Art catalogs and art books are perfect for presenting and marketing an art collection, especially for those who are at the initial stages of recognition as an artist. A few years ago, an art catalog was only for the well established artist.
Today, with the increasing number of self-publishing services, any artist can easily create their own art book or catalog at home on their computer.
Art books and catalogs help to promote art without the artist having to say a word. Just hand it over to an interested person, and let it do the marketing work for you. Art catalogs also function as a documentation of art. Years from now, it can serve as a written and visual record of a body of work, especially if certain artworks are lost or destroyed.
I am planning on self-publishing some of my own artwork and writings. In my research, I have discovered several print on demand services for books on the internet.
Some are very popular, and include Cafepress, Lulu.com, and Amazon’s self-publishing program Createspace.
When I research something online, I always look for reviews and comparisons of service. I have been hearing some great reviews about Blurb.com in regards to quality of the books, although some say they are a bit pricey. You get what you pay for, as the saying goes, so I will use Blurb for my art book.
Blurb self-published books come in four sizes, and are available in both hard cover and soft cover, and printed on high quality paper. On the downside, self-publishing a book with Blurb does not guarantee a person will even sell one. As with many similar services, selling requires self-promotion of the book. I was glad to see that Blurb offered some tools for this purpose, including Facebook, Twitter, and email sharing.
Along with this, promote it at art blogs, art fairs, art shows, etc. Have a few on hand for selling to people at these occasions. For those who cannot afford to purchase extra copies, have one for display, and let interested people know where they can buy a copy.
Here are some of the highlights of Blurb for both artists and photographers:
- Blurb has easy to use software (Booksmart) with an interface for dragging and dropping images and text, and easily rearranging.
- The Booksmart software includes different methods of retrieving photographs, including your computer, Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Smugmug, and from multiple contributors.
- Blurb has 15 different themes, with several borders, backgrounds, and fonts to choose from. Each of these have many customization options.
- Books can be sold in the Blurb Bookstore with any amount of mark-up.
- Blurb.com has an optional 15 page pdf book preview where interested people can view a section of an art book before purchase.
Happy art book creating! I will get started on my own art book soon, and reveal here my experience with creating it.
In the meantime, check out this video that explains the basics of how to use Blurb.com (affiliate). For inspiration, take a look at all the art books from other Blurb artists, available at the Blurb bookstore. I will walk you through some of these steps, and give some tips and opinions when I create my own art book.