I love books. I could tell you about books the whole day, and I don’t even know much about them compared to others. What I realized in the last months is that many of you have an unhealthy respect for them that tells you that you have to be „ready“ to create your own, and we all know how healthy the awareness of being „ready“ is for artists. In these months I already talked with dozens of you about printing a book. Some of you had already deals with a publisher (of which some don’t even deserve the name „deal“) but most of you work as a concept artist for years or are simply creative for a very long time and maybe gave it a thought once or twice.
Yeah, of course I was shocked, why shouldn’t I?
All these artworks rotting on desks and HDs doing nothing. Instead they could work for you in a book, think about it. Most artists who visit cons are used to print their works as posters or other mediums and sell them successfully, but PLEASE never consider putting all these in a book. That would be mad, because if you die THIS is how people will remember you … yeah right. A book is as much a thing to sell as are all your prints and posters and postcards or mugs or shirts and all the other stuff you do.
expensive? Why? Colored softcover and b/w content with 115g paper cost you (here in Germany) 100 Euros for 100 books (VAT not included). Colored content around 300 Euros. Seems still expensive? Sell them for 10 Euros, 20 Euros, 30 Euros … do the math. How many books would you have to sell to collect the print costs alone? 10? 20? Doesn’t seem that expensive anymore, right? And once you printed the first batch, use a chunk of the money for the next edition. Maybe this time with a hardcover. You had the effort of layouting the book once, but can go on printing it over and over again.
There are other opportunities in case you already have a fanbase, like crowdfunding or approaching a publisher. The problem with crowdfunding is that you will also have to handle the entire process of getting the product to the backers. There is the option to crowdfund together with the publisher of course. If you are interested in approaching them it might be always easier to do this with a finished product or even one that has been sold already successfully on cons or through your store (in case you have one). If you want to do everything yourself you might want to use amazon to sell your books. they keep a share of the revenue (i think it was 15-20%, not sure to be honest) but their marketplace attracts a lot of buyers for the simple convenience of their store and the use of their coupons and wishlists.
So do it yourself, or if you think it will work out, approach a publisher.
No matter how you do it: make. a. book.