Today is National Book Lovers Day

by | Aug 9, 2019

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

It’s National Book Lovers Day

Did you know that reading improves your memory, concentration and helps reduce stress, which is why each night I like to read a book in bed before falling asleep. Studies have show that older adults who spend time reading show a slower cognitive decline and tend to participate in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifetime. Books are both inexpensive entertainment and educational at the same time.

When it come to the world of publishing, I’ve noticed that many  photographers dream of accomplishing two things:

The first is being featured in National Geographic or maybe Playboy (although that latter option seems to be fading fast) and the second is showcasing their own photography in a book. I can’t help you with that first goal but can provide some insight into the second.

Let’s start at the beginning. I have a theory about the three reasons why people write photo books. They do it:

  • To become famous
  • To help people
  • To make money

The proportion of each of these particular motivations seem to vary depending on the particular author. As an aside, I once told a book publisher those three reasons and she asked, “who said that?” and my answer was “I did!” If you’re interested, my reason for writing all of the 37 books I’ve published so far is #2. 

How I made this shot: I photographed the always amazing Pam Simpson while she was laying on the floor in my home studio. Camera used was a Canon EOS 60D with EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 42mm) with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 100. Lighting was from a single Paul C Buff DigiBee with a Plume Wafer softbox attached.

In case you’re wondering, my most recent book is Posing for Portrait and Glamour Photography: Techniques for Digital Photographers. As I write this, copies are available from Amazon for $18.95 or used copies for $17.37 as I write this. If you’re a Prime member, the new book is cheaper. The original cover image is shown above right and provides a peek into how the photo book world operates because this was the first and only time that a book publisher ever picked a cover photograph that I liked.

Now the bad news: Unless you are very, very lucky, notice I didn’t sale talented, you probably won’t get rich writing a photo book or even get a chance to publish one. Everybody’s been almost everywhere and photographed just about everything. To book publishers this means who is making the photographs is more important than where they were made.

Unless you have hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube, Instagram or Twitter, the chance of having a photography book featuring your photographs of Yosemite or Monument Valley are slim but you’ll have a slightly better shot of having your work showcased in a how-to book. To publish a how-to book, you don’t need an agent and believe me finding an agent to accept you as a client is harder than finding a publisher for your first book. But in today’s publishing world having those hundreds of thousands of social media followers makes it easier for you to write a how-to book because most publishers don’t really want to market your book. They want you to do it.

The best place to get started with your book writing career is to pick up a copy of Writer’s Market 2019 and read it cover-to-cover and then work through it’s suggestions on getting published. The book includes of contacts in the publishing world along with tips on how to help sell them your book idea. This approach worked for me when I was getting started. If you are interested in some of my experiences or getting more tips about getting published, click the Contact button and let me know. If enough people are interested, I’ll do a follow-up post or two. 

In the meantime sit back, relax and read a book.

If you found today’s post to be useful and would like to treat me to a cup of Earl Grey tea ($2.50), please click here. And if you do, thanks so much.

Let me make a reading suggestion: Pick up a copy of Michael Freeman’s book Black & White Photography: The timeless art of monochrome in the post-digital age. Amazon is selling it for $16.37 new or only $5.77 used, as I write this. The Kindle version is just $3.99 for those preferring a digital format.