A new type of art e-book by Israeli photographer Angelika Sher can be downloaded free from Apple’s app store. Because innovative hipix® technology was used to create the ebook, iPad users can view and navigate the 65 images in the book at the highest possible resolution.
Developed by Pervasent Consulting, the photo art book includes two gigapixels of full-resolution images. Single images that exceed 100 megapixels are displayed in fraction of a second.
Created by Human Monitoring Ltd., hipix® is a compression and rich image format technology that uses ubiquitous video support to create and display still images. It alleviates some of the challenges associated with publishing image-rich content in a compact app.
By compressing files far more effectively than prevailing technology, hipix keeps app sizes reasonable while enabling highly responsive and immaculate display of ultra-high image resolutions. The download size of the Angelika Sher art book is about 25 MB.
Tap any of the images in the book to get a full resolution view. Tap again to return to album view.
“For the first time, I could wholeheartedly share pictures over the digital medium, knowing that the full level of detail is available to the viewer”, said photographic artist Angelika Sher. “The production of hipix® based books or magazines is a fast and simple, low-cost process of enhancing existing PDF based material with the original high resolution images, bypassing the need for a costly redesign.”
In addition to art books, the process is well suited for digital photo albums, catalogues and brochures.
“The resulting application is powerful, yet compact, bringing out the true quality of the original material without the penalties of a large download.” says Ira Dvir, co-inventor of hipix®.
The app development company Pervasent Consulting has delivered hundreds of mobile applications to Apple’s App Store, including custom consumer apps and apps for restaurants, mobile publishing, and enterprises. They also have expertise in mobile application development for Android devices.
PHOTOGRAPHERS. Here’s a terrific example of how a creative entrepreneur has identified new photography-related consumer needs and developed services to fulfill them.
KromePhotos.com, a digital photo enhancement service based in Silicon Valley, California has launched Krome Photo Books, a personalized photo-book design service designed to make it as easy as possible for more consumers to create great-looking photo books. The service is based on research that shows about 60 percent of people who start creating a photo book never finish it.
Instead of requiring consumers to use photo-enhancement and book-layout tools to design their own books, KromePhotos.com puts professional photo editors and photo book designers right at the consumer’s fingertips. The dashboard on KromePhotos.com enables consumers to upload collections of photos so a Krome professional photo book designer can handle the rest of the process. Uploaded photos can be sorted, enhanced, and laid out into a photo book in less than 72 hours. All the customer has to do is preview the book design online, provide feedback for adjustments, and place their order.
“Consumers don’t have a lot of time these days so they have all these great photo memories stuck in their computer,” said Eduardo Llach, Founder and CEO of KromePhotos.com. “We want consumers to get the book they have always wanted quickly and easily.”
“Our books are better because of our human touch”, Llach adds. “Our photo book designers take the time to review each customer’s collection of photos and tell the customer’s story the way it was meant to be told, with thoughtfulness and care.”
Llach, a serial entrepreneur, founded KromePhotos.com in 2010 after recognizing that today’s consumers have too many photos and no time to sort and manage them. The KromePhotos.com service began with a focus on bringing photos to life with help from a professional photo editor. From there, KromePhotos.com extended its services to include options to retouch important photos. The new book-design service bridges the gap between shooting images and completing photo books.
PHOTOGRAPHERS. Publishing photo books can be a wonderful way to show your work to more people. As HP Pro Photography blogger Wayne Cosshall observes: “Compared to exhibition prints, photo books are readily usable, inexpensive, and can be widely distributed.” In terms of the type of photo book you might want to produce, you have more options than ever.
If your goal is to present your art to specific audiences, or to show your photographs in a finely crafted book, check out the independent-publishing services that the A&I Books division of A&I Studios in Hollywood, California offers in partnership with Great Circle Books.
The publishing experts at the boutique publishing imprint Great Circle Books can provide whatever level of support you might need to help set your book apart from most self-published books. Their goal is to help you maximize the value and impact of your print-on-demand book.
“Our publishing services could include anything from very basic proofing all the way up to advice on how to market and publicize the book,” explains Rex Weiner, editor-in-chief at Great Circle Books and head of publishing for A&I Books. You can get the benefit of designers, experienced editors, an all of the auxiliary services that contribute to the success of a traditionally published book.” As an independent publisher, you retain the copyright and full control over the contents and look of your finished book.
Specific services include:
Conceptual strategy to help focus your theme and explore marketing opportunities and publicity potential.
Image selection and sequencing to show your work to its best advantage.
Copy editing of your biography, introduction, and captions.
Editorial writing of bios or opening essays that talk about the aesthetics of your work or place it in historical context.
Proofreading to avoid misspellings, dropped words, or incorrect cross-references.
ISBN-number-registration for commercial distribution of your work to bookstores or libraries.
You can choose an ISBN number registration that identifies your publisher as A&I Books, Great Circle Books, or your own imprint.
A&I’s indie publishing services start with a free half-hour consultation, so you can consider ideas that might not have occurred to you. Some recommendations will depend on what you are trying to achieve with the book.
Weiner says some photographers use print-on-demand publishing to create a prototype book that can help them land a deal with a mainstream publisher. Others choose to produce 32-page softcover gallery exhibition books to fill the middle ground between a show catalog and coffeetable book.
“Some photographers and artists produce higher quantities of softcover books for sale to consumers, and limited-edition hardcover books that can be numbered, signed, and sold as collectible items,” says Weiner.
One benefit of print-on-demand book publishing is that the first book can be used as a proof book. Take it home, pass it around, let others make suggestions, then return to A&I Studios. After you make the suggested adjustments, you can then make multiple copies as needed.
Like many photo labs and commercial printing services, A&I Studios use HP Indigo digital presses to produce the photo books. But A&I takes pride in doing all of their printing and most of their bookbinding in house.
“A&I customers know that when they return for additional copies of a book, they can expect the quality to be consistent from one book to the next,” explains Weiner. This may not always be the case with photo-book publishers who outsource their printing and binding to different suppliers.
A&I can also help you design and produce custom books with case binding, fine-finished covers in a variety of leathers and materials, saddle stitching, foil stamping, or embossing and debossing, and other effects. Custom books are available in sizes up to 11 x 17 inches.
Legacy Photo Lab
Another thing that differentiates A&I Studios from other photo-book publishers is their long history of working with photographers.
“We’re a legacy photo lab. We come from the world of photography. We don’t regard ourselves as just another print shop,” says Weiner. “When we do a photography book, we look at it from the point of view of photographers. Our fearless leader Baret Lepejian grew up working in the darkroom with his father Isgo Lepejian, who was one of the top photography printers in Hollywood.”
While Baret Lepejian helped their staff make the transition to the digital age, Weiner says, “He encouraged us to preserve the intimate exchanges that occur when a photographer wants to express his or her vision on the printed page. It’s very personal to each photographer and artist, and we take their needs seriously. We believe in the process as much as the result.”
Veronica Thomas, A&I’s director of marketing and business development, says that, “Our Indigo press operators are wonderful. They are artists themselves, and play that machine line a violin.”
The quality of books produced by A&I Books was confirmed in a test conducted by the New York Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers. When they submitted an identical “test book” to 18 different print-on-demand publishers of photo books, the book produced by A&I Studios received the highest average score from the dozens of professionals who judged the quality of the 18 books without knowing which company produced them.
PHOTOGRAPHERS. DESIGNERS. A new market-research report from InfoTrends seems to suggest that professional photographers who can help make it easier for consumers to convert images into attractively designed books, posters, collages, and other projects can develop additional sources of revenues.
In the report entitled, “U.S. Consumer Photo Merchandise Market Forecast: 2010-2015,” InfoTrends projects that the photo merchandise market can grow substantially, reaching $2.2 billion in revenues by 2015.
They group photo merchandise in four categories:
Photo greeting cards
Specialty photo items
Specialty photo items include enlargements greater than 8 x 10 inches, posters, framed photo prints, photo collages, and fine-art photo prints on canvas.
InfoTrends analysts believes that photo books will contribute the most to overall revenue and will experience the largest growth numbers.
Attracting more first-time buyers into the photo merchandise market will be essential to achieving the forecasted growth rates, notes David Haueter, an associate director at InfoTrends: “Our consumer research data shows that, in 2010, only 32% of survey respondents had purchased any type of photo merchandise in the past year. This was an increase over 2009 numbers (25%), but there is still nearly 70% of the population that have not purchased photo merchandise in the last year.”
He believes vendors of photo merchandise can succeed by offering attractive and competitive products and marketing efforts that clearly show the benefits. In addition, photo-merchandise vendors must be constantly looking ahead to anticipate what additional products their customers will want or what types of new design or product features will appeal to them.
Vendors who sell photo merchandise to consumers must also consider how to improve the workflow process associated with creating and ordering photo merchandise items to make it simpler for their customers.
“There are challenges involved in being successful in this market,” Haueter says, “But InfoTrends has a very positive outlook on the long-term health and growth of this market, as it gives consumers a creative outlet for doing things with their photos.”
PHOTOGRAPHERS. ARTISTS. The latest e-book added to PhotoShelter’s online library talks about “Marketing Yourself with Photo Books.” Although the advice was written for photographers, the e-book might also interest artists, designers, and others who could use photo books to complement other marketing efforts.
The free, 23-page e-book describes ways self-published photo books can be used to effectively build a following among prospects and expand interest from existing clients. The content covers the following topics:
The economics of self-publishing
Using a photo book as your portfolio
Using a photo editor to help select and sequence your best images
What to consider before and after you make your book
The publication also talks about what magazine photo editors and ad-agency photo buyers think about photo books. One photo editor says she doesn’t like getting huge packages in the mail from people she doesn’t know, so she doesn’t like receiving unsolicited books. But she says small photo books can be a great leave-behinds for photographers who come in for a meeting to show their portfolios.
Pro photographer and avid Blurb bookmaker Dan Milnor wrote the section on things to consider in making a photo book. He notes that, “Making a photo book is a great way to elevate your work.” He says that when you showcase your work in a book, it suddenly has context and presentation that goes way beyond what a promotional postcard can do. Milnor talks about some of the planning that should be done before you start, as well as some ideas for promoting your book.
Case studies in the book feature candid insights by fashion photographer Michael Creagh, travel photographer Graciela Cattarossi, advertising and editorial photographer Andrew Kaufman, documentary photographer Matt Eich, and lifestyle photographer Terry Vine.
Also included is a profile of Larissa Leclair, the founder of the Indie Photobook Library. The Library’s goal is to archive, preserve, and showcase self-published books and magazines.
Guidelines for submitting photo books are included on the Library’s website. Some books from the Library’s growing collection will be exhibited at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston this fall.
Although the “Marketing Yourself with Photo Books” guide was sponsored by Blurb, the e-book also discusses photography bookmaking services from other vendors. To encourage you to apply what you have learned about photo book publishing, the guide includes a 20% off coupon from Blurb.
“Marketing Yourself with Photo Books” is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business e-books for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s library of 13 free e-books includes guides on email marketing, search engine optimization, starting a photography business, and marketing for freelance professionals.
DESIGNERS. PHOTOGRAPHERS. If the generic look and feel of many photo books have kept you from seriously considering producing a brand book, client presentation, or personal portfolio, check out the new ProLine of books from Blurb.com. The line was specifically created for creative professionals who to distinguish themselves not only through the content of their books, but also in their choice of materials.
With ProLine, you can customize your book with heavier, better-quality papers, more distinctive covers, and a choice of end sheets.
Blurb’s Pearl Photo paper is a rebranded version of Mohawk proPhoto paper. The 140 lb (190 gsm) semigloss paper is slightly heavier and glossier than the Premium Lustre paper used in other Blurb photo books. The Pearl Photo paper emulates the traditional photographic papers, enabling your books to resemble collections of custom photographic prints.
Blurb’s Uncoated paper is the popular Mohawk Superfine Ultrawhite in Eggshell finish. Blurb CEO Eileen Gittins noted that “Mohawk’s rich, heavy uncoated paper with its organic texture is hot in the design community right now.”
The ProLine end sheets are 80 lb. (115 gsm) papers that are currently available in five colors: charcoal grey, dove grey, warm grey, black, and white.
According to the Blurb, the two new ProLine papers from Mohawk are just the beginning. They plan to expand the creative range with additional professional-grade papers, more end-paper choices, and the ability to design books with more than 160 pages.
The first new ProLine covers are linen hardcovers. You can choose from two colors: Oatmeal or Charcoal. Both are uncoated, giving them more of a natural feel. You can also choose to have your book produced with the Standard Black Linen cover.