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Online publishers for your artist books

Here’s a list of publishers who will do small runs (even just one copy, some of them). It’s like self-publishing without the huge cash outlay of having to have 10,000 copies printed…and pay for all of them yourself. This form of printing is called Print on Demand (POD), and many artists are using these services to produce books of their work.

I’d love to hear from anyone who’s actually used any of these companies: were you pleased? Were you treated well? How were the images? Did you have a lot of freedom to select what you wanted?

A collaborative art project that I was involved with recently, Ties That Bind, produced a book this way, using Blurb. I bought a copy of the resulting book, shown above, and I plan to buy more. Our mission was to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research (my Mom is a survivor), and all the profit from the sale of this book goes towards that cause. I am very impressed with the quality of the resulting book.

EditionOne Studios

Disclaimer: I have not personally used any of these publishers. I believe that in all cases, you retain complete copyright to your materials; these companies are just printers. I cannot personally vouch for the professionalism or quality of the experience you will have working with them! Buyer beware :-)

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Kathleen said…
Thanks for posting those links! My daughter and I are working on a book and we are considering self publishing. It sounds like a good option for our needs.
Cyndi L said…
Now *that* sounds like a great project! You could get copies for gifts or just for yourselves, or you could even sell some if you wanted to. There are so many options with POD.
Jenn Klee said…
I made a book last year using Snapfish, since most of my art has been traded all over the world I thought it would be a good idea to have it all together so I can still look back in my progress during a year.
I was very satisfied with the quality of the product and it was pretty easy to figure out how to upload and put together the book in a pleasing way; my only suggestion would be to work on it little by little as it can get to be overwhelming and sometimes a bit tedious. I have actually started preparing a new book for my art in 2009, I just add my pictures as soon as I scan them or photograph them to avoid those extra long sessions sitting in front of the pc.
Seth said…
What a great list. Thanks for sharing!!
Cyndi L said…
Thank you for that recommendation, Jenn! That's a good feature, to be able to work on it over time.
I had a book picked up by a major publisher that never went to print. I sold them the rights so it will never see the light of day. At least I got paid; but what a disappointment.

I am saving these links and ideas for the future. Thanks, Cyndi!
Cyndi L said…
Oh Eileen! How heartbreaking that must have been. I know that even articles I write feel somewhat like, well maybe my pets, not quite my children. It's always been my desire to end up authoring a book, but maybe sometimes it's good to NOT get what you want.
Eileen said…
Thanks Cyndi. Like I said, at least I got paid. And it was a lesson worth learning. ;-)
Cyndi L said…
Good attitude! You're positive as always :-)
Margot Potter said…
Great resource! Thanks Cyndi!

Eileen, you should be able to buy your book back and in your contract there should be a clause for the book rights to be reverted back to you if the book isn't in print after a certain time period. Are you sure you can't get your book back? I think you may be able to with the help of a lawyer.

Cyndi L said…
Thanks Madge! I'll make sure Eileen sees this.
Thanks so much, Madge!

I will definitely look into this.
~drew emborsky~ said…
I've used Lulu for years now and love it. They are so totally author focussed there. Thanks for the other links too!
Cyndi L said…
Thank you, Drew! It's interesting that everyone who's weighed in so far has been happy with the publisher that they picked...that's a good sign, I think :-)