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Five publishing success stories from 2019

A case study of five antipodean photo books successfully published in 2019 with assistance from Momento Pro: ‘Intuitive Eating’ by Jana Brunclikova; ‘Loud & Luminous 2019’; ‘Farewell Angelina’ by Anna D’Addario; ‘Pelci Manor’ by Sarah J. Walker; and ‘Lost But Found’ by Peter Sharp.

At Momento Pro, we not only print and bind photo books, we advise on the design and binding that best suits their purpose and budget, as well as ways to fund, launch, promote and sell them. For the inexperienced photo book creator, there are many decisions that will affect the cost and success of your publication. Our aim is to guide you through the maze and help deliver the best outcome for you and your book. Here we outline some projects we worked on in 2019, and the secrets behind their success.

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Intuitive Eatingby Jana Brunclikova
Her success:produced the best selling book printed by Momento Pro in 2019
How we helped:enabled the print of 550 copies in batches rather than up front

This bespoke recipe book was self published by Czech born, Bondi-based naturopath and raw food chef Jana Brunclikova. Its creation was inspired by clients of her practice and followers of The Secret Kitchen Instagram feed who asked her to publish her unique knowledge in a book. Thus Intuitive Eating was born and became her art-passion project.

In keeping with her holistic approach to life, Jana sought meaning at every level of production. She chose to print with a local, Australian company, and then collaborated with our Australian Volume Order Manager, Lisa Ryman, to find materials that reflected her love for nature, organic recipes, and satisfied her artistic soul.

Jana and Lisa decided on enviro-friendly paper, a raw board cover with custom embossing, exposed spine binding and coloured paper inserts. This level of customisation meant a higher cost per unit but Jana knew her audience appreciated quality over discount basement pricing.

We identified that a phased edition would be the most economical approach, so there was no unnecessary printing or expense. After the initial run of 150 copies, the word spread among Jana’s network, and she continued to receive presales that led to four more runs of 50 or 100 copies, until she reached 550 in December 2019.

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Loud & Luminous 2019 exhibition book
Their success: Increasing their minimum quantity and selling 100 copies more than 2018
How we helped: Suggested collecting preorders by offering three prices points and a strict deadline, to minimise costs

Loud & Luminous is an annual conference, exhibition and publication that celebrates the work of 100 Australian female photographers.  The book of the exhibition features a profile and image from each photographer, and in 2019 the organisers wanted to sell the book at a lower price point.

We advised that the best way to keep costs down is by having a higher minimum order quantity, and to do this they could collect pre-orders before a strict order deadline date. They already had 100 photographers who would almost likely be interested in buying a copy, and it seemed logical that each photographer’s network might also be interested.

At the book launch they presented two copies of the book for people to see what they were buying, and promoted three prices based on attracting a total of 25, 50 or 100 orders.  Almost 20 orders were taken at the launch. They followed up by sending a dedicated email to all photographers and subscribers, and promoting the offer on social media.  All purchasers knew that if more orders were placed by the deadline, the lower the price they’d pay for a copy of the book. They also knew the maximum price they’d pay if only 25 orders were received.

The word spread quickly, and the campaign was a success. Loud and Luminous received over 100 preorders, secured 100 more orders than in 2018, and discovered that many of the photographers were buying two or three copies to give to family,  friends and fans.

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Farewell Angelina by Anna D’Addario
Her success:
Won the Photoboox Award 2019 and an international publishing deal
How we helped: Advised on and printed the book that won the award

It was a personal tragedy that inspired Anna Maria Antoinette D’Addario to create her first photo book, a limited edition artist book titled Farewell Angelina. She had clear ideas on what she wanted to achieve with the physicality of the book and spent numerous hours discussing these with our Product Manager Geoff Hunt – to see what was and wasn’t possible, from a physical and budgetary perspective.

Her book required custom paper, custom binding and gatefold features that we researched and experimented with to ensure we achieved a premium quality production, and met Anna’s creative objectives. The result was a truly custom artefact that was as personal and unique as the story within its pages. This inkjet edition achieved a Highly Commended in the 2019 Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize.

We also printed an Indigo version for Anna to submit to the prestigious international Photoboox Award 2019 – which she won.  The prize included a publishing deal with renowned publisher Ceiba Editions, a book launch and interview at Photolux Festival Italy, an exhibition at the Miami Art Book Fair, and copies for archiving in the state libraries of Rome, Florence and Lucca. Congratulations Anna!

Read an interview with Anna about her award-winning book

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Pelci Manor by Sarah J. Walker and Perimeter Editions
Her success: 
Published her second book, extending her audience and profile
How we helped: 
Free printing and publicity

As an emerging photographer, any opportunity to get your work in front of, or in the hands of, a new and expanded audience is gold. In this regard, Melbourne-based photographer, Sarah J. Walker has had a dream start to her career.

In 2018 she won the Australia and New Zealand Photobook Award 2018 for the Photobook Category, earning $3,000 in Momento Pro print credit, free local and international publicity, and broad exposure in the Award exhibition that traveled to 10 destinations throughout the antipodes.

Walker used her credit prize to produce a second publication – Pelci Manor – in an edition of 250 booklets. The format was perfect for transporting and posting around the globe, providing her with more opportunity to enhance her profile, career and audience.

Read our interview with Sarah J. Walker

Enter the Australia and New Zealand Photobook

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Lost but Found by Peter Sharp
His success: 
Scored a trade publishing deal with Pan Macmillan, Australia
How we helped:
Connected Peter with publishers, publishing consultants and published photographers, and advised on photo book funding and promotion

While we didn’t print Peter’s book, Lost but Found, over the last few years we have printed albums for his animal portrait photography business – Tame and Wild. When he confirmed his desire to publish a photo book we advised on different publishing and funding options, and trade publishers who were specifically interested in animal photography. We also invited him to attend the photobook reviews we hosted at Volume Art Book Fair, Sydney in 2017.

Through participation in the photobook review Peter was able to present his photography and book proposals to leading local publishers, photo book designers and academics for feedback and advice, and to learn more about the process of book publishing and negotiating a contract.

In late 2018 Peter scored a publishing deal with Pan MacMillan, Australia, and in October 2019 they successfully launched Lost But Found – securing an impressive amount of preorders, followed by significant book sales and publicity in the first few weeks.

Learn about how Peter scored his publishing deal here

If you’re ready to self publish a photo book

If you’re inspired to publish your own book, don’t hesitate to contact the Momento Pro Volume and Custom Order managers in Australia or New Zealand for assistance, advice and quoting. For further information and indicative pricing on volume orders of  25+ copies click here.

About the author Momento Photobooks

Co-founder + Marketing Manager of Momento, creators of premium photo books + custom stationery. A 100% Australian owned + made company dedicated to helping amateur, enthusiast + professional photographers preserve their images in style at www.momento.com.au.

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