I wanted to make a photo book with all the photos from the tattoo shops in 2017. It was one of my resolutions from the beginning of the year and I didn't seriously consider it until I saw a tweet from Ade Torrent about a Blurb holiday sale on books.
With the quick deadline I opened up Blurb's Book Write Software and started to quickly put images and pages together. I selected based on feel and some very basic motifs and patterns I learned from Erik van der Weijde's, This is Not My Book. Nothing was perfect but it was fun to see pages coming together.
In the end I designed a short book with 36 pages and a pretty simple cover. I decided to have a black background because black is a default color in the tattoo world and hopefully it would give the book a lo-fi look. I wish the book could have been horizontal but just left the horizontal images in the middle of the vertical pages.
I ordered ten copies and two weeks later the books were printed and delivered. They came out close to what I imagined but weren't perfect. The all black pages and cheap paper made the images streak a bit. The books also had an issue with large images that cut off portions of images in the gutter and was definitely more of my design issue. The glossy cover also made the whole book feel a bit more cheap, I would of loved a matte option. These were all happy mistakes and lessons I will put into the next version though.
Once the book was printed I started to hand them out to the tattoo shops that let me shoot there. They gave me some really valuable feedback on the book on the design, pricing, sizing and distribution. They cost about 5$ to print and and I can probably sell them for $15. My plan isn't to make money on the books but hopefully cover all of the printing and shipping costs.
I was surprised to see how fast the project came together. I had spent infinitely more time procrastinating and worrying if I could pull it off then just making the book. If you're shooting a long term project making a book is a gratifying way to see how the project looks when edited. Making the book gives me more direction in what to shoot in the future and what I need to avoid over shooting too. It's also pretty damn cool to have a physical collection of images too. If you're interested in getting in on the next version let me know in the comments.