Self-Publishing A Photo Book as a Marketing Tool

When your publisher doesn't it yourself!

Self-publishing books, thanks to the Internet and computer technology, has never been easier. But this is no vanity press: If you have professional aspirations, self-publishing is a solid marketing tool.


Sometimes a publisher simply doesn’t understand your original idea and after you self-publish your book you might consider sending a copy to a traditional publisher and see if they want to reconsider. One of the many, many publishers who turned down my book on photographing cars is reconsidering that decision after I sent them a copy of my self-published How I Photograph Cars. It would be nice if they decided to publish it, but the book is available now regardless of what their decision might be.



The self-published book How I Photograph Cars features an Introduction by Brian Berk who interviewed me for Studio Photography magazine. The 80-page book features more than 100 photographs of classic, sports, and racing cars along with tips, tricks, and techniques for photographing cars at a Concours d’Elegance or racing at more than 100 miles per hour. It includes a section called “Insiders Tips on Photographing Cars” as well as step-by-step sequences showing how I create special effects using Adobe Photoshop. ©2008 Joe Farace

The number one reason for self-publishing your next photography book is that you can. Self-publishing has always been an option for photographers but has also been expensive. Modern “print on demand” technologies have freed writers and photographers from the stranglehold traditional publishers have on the photography book market. Websites such as,,, let you publish as few as one copy of your book and make it available for purchase their on-line bookstore.

Just as with traditional publishing, it is also highly unlikely that you will get rich publishing your photo book via Blurb (or any other similar site) but you may be able to make a few bucks and have the satisfaction of seeing your work in print. Starting tomorrow, I will show you how I used Blurb’s free BookSmart software to produce three different books. The process was remarkably pain-free and fun.

Joe Farace is the author of “How I Photograph Cars,” which is self-published via Visit their website and search the Bookstore under “Farace” to order a copy. Softcover copies are $19.95 plus shipping.



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