If you’re an artist, you may have thought about self-publishing an art book. A book showcasing your work is a wonderful alternative to a standard portfolio. Art book self publishing allows you to take full control of the book’s creative content, design, and marketing. Who should publish one?
- Jewelry designers
- Textile designers
- Anyone who produces visual art
7 Reasons to Self-Publish Your Art Book
1. Avoid the limitations of commercial publishing
Getting art books published commercially is extremely difficult. A few small publishers specialize in art, photography, and other related topics. Major publishing companies might have a small imprint that produces similar books. These opportunities are limited, especially for an artist who’s not well known.
If you get a contract with a commercial publisher, you may have to wait a year or more before the book appears in print. You will lose control of the content, marketing, and design of your book. With art book self publishing, you have full control of your book.
2. Art is now online
The internet has touched every aspect of our lives. The ability to reach a global audience from your laptop extends to artists and art buyers. In the past decade, buying art from the internet has become commonplace. Virtual galleries have become a new marketplace for people who want to buy art directly from the people who create it. Artists have discovered they can display their work through websites and online portfolios.
3. Specialty runs are an artistic tradition
Small runs of special print products are an artistic tradition. There have always been people who want to buy limited editions of an artist’s etchings, engravings, photographs, and paintings. The whole edition is printed, numbered, signed, and sold in small quantities. These special editions appeal to art lovers who want better quality than what is available in prints or posters and are willing to pay for it. In the past, this market in special editions was limited to a few select publishers or imprints. With self-publishing, you can issue similar special editions to your select buyers.
4. Print quality is better than ever
Printing has increased in quality, and today’s printers use digital images to create vivid reproductions. True color resolution, endless paper choices, and total customization all mean you can easily create a book that meets all your expectations. You don’t have to sacrifice quality when you self-publish your art book.
5. Print-on-demand is a new way
You no longer have to wait for a commercial publisher to decide how big a print run your book deserves. With print-on-demand (POD), you can order a small print run at any time. You won’t waste money printing too many books, and you can print books when you need them for sales, conferences, and special events. Since POD is fast and affordable, you can control when and where you want books printed.
6. There are fewer art galleries
Galleries used to be the accepted way for artists and buyers to find each other. While galleries and art dealers still play a significant role in the art market, they are no longer the only way for artists to find people interested in their work. Artists can now promote themselves directly to their customers without the need for dealers or galleries. They can have more control over the promotion and marketing of their work with art book self publishing.
7. You can make more money
Selling your book directly to art buyers cuts out the go-between. You’ll keep any profits yourself instead of splitting them with a dealer, gallery, or publisher.
Art Book Self Publishing Puts You In Control
Get control of your art, your ability to reach customers, and the way you promote yourself. Self-publishing your book will require work and time, but the results will pay off. Our tips for getting your book self-published walk you through the process of getting it written and printed.
Get Inspired by Other Art Books
One of the best ways to get inspired and find ideas is to read other art books. Look at the way the book is laid out, how much text there is in relation to pictures, and the quality of the printing. You can find art books in special libraries, bookstores, or art galleries. If you know artists who have published art books, ask them to see their books.
You can also look at so-called coffee table books, which are large books filled with beautiful images or illustrations. While coffee table books are aimed at general readers and not art buyers, they are designed to be visually appealing. They can give you ideas for subject matter, layout, and cover design.
Select the Artwork
One of the most important parts of the process is selecting your artwork. Choose works that you think best define you.
If you must photograph your work, use a professional photographer. You want your pieces to look their best, and you want to deliver high-quality images to your printer. It costs more, but the results are worth it.
Organize with a Theme
You should have a theme for your book. This will make it easier to select the right works to include. It also makes it easy for readers to understand what your book is about. That theme can be anything. Your book could be focused on a particular season, emotion, social situation, or personal event in your life. Doing this will help you organize your book during the planning stage and present a cohesive, integrated design.
Choose the Best
It seems obvious, but always keep in mind that you only want to show off the best work you’ve done. It’s best to stick with work that is only a year or two old unless you’re creating a retrospective. Buyers want to see the latest and most innovative pieces. If you think something must be in there—for instance, it was a piece that won an award or stands for a major turning point in your work—include it with a brief explanation.
Create an Outline
Every book author needs an outline, and that’s also the case with art book self publishing. Without an outline, it’s easy to get distracted by irrelevant facts and detours. You should think about the following when you write your plan:
- How many sections will the book have?
- Does each section get its own title?
- How much text do you need to create a good balance with the visual material?
- Who will write the text?
- How much white space should each page have?
- How many pictures will go on each page?
- Who will write the foreword, introduction, and back of the book matter?
- Where will the copyright and acknowledgments go?
Your plan should also include a timeline and schedule. According to most first-time writers we’ve worked with, it can take six months to a year to produce a book. You’re working with pictures rather than text, so it may be a faster process. Give yourself a deadline, and do your best to stick to it.
Design the Layout
After the artwork, the layout is the most important part of your art book. You want a layout and design that make your works stand out. You also want the book to be easy and enjoyable for people to read. Because the layout is so important, we strongly recommend hiring a graphic artist to do it for you. A professional designer can help you choose the amount of white space, suggest text fonts, place the images in an eye-catching way, and help you create a beautifully balanced book.
Write the Text—or Get It Written
While an art book is mostly about pictures, it also needs a story. Think back to the theme of your book. Can you tell a story about this theme that will keep readers turning the pages? Do you have stories or experiences to share about each piece that a reader will find intriguing? If you’re not a gifted writer, ask around your social circle. Artists and writers often spend time in the same social circles. You may already know someone who’d be perfect to write your book.
Design the Cover
All books need great covers. With an art book, the cover is even more important. You could choose one of your pieces for the cover. As a visual artist, you know how to create arresting images. Today’s book cover designs feature large fonts with unusual treatments and vivid colors. Use these trends to develop a cover worthy of your book.
Get It Professionally Printed
The final step is to find a printer. The right printer is a helpful, patient, guide who understands art and artists. If you choose a large, commercial printing company, your book won’t get the personal attention it deserves. Choose a printer who will treat your book with care and work with you to get it right.
At Dazzle Printing, we specialize in working with first-time writers and others who have never published before. Our customer reviews routinely highlight our stellar customer service, personal touch, and affordable rates. If you’re ready to get your art book published, check out our online pricing calculators.