I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
It is very appreciable to being submit a project, to receive a nice proposal of publication but unfortunately the truth is that you, the publisher, haven’t been selected as a GOOD publisher, but you’re just on a “list of publisher”, where everyone on the list has receive the same project, the same dummy book or the same “copy-pasted” duplicate letter with a weblink.
The publishing decision is not always simple and fair.
As a young publisher, the choice is never easy and the decision to not publish an artist who contacted you is much more harder.
I wanna help.
A lot of photographer are watching publishers as book makers, full stop.
They send dummy books, more often PDF and even send you just an url sometimes, without knowing the process of selection or your editorial choices.
It should be the responsibility of the photographer to be aware and informed about what and why the publisher have approved artists or projects before. What is publisher’s mission, did he covers only this or these topics, is he opened to local only or international, and much more things…
This should avoid the sensitive moment of announcing the artist he has not been selected, even with the most polite and respectable communication possible. It’s not that the work is obviously bad, it’s a lot of elements; not fitting with the company’s objectives, the mission, the intended catalog of authors.
Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.
The help as a review, a recommendation or an open discussion around the work is often accepted, much more when it’s free, but is never better than a positive answer for publication.
Because all of this, i’ve decided to write an “photographer guide to publication” query, with a lot of advices and some easy rules for ease your connexion with publishers.
I will update this post with a download link as soon as it’s done.
If you can’t wait for the guide, there’s always a solution: self publication.
If you are confident enough, self-publication will show you the truth about your work, feedbacks could be more harsh and you won’t be able to take back the books widespread over the worldwide audience later, think about career and plan.
But if you’re good enough, it will open doors.
We’re proud at Bromide books to help some artists we believe in. On our webstore, you can find some self-published books from photographers we believe in. Daisuke Yokota, Bing Nv, Terry Xie… and probably more to come.
Keep an eye over here, the “Guide to photobook submission” is coming soon.
…And also i’m preparing a “guide to exhibition”, because there’s a lot to learn if you want to be exhibited. Self-check, which place to choose, how to make a contract, … Find out all this and more soon in this guide.
Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.
Download links available soon.