Read a Book Today

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

It’s National Read A Book Day. Did you know that reading improves memory, concentration and reduces stress, which is why I like to read a book in bed each night before falling asleep. Older adults who spend time reading show a slower cognitive decline and tend to participate in more mentally stimulating activities over their lifetime. Books are an inexpensive entertainment, education and a time machine too!

Most photographers dream of accomplishing two things in publishing: The first is being featured in National Geographic or maybe Playboy and the second is showcasing their photography in a book. I can’t help you with that first goal but can with the second. Let’s start at the beginning…

Why do people write photo books? They do it for three reasons: To become famous, help people or make money with the proportion of each of these aspects varying by writer. As an aside, I once told a book publisher those three reasons and she asked, “who said that?” and my answer was “I did!”

Unless you are very, very lucky—notice I didn’t sale talented—you won’t get rich writing a photo book. If you’re interested, my reason for writing the 37 books I’ve published so far is #2. And in case you’re wondering my most recent book is “Posing for Portrait and Glamour Photography: Techniques for Digital Photographers.” As I write this, copies are available from Amazon for $14.75. The original cover photo is shown at right and was the only time a book publisher picked a cover image that I liked.

The chance of a publisher considering a unknown landscape photographer’s book featuring classic locations such as Arches or Yosemite are slim but you’ll have a better shot of having your work showcased in a How-To book. To publish a how-to book, you don’t need an agent and believe me finding an agent to accept you as a client is harder than finding a publisher for your first book. Except for photographs made on the outer rings of Saturn, everybody’s been almost everywhere and photographed just about everything. To publishers this means who is making the photographs is more important than where they were made.

If you want to know how I did it; that will be covered in Part 2 in the following week.

In the meantime sit back, relax and read a book and use #ReadABookDay to post on social media. Let me make a reading suggestion: Pick up a copy of Michael Freeman’s new book “Black & White Photography: The timeless art of monochrome in the post-digital age.Amazon is selling it for $18.60 (Prime) or $14.60 (plus shipping.) It’s a great read.