The Book & Blog

Self-Publishing Resources

Co-author Mary Virginia recently contributed to PDN’s May 2018 issue.  The issue, is all about photobook publishing, you can get a copy of the magazine at

You can download a PDF of the Self-Publishing Resources Mary Virginia compiled for the issue (as well as other great free resources) from her website, here.

November 14-16, Silver Spring, MD: Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair

Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair
November 14-16, 2014

“Our 13th biennial Book Arts Fair starts this Friday, November 14. This year’s theme, “Outside the Margin,” focuses on book art and contemporary prints that explore outer edges of the mediums. Our new venue in a former WWII factory enriches this motif. Outfitted for large-scale photoshoots, the eclectic Photogroup studio is next door to Denizens Brewing Co., Moorenko’s Ice Cream and a short walk to Pyramid Atlantic. See you at the Fair!”

Purchase tickets at

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center
8230 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland

INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks – Selected Photobooks

Mary Virginia Swanson, Darius Himes and Becky Senf at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Earlier this month, coauthors Mary Virginia Swanson and Darius Himes met at the Phoenix Art Museum to participate in the jurying process for the INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks.  The jurying was then completed by:

Abigail Nersesian, Librarian, Phoenix Art Museum
Jennifer Barnella, Retail Sales Manager, Phoenix Art Museum
Joshua Chuang, Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography
Becky Senf, Norton Family Curator, Center for Creative Photography and Phoenix Art Museum
Larissa Leclair, Founder, Indie Photobook Library.

“The jury reviewed 271 submissions from 15 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The exhibition represents the 151 books they chose, as examples of the wide range of photobooks being produced today.”

The exhibition will be on view, August 23 to September 28, 2014 at:

Phoenix Art Museum
Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography
NE corner of McDowell Road & Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Or, if you can’t make it to Phoenix to pore over the books in person, you can view them online by following the links in the list of accepted books at

Deadline September 15th: CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University | The Honickman Foundation
Call for Entries: CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

Deadline: Monday, September 15, 2014, 11:59 pm EDT
Entry Fee: $70

Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University and The Honickman Foundation (THF), based in Philadelphia, co-sponsor this prestigious biennial prize for American photographers. The only prize of its kind, the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography competition is open to North American and Canadian photographers of any age who have never published a book-length work and who use their cameras for creative exploration, whether it be of places, people, or communities; of the natural or social world; of beauty at large or the lack of it; of objective or subjective realities. The prize honors work that is visually compelling, that bears witness, and that has integrity of purpose.

Winners of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography receive a grant of $3,000, publication of a book of photography, and inclusion in a website devoted to presenting the work of the prizewinners. The winner will also be given a solo exhibit at the Center for Documentary Studies and the photographs will then be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts in Duke University’s Rubenstein Library.

Sandra S. Phillips
, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA, will judge the seventh biennial CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography competition in 2014.

Joshua Chuang, Chief Curator of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, will serve as panel judge for the selection committee that chooses the semifinalists and finalists for the prize.

For eligibility and how to enter, and to learn more about the prize visit

Deadline July 20: The Contemporary Photobook: New Perspectives in Publishing

Indie Photobook Library | Conveyor Arts
Call for Papers: The Contemporary Photobook: New Perspectives in Publishing

Deadline: Sunday, July 20, 2014

“Conveyor Arts is pleased to announce an open call for writing submissions, to be considered for the forthcoming publication The Contemporary Photobook: New Perspectives in Publishing, edited by Larissa Leclair, and published in collaboration with the Indie Photobook Library.

This collection of essays will discuss the current state of the photobook in historical context, specifically focusing on the rise of independent and self-published imprints and their role in reshaping the publishing paradigm.

Essays – The Following Topics Are Encouraged

I.  Essays addressing the current state of the independent and self-publishing movement from curators, historians, critics, collectors, designers, printers, booksellers, and other relevant participants who can provide insight into the multifaceted world of the photobook.

II.  Essays discussing the influence of past movements on trends and happenings in a contemporary photobook scene in terms of subject matter, formal considerations, means of production, sources of distribution, and so on.

III.  Essays discussing the overlap and schisms between the traditional artist book community and the photobook community.

IV.  Essays discussing the complexities of the self-publishing movement, including the positive and negative aspects, for artists, publishers and photobook community.

V.  Case studies addressing current happenings in photobooks worldwide. This includes submissions that highlight a current photobook scene in a specific country, region or community.”

For the full prospectus and to apply visit:

Save the Date: NY ART BOOK FAIR 2014 Dates Announced & Exhibitor Applications Now Open

NY Art Book Fair 2014
Presented by Printed Matter, Inc
September 26-28, 2014
Opening Thursday, September 25

“Applications are now open for the NY ART BOOK FAIR 2014! For the ninth edition of Printed Matter’s NY ART BOOK FAIR, we will return to MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, from September 26th through 28th, 2014.

To apply as an exhibitor, please visit and click the application link at the top of the page. Applications will close on June 30th, 2014. We will start to allocate booths as early as June 15, so please don’t delay!”

How the Cover Evolved

For the record, I thought I’d put together a little history of how the cover for Publish Your Photography Book came about.

The first preliminary sketches for the cover design happened very early in the process, and were done in response to the need for something to go in the Princeton Architectural Press Spring 2011 catalog. Of course, that was being printed in summer of 2010, if I remember correctly. Mary Virginia and I were deep in the process of writing the book, and a few ideas got tossed about. We sent these off to Princeton Architectural Press, who used the 3rd one (below) in the catalog, but we felt like we needed to keep pushing the idea. (That’s how this 3rd design ended up on the website, and on Amazon for awhile.)









As Mary Virginia and I got closer to finishing the manuscript, Masumi Shibata and I began the process of photographing the various books that were to be featured. We’d set up a temporary shooting studio in one of the empty rooms in the Skolkin+Chickey offices. It consisted of 2 lights, a roll of paper and a card table. I had my tripod and Masumi brought his camera.

We needed to come up with some visuals for the chapter breaks. We had a stack of bulking dummies around the office from all of the books that were being worked on.(A bulking dummy is an unprinted, bound version of a book, made from the paper and cover materials you’ve decided on. A printer will provide this as a visual; it’s a chance to see the object before you’ve started printing.)

The bulking dummies were in all different sizes and shapes, but completely blank and wrapped in white paper boards and/or white dustjackets. They’re like the Platonic Ideal of a book. I thought we could photograph them in ways that would be perfect for the chapter delineations.

Blank book stack RGB

_DSC0139 v2


Masumi was the photographer, and I was sort-of the art director for these shoots. At one point I suggested photographing one of the bulking dummies with me holding it. I held it in front of my chest, in my lap, etc. It didn’t quite work. Then I held it off to the side, against the white back-drop. That worked, on some level.




David Chickey was the designer for the book, and between the 3 of us, with our proclivity for total minimal design (see Kenya Hara on design), we came up with a very austere cover treatment. It was perfect! Crisp, clean, and glowing with un-perturbed white space.

PYPB cover v2.indd


 PYPB cover v2



But Princeton Architectural Press, with their publishing wisdom, knew that this was too much like a non-descript Donald Judd sculpture, and wouldn’t help the book to sell copies. So they asked for some color. In the offices, there was a bookshelf that acted as a wall between the small kitchen area and the conference table where design meetings happened. I’d been gathering books there for a couple years, and had been bringing in copies of things for the book. It was virtually full, and I thought, maybe we could shoot me holding the book off to the side in front of this shelf. We tried it, and it looked great.

Back in the Santa Fe offices, we were all still under the spell of our perfectly white and austere book cover that we’d dreamed up earlier. So we sent off some ideas to PAPress, all of which were quite subdued. (In the first example, Masumi outlined the books on the shelves and we treated the background as an illustration. You can see the evolution from there.)


PYPB cover samples 30

PYPB cover samples 4


PYPB cover samples 5

PYPB cover samples 6


I had loosely styled the shelves for this shoot, without too much thought. We didn’t know if PAPress would go for the idea, so I hadn’t invested too much time in how the shelves looked. They loved the last treatment, in full color. We replied that we’d clean it up and send a more refined approach. I wanted it to read as a very casual, found arrangement; in fact almost all of the books that were being featured in our book were present on those shelves, along with a healthy dose of books by people that I admired, friends and colleagues alike. (It was my way to give a shout-out to all sorts of people.)

Here’s the untouched, un-Photoshopped single-frame take. My hand is literally holding that book in front of that shelf. We didn’t do it with layers (though we thought about it) or multiple stitched frames. Below that is the cropped version that would become the final cover. And below that is the back cover, which maintains the spirit of our austere first-stab attempts at a cover. The Platonic Ideal still sits there proudly, a tabula rasa that every photographer projects his desire for a book onto. It became the perfect blank slate for some back cover quotes from a few VIPs in the field.

The rest is history, as they say.

—Darius, 2014






_DSC00231 2


Publish Your Photography Book - cover


PYPB cover final final

And now the 2nd edition is out!

Publish Your Photography Book - 2nd Edition

Publishing Industry Events

BookExpo America . . . . . . . . .

Digital Book World . . . . . . . . .

DIY Book Festival, Los Angeles . . . . . . . . .

idpf Digital Book (held annually prior to BEA) . . . . . . . . .

Tools of Change for Publishing Conference . . . . . . . . .

Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS). . . . . . . . .

Photobook Festivals Worldwide

Atlanta Celebrates Photography – Photobook Fair . . . . . . . . .

Art Book Fair Basel “I never read” . . . . . . .

C/O Berlin Bookdays. . . . . . . . .

Editions/Artists’ Books Fair. . . . . . . . .

European Publishers Award for Photography . . . . . . . . .

Festival of Light . . . . . . . . .

Frankfurt Book Fair . . . . . . . . .

International Photobook Festival, Kassel, Germany. . . . . . . . .

Fotobuch-tage, Photobook Days, Hamburg, Germany . . . . . . . . .

Dusseldorf Photobook Salon. . . . . . . . .

Independent Photography Festival . . . . . . . . .

Independent Publishers and Artzine Fair. . . . . . . . .

The Independent and Small Press Book Fair . . . . . . . . .

The Kasseler Photobook-Festival . . . . . . . . .

LA Art Book Fair . . . . . . . . .

London Art Book Fair . . . . . . . . .

London Book Festival. . . . . . . . .

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes . . . . . . . . .

The New York Photo Festival Awards . . . . . . . . .

The NY Art Book Fair . . . . . . . . .

Offprint Paris – Art Publishing Fair . . . . . . . . .

Photo Ireland – Books & Magazine Fair . . . . . . . . .

The Rencontres d’Arles . . . . . . . . .

Tokyo Art Book Fair . . . . . . . . .

Vienna Photobook Festival . . . . . . . . .

photo-eye: The Best Books of 2012

photo-eye: The Best Books of 2012

“photo-eye is happy to present our Best Books of 2012. This is the time of year when nearly every publication comes out with at least one year-end list. Some people love them, some hate them, and their value is nearly always up for debate, yet they seem irresistibly interesting. What we strive for with our list is a little different from most, and this year we thought we’d clarify our process.”  Click here to read the full article and to see the extensive list of books.