Ciociaria > Photobook publisher connection

Fuiggi, December 2010 copyright Douglas Stockdale

For my project Ciociaria and the subsequent book publisher connection with Marco Delogu, the publisher behind Edizioni Punctum, it may well be of a case of how one thing developed into another to arrive at my Fall publication of Douglas Stockdale Ciociaria.

Earlier I have shared how the project Ciociaria came to be, but as this project was developing, I was also working my day job assignments and publishing my reviews of photobooks.  So during my travels, in addition to taking in a photo gallery exhibition, I also network with other photographers and photobook publishers, and usually the emphasis on the latter.

Since I know that my photographic projects will eventually be published as  book, either self published or with a traditional publisher, I have been assessing which book publishers might have an interest aligned with my various photo projects. Since I am a mid-career photographer without an exhibition presence in the galleries and secondary photography market, I realize that my photographic projects could be very risky for a large publication house.  But perhaps my projects might be very attractive to a small specialized photobook publisher. So I maintain a sort of short list of potential publishers who design and develop very well made books, and as you might suspect, Edizioni Punctum has been on that list for a very long time.

The actual opportunity to meet Marco was provided by Melanie McWhortner, photobook manager at photo-eye. Both Marco and I had provided our list for to the photo-eye 2009 Best of the Year photobooks, and when Melanie realized that I was in and out of Rome where Marco’s studio was located, she provided me with a nice introduction to Marco.  On my next trip to Rome, I met Marco and when our mutual schedules permit, we arrange to discuss photobooks over an espresso. During these discussions, I find out about his new and pending publications and I was keeping him up to date on my projects, which included progress on Ciociaria.

Over the past year discussing photobooks with Marco, I found myself in sync with his publishing style and the other photographers work he was publishing; the photographer-flauner (e.g. Guy Tillim and Tod Papageorge), Italy based projects, the photographer as an active participant in the book design and layout, creative, high quality Italian press and bindery work and whose books are highly respected in the photographic community.

So when I mentioned to Marco that I was getting to a critical mass in my Ciociaria project, he asked to see three or four of my photographs and my artistic statement. I was very happy to oblige, but this brought on a small case of angst as to which three or four photographs? I have been photographing this project, but I had not started the editing process to distill them into a book dummy, although I had developed the conceptual framework for the project which was in a state of continuing refinement. I was able to quickly develop my concept into a nice artistic statemet, which can be read in this recent post

As projects go, I had been setting aside some photographs that I knew were going to be “keepers”, so I wanted to test a few these images with some friends first, which in my case was presenting these photographs at our monthly Photographers Exchange meeting at the Irvine Fine Art Center. I wanted to gage the reactions and observe these photographs in a context other than just in my studio.  Of the five photographs that I had brought to the Photographers Exchange meeting, I selected a diverse set of four photographs (my potential candidates) and emailed them, along with my artistic statement, to Marco. As is the norm for Marco, the response was quick and to the point, and in this case, he wanted to publish the book. Very nice!

On my next visit to Rome, we quickly determined which book concept to use, including trim size, binding, potential page count, photographic layout and margins, languages for the text, and possible options for a limited edition book with print.

Then I realized that I had to initiate my editing and reduce the large quantity of potential photographs into a much smaller cohesive group and start working on my book dummy. I had moved from concept development into editing and design, which I already know, was not going to be easy. Nevertheless, I was now into phase II of this project. Really nice!

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