David Long has published eight guide books for photographers so far.
He gives us the ins and outs of how to put a book together, how to self publish,
ideas to promote your book and other uses for the books
in episode 138 of The Understand Photography Show.
*Please scroll to the bottom of the post for more images from our guest.*
Creating, Selling and Publishing a Photography Guide with David Long
- Largest frustration is spending hours to scout for great locations.
- Use apps for pre-scouting: PhotoPills, The Photographer’s Ephemeris, My Sunsets (sunset.wx), Google Earth…
Predictive apps are just a GUIDE – they are not always accurate.
“The best advice is to just get out there (early) and shoot. Many times I get my best colors a half hour before sunrise.”
Gathering Images and Information
“Create great images. The images are what attracts people to want to go to that location.”
- Visit one location from 3-12 times, with 10-14 locations per book.
- Keep sites fairly close together – able to visit all of them in a weekend.
- Information for each location includes:
Where to park.
What trail (if any) to take to the location and the length and difficulty of that trail.
Specific GPS coordinates where each photo was taken.
Include maps of how to get there as well as maps for driving in between locations.
Full photo data (settings).
Equipment used or recommended.
Recommended seasons, time of day and weather conditions.
Tips for where to place your camera, what lenses to use, or creative ideas using different angles or filters.
“It’s a guide. Create your own image, get your own perspective, your own view of a classic location. Make it yours. I just take the guesswork out of getting there.”
- Sell for $6-$8 each through his own website as well as through the site that handles his workshops.
- Short – 20 to 30 pages each.
- Costly to print. Don’t sell enough to warrant the cost. (He has sold 3-4,000 copies.)
- Constantly revising.
- Use for workshops – participants get a free copy.
- Good way to share photos. Satisfying and rewarding.
- Motivation to go out and shoot.
- I’m starting to accumulate a library (a series) of locations within a small geographical area. I’d like to begin to market to different travel and tour companies as well as the chamber of commerce for that area.
“Everyone who orders one usually comes back and orders more.”
Gain Interest from Social Media (Instagram)
- Post regularly – once per day.
- Post at the right time – first thing in the morning or between 4-5 pm.
- Use the right hashtags, use hub sites to share your images.
- Be friendly to followers, follow back.
- Utilize friends and followers to find new sites.
- Don’t be pushy about selling on Instagram – Interested? DM – Don’t push in your posts.
“Plan your landscape photography trips with flowers in mind. Flowers make a wonderful foreground element as well as provide macro opportunities.”
Designing the Book
- Use Adobe In-Design.
- Watch tutorials online.
- Hired someone to help with layout of the first 3 books. Once the format was established and he learned how, he is now able to create his own. (In about 40 hours.)
What you need to learn for a solid photography education. Watch our free video:
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