Mpix. Mpix is a division of Miller’s Professional Imaging, the largest professional photography lab in the U.S., and offers many options and styles of photo books. You can select from softcover, hardcover or suede hardcover books, along with three different premium papers that consist of heavyweight cover stock, pearl and linen. For enhanced image adhesion, Mpix uses Kodak Nexpress, which employs a polymer toner that, when fused, is melted or liquefied and pressed into the paper fibers with heat and pressure. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the MpixPRESS software, just drop images and text into one of the many available templates or create your own. Once you’re done, submit the book for printing. The software uploads the book to Mpix and automatically directs you to the website for order completion. Turnaround time is 24 hours. Estimated Street Price: $30 (8x8-inch suede hardcover with 20 pages).
PhotoBook Press. For truly special occasions, the high level of quality and craftsmanship offered by PhotoBook Press makes for a book fit for prominent display on a coffee table. This is another option that may be more suitable for pros looking to promote their own work or create books for clients. For designing, the PhotoBook Design Tool is free and has a Fast Track automatic design option or a custom do-it-yourself option. Books can be started, saved and resumed whenever you want. You can also use Photoshop, InDesign or other software as long as you follow the submission guidelines. A third option is to have a PhotoBook Press designer lay out the book. Just upload your images to their FTP or send them on a disk. For film shooters, they will scan prints or negatives. Fine details like archival papers, supple leather and fine fabric covers, and sewn bindings all come together with high-quality printing to create very beautiful books. Estimated Street Price: Available upon request.
Pete Saloutos creates a one-off to shop with publishers
Professional photographer Pete Saloutos is in full control of his next publishing project. Rather than pitching an idea for his next book to potential publishers, he’s doing the book the way he wants to first and then will shop it to those in the publishing community. The project is his tribute to Paris, a city that he credits as the inspiration for him going into the visual arts. He’ll spend six months designing it and editing more than 10,000 images. Once completed, the volume will contain about 130 pages of black-and-white pictures shot with a 1930s’ look. If Saloutos finds no takers after shopping the book around, he’ll look to Blurb and Amazon.com for sales.
“If you have an idea, get it out there,” says Saloutos. “Publishers are no longer necessary. They’re nice to have, but not the only route for book sales. The web has changed everything.”
Saloutos has published two versions of this book so far with images taken in October 2009. When DP caught up with Saloutos, he was back in Paris taking more photographs for a third version. He says the reviews have been favorable.
“This is a work of love,” he says. “I have limited expectations. I only want to break even paying for my expenses, and if that doesn’t happen, I’ve still done something very important to me. In the end, that’s what photography is about—what you feel right about shooting. If I can’t make money from it, I still accomplished what I needed to.”