Having published 4 books in the last 10 years and seen radical transformations in not only the printing process but also in the selling of art books I decided to record this audio blog for anyone considering publishing their own book whether using a full scale fine art press, publisher or an online printing service. See the example images below for specific examples that are mentioned in the audio. Also, please comment on printing services you have used with your thoughts as well as suggestions that may be of interest/ help to our community.
Here is a nice online marketing badge provided by Blurb, for Free, so people interested in your book can have a direct link to its page on Blurb (note that I have one here in the right side bar and also on stephenschaub.com. Included are book specifications, cost, delivery options and a 15 page book preview (this is an option that you can decide to do or not do…you should do it) that I feel really helps sell your book.
I find this post very disturbing to write and a sad reflection on our current economic situation here in the US, as well as an unfortunate look at the trend in book publishing to find the cheapest and “good enough” printing press for the production of Fine Art Books. Where are most “fine art” books printed now?…China! That is not to say that good books can not and have not been printed in China, but we all know there is a huge difference between a book printed on a cookie cutter press and one printed at a true fine art printing press.
I personally have been very fortunate in my career thus far, having my first book printed at the Stinehour Press in Lunenburg, Vermont and my second book at the Salto Press in Belgium. Both of these presses represent the pinnacle of printing quality (which translates into options for the artist) yet now it seems that the Stinehour Press will be no more in just a few months.
Founded in 1952 and employing over 21 employees the Stinehour Press had won numerous awards for printing excellence and it’s collection of printed books and materials reads like a list of luminaries in the field of Art with a very large capitol A. Stephen Stinehour, who I consider a personal friend, left the press several years ago to pursue other printing projects, yet I know he finds the closing of the Stinehour Press- which was founded by his father- a sad statement on the currect position of the printing industry in the US.
In our quest to get to get the most for our dollar (or Euro or whatever) many people seem to lose sight that in that process of “how low can you go” a lot is lost… and once it is gone it is gone forever. In the “new” industry of Giclee Fine Art Printing I can remember only a few years back where how cheap and how fast you could print was the driving force for marketing products and services. Fade-out/fade-in 5 years and most of the get-rich-quick printing operations are gone, dying, or consolidated because you can only cut costs so far and most of these technologies at the end of the day are still quite expensive to run and upgrade. It seems correct to me that a great print deserves a fair price/competitive price…but you have to compare apples with apples. Also remember that cuts in cost almost always come at the expense of quality and workers pay or health benefits…you know the complaint and I’m sure you hear it everyday on the news or in your own community. Continue reading “End of an Era…The Stinehour Press is Closing!”→
How many prints can you make in a day using digital printing technologies? Now consider: how many GREAT prints can you make during that same time? Hybrid Artist Stephen Schaub discusses the pros and cons of printing fast vs slow and provides useful information on how to achieve optimum results with your printing platform.