The PhotoBook Journal

November 3, 2017

Douglas Stockdale – Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book

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Author and Principal Photographer:  Douglas Stockdale (born Butler, PA; resides Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

Publisher: Self-published; first edition, first printing of 400; copyright © 2017

Text: English

Stiff-cover saddle-stitched book of 40 numbered pages with 14 images on several types of paper; 7.5×9 inches; full-color digital lithography, printed by Dual Graphics, Brea, California; $19.95 plus shipping ($4.50 in US & $15.00 USD other countries)

Book Design: Douglas Stockdale and Craig Evans – Text Editor: Gerhard Clausing – Cover Photograph: Scott Mathews

 

Notes: 

This book had its debut at the Medium Festival of Photography in San Diego, California, on October 26, 2017, and was received with great enthusiasm. It is a detailed guide to help the artist through all the steps and considerations to keep in mind when thinking about and executing an independently published artist book.

Douglas Stockdale, editorial founder of and prolific contributor to The PhotoBook Journal and SoCal PhotoExchange, who has been our guide through many artistic and publishing intricacies which he has discussed in hundreds of book reviews and articles, really gets to the point in this publication. Fortunately, his collaborator and sponsor in this venture is the renowned printing and communications company Dual Graphics in Brea, California, which already assisted Ansel Adams in artfully transferring his photography to print many years ago.

Doug certainly practices what he preaches. As a successful mentor and leader of workshops dealing with planning, producing, and marketing photo books, and as an author of a number of them himself (In Passing, Ciociaria, Pine Lake, Bluewater Shore), he is able to lay out logical and creative patterns for planning and doing artist books that are designed to help artists avoid many possible pitfalls that he has observed over time. The discussion is divided into five stages, which also constitute the chapters of this book:

  1. Book Pre-Visualization
  2. Marketing (including funding and fundraising)
  3. Book Development (including editing, sequencing the images, and making a book “dummy”)
  4. Book Design (and options)
  5. Book Production

Just to name one very important consideration, this Guide introduces marketing issues early in the process, rather than at the end, as others have done, since marketing information and decisions are integral to all other considerations that follow. Doug also devotes important space to the topics of selecting and sequencing the images to be included in an artist book, a topic that is sketchy in other guides on publishing your own artist book. There are many other planning considerations that he discusses to help the reader untangle potential difficulties.

Another fascinating feature of this book, extremely useful and exclusive, is the addition of sample pages of several different types of paper on which the same color and monochrome images are printed, so that the effect of printing on papers with different surfaces and characteristics can be seen. While the images below are no substitute for getting the actual book and studying the printing on the actual paper, they allow you to begin to see some differences. This feature alone is worth more than the cost of the book, as it is the best demonstration for working closely with a top-notch printing company, and to alert the potential maker of an artist book to all the details that can make a huge difference. There are also detailed descriptions of the papers included, as well as definitions of many terms that make the artist more knowledgeable when dealing with the printing and binding options. Needless to say, the author’s style is to the point, easy to read, and not filled with unnecessary technical jargon.

This book is highly recommended, especially if you are not quite sure about doing an artist book. The overview and the details provided here will help you understand and appreciate the process and will serve as a checklist to guide you through the entire process when you have made the decision to take the plunge, which will be greatly facilitated when consulting this publication during the sojourn.

 

Gerhard Clausing

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April 28, 2017

Douglas Stockdale – Bluewater Shore

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Artist:  Douglas Stockdale (born Butler, PA; resides Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

Publisher: Self-published, hand-inscribed, limited signed edition of 99; Copyright © 2017

Text: English

Stiff-cover book of 32 pages with 16 prong-bound images, unnumbered; in poly slip-cover; Fultone® digital lithography, printed by Dual Graphics, Brea, California

Notes: Photobooks that present their images in a loose format, i.e., not permanently bound and sequenced but changeable, are still the exception. One such successful work was David Alan Harvey’s 2012 project entitled (based on a true story), dealing with life in Rio, with real and imagined storylines. That innovative volume (which received a number of important awards) was designed with double pages whose sequence could be rearranged to tell a different story from the viewer’s perspective, using the same images, but with new juxtapositions. A more recent predecessor to Bluewater Shore is Douglas Stockdale’s Pine Lake, reviewed previously; it shares a similar image presentation format with Bluewater Shore, which is its sequel.

In the case of Douglas Stockdale’s Bluewater Shore, we have a hand-inscribed and hand-assembled limited edition artist book presenting a simulated drugstore-issued set of 16 prints that take the viewer on an imaginary trip taking place in the 1940s: a young woman traveling to “bluewater shore” with her women friends. Since that was a time in which women were able to feel some greater sense of self and independence, they were not accompanied by males as might have been the expected practice in previous times. We see them on their journey, we see them at the beach in various activities, and – lo and behold! – suddenly males also appear in the pictures. That’s where the story gets interesting – we don’t know who they are, or what relationships there are between them and the women, but we can project our ideas into the pictures. There are also some children in the photographs, and we don’t know whether they are relatives, or bystanders, or symbols of things to come. Since the roll of film fictitiously presented in this publication is made up of only 16 pictures and the people depicted are not available, we are only able to guess what might be taking place. Consider it a story puzzle that allows us to participate vicariously. Creative photographic storytelling at its finest!

Douglas Stockdale has taken vernacular images from his family’s archives and has repurposed them for this semi-fictitious narrative as a new single set of 16. They have been appropriately aged and once printed slightly enlarged, prong-bound into a folder that simulates how prints were once delivered with processed rolls for a small additional fee (Kodak/Ansco flip-books). There is even a seemingly unintentional double exposure. Since they are bound with a prong that can be removed from the folder, the images can be rearranged and spread out on the table as might have once been the case if they were to be evaluated or placed in an album. Thus we can experience parts of a family history and relate what we see to our own history and our shared cultural past as well. A most enjoyable photographic puzzle of memories and times gone by.

This site has also featured Douglas Stockdale’s hardbound volume, Ciociaria.

Gerhard Clausing

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October 4, 2013

Douglas Stockdale – Pine Lake

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Pine Lake copyright 2013 Douglas Stockdale self-published Limited Edition Artist Book

I am very thrilled to announce the publication of my hand-made artist book Pine Lake. Thus post is not intended to be a book review, as I need to let others provide more objective assessments. This is just blatant self promotion.

Pine Lake is sequenced as a semi-fictional story about an American multi-generational summer rite, a weekend fishing trip.

As to how this project came about, it started with my recently discovered family photographs of my grandfathers fishing, a passion of which was unknown and totally foreign to me. Thus the small, worn vernacular photographs I found became talismans for the lost memories and stories of my family.  This has led me to create this artist book to tell a story of what might have been. Pine Lake is another of my on-going series that investigates memory and its preservation.

The interior flip-book is formatted in a style reminiscent of a promotional processing book common in the 1960′s produced by Kodak and Ansco, which could be purchase with a film processing order. The book is accompanied by a small collection of preserved ephemera that represent the memorabilia that might be saved after a favorite vacation.

The stiff cover book contains 17 black & white photographs. The outer cover is fabricated from a sheet of 120 gm Canson Mi-Teintes paper, hand trimmed to size and inkjet printed which is then hand inscribed.  This cover is bone creased, hand hole punched and an aluminum prong binding is attached to manually bind the interior pages. The book resides inside a hand inscribed poly slip-cover (a zip-lock bag) accompanied with three pieces of ephemera; a fishing stamp, a fishing notice & a section of fishing line with small weight attached mid-way.

The book and ephemera are housed in a hand-made wood frame with a printed cover constructed from 110# Daler-Rowney Canford paper, cut to size, ink-jet printed, hand bone crease and glued to the frame to create a gate fold flap, and has an elastic band closure.

Exterior size is 8 1/2″ x 10″ x 7/16″ (210 mm x  250mm   x 100mm)

The photographic images are anonymous and from my family archive and have been re-photographed and modified to provide a consistent appearance to illustrate this short visual story. Pine Lake is produced in a Limited Edition of 25, with a price of $150.00 USD per book plus shipping (and taxes where applicable).

I hope you enjoy it.

Cheers!

Notes:

price increase to $250 on 2/01/2014 as edition is almost sold out. For the three remaining editions, the price is now $350.00 each.

August 18th, 2017: Pine Lake is now available from Arcana: Books on the Arts (Culver City, CA)

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June 1, 2013

Douglas Stockdale – In Passing

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Copyright Douglas Stockdale 2008, self published.

This aftermath project explores my on-going series; memory and its preservation.

Hardcover book with dust jacket, one photograph plate per page spread with captions on the facing page. This book is out of print and now sold out.

Best regards

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May 12, 2012

Douglas Stockdale – Ciociaria Limited Edition Book + Photograph Set

Copyright Douglas Stockdale 2011

Warning Notice: this is a self-serving personal shout-out about the availability of my book in a Limited Edition Book + Photograph set. You may find yourself spending a small amount of loot while yet making a wonderful investment so be warned before proceeding any further!!

I recently published two small versions of a Limited Edition Book + Photograph Set in conjunction with my hardcover book Ciociaria. The edition size for both versions is 25 and I choose two photographs which were not included in the the book. The photograph and book are signed and numbered with the photograph an archival pigment print. After a number of discussions with Susan Burnstine during the development of this Limited Edition set I opted to go with an inexpensive version to keep my costs lower and a provide a reasonable price of $150.00 per set.

The initial interest in the two Limited Edition sets is good and I am nearing the halfway point for selling the editions. I can’t say they are selling like hotcakes yet but are doing well enough and building a small reserve fund to finance my next book that I hope to be able to announce shortly.

The Fiuggi Edition photograph below, was an interesting turning point for me while working on this project. I had been deferring to a more topographical investigation of the memories of this area, which is to say photographing the urban landscape without the presence of any individuals. As this scene unfolded before me it spoke of another way to create a narrative as to how memory is preserved. But as book designs go with the choice, pairing and sequencing of the images, this photograph did not find a good home within the book. So it seemed a nature to include this as a special edition.

Fiuggi Editon

The other version of the Limited Edition is the Morolo Edition that includes the photograph below. I saw this lyrical web of branches with the different phases of the decaying fruit and hints of the surrounding residences. It speaks to the past memories intersecting with the current moment.

The Limited Edition Book + Photograph sets of Ciociaria will be available from specialty photographic bookstores.

Now available at:

Ampersand, Portland Oregon (Sold out)

photo-eye: Santa Fe, NM

The standard hardcover book at $55.00 is currently available at photo-eye.

Additional interior photographs from the book and links to some of the book reviews can be found here.

Check back as I expect this bookseller list to grow.

Best regards, Doug

Morolo Edition

 Now back to your normal programing…

September 24, 2011

Douglas Stockdale – Ciociaria

Filed under: Book Publications, Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:57 pm

Photographs copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale & published by Edizioni Punctum (Punctum Press)

Okay, this is not an official book review per se as I really do need to defer to other reviewers to provide commentaries about my book. That said I have been very fortunate to have a few others post about Ciociaria, including  Aline Smithson (Lenscratch), Andrew Phelps (Buffet) and Harvey Benge (Photograhy+art+ideas), as well as various shout-outs by Pierre Bessard, Elizabeth Avedon and a host of others.

Update: Very nice reviews by Karen Jenkins in photo-eye Magazine and Tomás de Teresa on Libros de Fotografia (Spanish), who also posted a video review of Ciociaria set to Spanish guitar on YouTube.

Publisher’s synopsis;

Douglas Stockdale’s Ciociaria builds an “organized” flanerie that goes beyond the topography/street photography dichotomy; he erases the direct human aspect and the need of a nearly scientific witness at the same time, enhancing the concept of how every single human being can become acquainted with a place in varied unpredictable ways and times, as well as readapting the landscape to one’s visions and needs.

Stockdale personalizes Ciociaria, a loosely defined rocky and hilly region with memories of ancient Latin yet without a known history, putting aside all stereotypes and re-launching a sort of “personal anonymity”, very typical to areas that developed due to the middle class explosion. Houses, banners, woods, monuments, cars and the outskirts of little towns, nothing is magnificent and luckily nothing is picturesque. The truly great difference lies here: Stockdale does not overdramatically criticize the Italian landscape per se, perceived as an embarrassing overlap of architectural abuse and ignorance, but then again his flanerie is nothing more than an actualization of the grand tour.

His photographs hint of a street photographer’s reportage yet lacks an obvious narrative, providing many hints of a complex and multi-layered culture, creating an indirect portrait of Ciociaria, while leaving most questions tantalizingly unanswered.  The photographs capture a paradox of strangeness mixed with familiarity, mystery mixed with beauty, within a context of color, space, and texture.

This book is an investigation into complexities of ambiguity intertwined with feelings of belonging while yet still not fitting in. Stockdale crosses Ciociaria and looks for answers, adhering to that landscape and photographing it in such a way as to illustrate what it personally conveys to him. It is about being a stranger in a vaguely familiar land.

As a photobook object it is a hardcover book with dust jacket and includes 50 color photographs with four-color lithographic printing, 96 pages without captions or page numbering. There is an essay by Marco Delogu and an afterword by me with both texts provided in Italian and English.

Best regards, Douglas

November 20, 2008

Douglas Stockdale – In Passing

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In Passing, Second Edition, by Douglas Stockdale, self-published (Blurb) 2008

Yes, yours truely just published the second edition of In Passing the series of road side memorials that I photographed from late 2005 – 2007.  Twenty of the photographs from the series were published in LensWork Magazine (#74 Jan-Feb 2008). Earlier this year that I had self-published the First Edition in a smaller, softbound book that afterwards I determined that did not appear to provide the visual impact that I wanted.

This is a hardbound book with an Image-Wrap cover in the large 11 x 13″ format with 36 photographs on 80 pages and printed on the Blurb premium 100 lb luster paper.

I feel that in retrospect that I better understand my reason for the development of this series.  This new edition is an attempt to capture the elusive traces of emotion that deal with tragedy, grief, sorrow, and eventually acceptance with the passage of time.

I had already sent my book files to the printer and was in the middle of finalizing the publication when I had received a comment back from Ben Roberts about his book One More Night. He had stated that after reviewing his published Blurb book that he was already considering a second edition to change some of his photographs for some stronger images. Essentially that was one of the prime drivers behind my second edition, to eliminate some weaker images and get to the essence of my series. Thus I reduced the amount of photographs from 48 to 36 in the Second Edition.

Second concern were the changes that I have made to about 25% of the photographs. After evaluating a new paper, Harman FB Mp, I was able to create photographs that I felt were were more in line with the spirit of the image. There were aspects of some of my photographs when printed on this new Harman media made my earlier photographs appear chunky and overworked. Not so good. After tweaking these images the revised photographs were so much better that the first Edition of my book no longer represented this series. Much of this I have detailed on my personal journal Singular Images.

The last reason for this new edition of the book is too take advantage of a new 100 lb luster paper option by Blurb. After reviewing Ben’s book One More Night which was published on this paper I don’t think any photographer who is self-publishing a POD series would want to print on any other media.

Best regards, Douglas Stockdale

Note: This book is now out of print.

September 23, 2008

Blurb printer upgrade

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:44 pm

Blurb has just announced that they are now printing all of their 7 x 7″ books on the HP Indigo printers. Yeah!!

For those who have followed my writings on Singular Images, know of the angst that I experienced with the Blurb Xerox EGen color halftone printer that they were using only for the 7 x 7″ books. Since I was a charter member of Blurb’s B3 group, I had access to the color profiles and option of printing with the HP Indigo, and what a difference that made.

So this is good news and I am sorry that they took so long to implement. I am sure that there were some other technical/business reasons for the delay, so still glad they got the point and made the change.

Now I hope that they work the bugs out of the triming process (post printing) for this book so that they do not hack off some of the essential parts, like the page numbers.

Best regards, Doug Stockdale

BTW, my softcover book Places Amongst Us was a SoFoBoMo (Solo Photo Book Month) project fom May 2008. Which is printed on the HP Indgo printer.

September 21, 2008

Journal intent

Filed under: Book Publications, Book Reviews, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:59 pm

 

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I have thinking about this journal for a while, especially as I have tried to figure out if it is a good fit with I currently write. So when publishing a journal, it kinda helps to know who you audience is, eh?

To get to that, perhaps a bit more about me. I read and too often buy photographic books, initially it was the how-do-you-do-it books (yes, I am a photographer as well), but now the photographic books I acquire are more about photographic projects & series or are published as monographs. Books that help you understand a photographers vision, intent, thoughts and feelings and hopefully well printed and sequenced.

I also get involved with the book publication process now having self-published three books through Blurb; two about photographic projects and one how-to. I could not figure something out how to sharpen my photographs for Blurb until I published a Blurb book (Sharpening Photographs for Blurb printing). I am in the middle of developing a limited edition book to be published in conjunction with a limited edition folio of images from a series I completed last year.

I may not be able to write the in-depth and meaningful book reviews of those by Mr. Wisketts (5b4) or available on Photo-Eye and other publications but I am going to provide my own personal thoughts about photographic books that I have. Thus, I will link the other places you can find some fine writing, which means this will be resource site and a book review site.

I plan to write about what’s happening with photographic book publishing for those who intent to purchase or might want to publish their own photographic work. In other words, random and mumbling about photographic books that might veer off into where ever I seem to take it that day (or night).

Oh, yes, as the publisher of this blog, I get to shamelessly self-promote my own books. Which reminds me, I need to provide a link to my Blurb page for my book In Passing, which was adapted from the same series about my work that was published in LensWork magazine in January 2008.

Best regards, Douglas Stockdale

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