Photographer’s Self-Publishing: Contexts for Collecting Contemporary Photobooks!

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Speakers:

Ker-Pow! The ICP’s Photobook Explosion — Deirdre Donohue, Stephanie Shuman Librarian, ICP Library, International Center of Photography

The Photobook in Flux — Tony White, Director, Decker Library, Maryland Institute College of Art

Photobooks From a photo-eye Perspective — Melanie McWhorter, Manager of photo-eye’s Book Division, photo-eye

The Photobook Industry From a Photographer’s Perspective — Keliy Anderson-Staley, Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media, University of Houston

Co-moderators:
Heather Gendron, Head, Sloane Art Library / Coordinator of Assessment, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jon Evans, Chief Librarian, Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Digital publishing allows photographers, from the self-taught to the well-established, new avenues for the promotion of their work and for creative exploration. Once considered by some as a type of “vanity” publishing, self-publishing today is widely accepted as a key part of artists’ portfolio-building and marketing strategy. Book publishing has become wildly popular for photographers, many of whom publish in multiple formats, from zines, apps, and print-on-demand books, to open editions, e-books, and “traditional” print books. They often self-fund publishing endeavors, selling books on their websites or through other means outside the librarian’s “normal” collecting stream. Needless to say, collecting photobooks in this environment is a challenge. Speakers will discuss the opportunities and economics of contemporary photobook publishing and will offer advice on keeping up with, collecting, and curating collections of contemporary photobooks.

Deirdre Donohue will talk about the transformative effects of digital publishing on artists at the International Center for Photography and the resulting impact on the ICP’s library. The ICP has embraced print-on-demand technology with MFA theses and Board presentations produced by Lulu and a new imprint called icp.edu launched in Fall of 2014.

Tony White will present a discussion and survey of photobooks, photozines, and related self-published materials by artists, designers, and photographers. In addition, he will address collection development and preservation opportunities, resources, and challenges, as well as touch on terms and terminology.

As both photographer and manager of photo-eye’s Book Division, Melanie McWhorter will present her perspectives on recent trends in photobook publishing and collecting. Using highlights from some of the incredible photobooks published in recent years, she will also outline the changes she has witnessed and the reasons why investing in photobooks is important.

Having made single-edition artist books, self-published through Blurb, and published with a publisher who required no financial contribution, Keliy Anderson-Staley has seen how the industry works at multiple points along the spectrum. She will discuss strategies photographers use to publish their work in the current environment and why they choose to self-publish.

Monday March 23, 2015 9:00am – 10:30am