's picture

Kim Simpson is a photographer based in the West of Scotland. Her photographic practice is an exploration of the human experience, with a particular emphasis on themes of identity and belonging.

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You can go with Blurb or Amazon and have no upfront costs. One of my social media friends has published appx 18 books on Amazon and made close to $500,000. USD.

Glad to hear of someones success. Is that hard copy photobooks? E-books?