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Photo Tips by Mike Rosen



Hi <<First Name>>,

For several years now, I've thought about publishing my own photo book. The idea of having a high quality hard cover book, containing some of my best work, gracing people's coffee tables was very appealing. Of course, I didn't know if anyone other than my wife and kids would WANT to have such a book on their coffee table, but the prospect was exciting. 

So about a year ago, I started doing some research on how best to do it. I wasn't looking for a normal trade book publisher--that wasn't at all realistic considering the very low quantities I would have printed. But I discovered many on-line publishing options, ranging from very low cost (and, I believe, low quality) softcover versions to beautiful, professional calibre hardcover books that anyone would be proud to display.

No matter how "easy" the ads say it is, there is a learning curve in mastering the software to put together a top notch book. That's what I wanted and that's at least partly why it took me so long--plus the book languished on my desk top for six months before I finally decided to finish it. But I did finish, and I'm quite pleased with the final product. Here's the cover:

To see the full book, click HERE. When you get to it, just click or swipe on any page to advance to the next page or return to the previous one. 

If you've read previous issues of Photo Tips or visited my website, you may recognize some of the images I chose for "A Photo Journey." But deciding which photos to include is just one of many decisions required to publish your book, such as:

  • Which publisher to use--I chose AdoramaPix, but there are many others, including Blurb, Shutterfly, Snapfish and Lulu as top examples. You can also take the easy way out by choosing Walgreens or Costco. 
  • Hardcover vs. softcover--This was no contest for me and in fact AdoramaPix does not even offer soft cover. At extra cost, you can get a leather bound book or a hardcover with a dust jacket. Another key is paper quality. Compromise here is NOT a good idea in my opinion.
  • Book size and shape--Each publisher offers varying size options, such as 4 1/2 x 6 inches vertical, 8 x 12 horizontal and 12 x 12 square. I chose a 10 x 10 square default size, but I can order smaller square sizes as well. 
  • Number of pages--AdoramaPix offers five page counts from 14 to 76. I initially planned on 38 pages but reduced it to 26, partly to hold down cost but also to reduce risk of viewer fatigue. 
  • Book theme--Most publishers offer scores of different themes for your book, such as wedding, holiday, family, children and general photography. I resisted any presets and chose to do my own custom design.
  • Select photos--This was the hardest task for me. You can upload/import unlimited numbers of pictures per page, but I wanted to showcase my best work without any distracting elements. You can see that most of my pages have only one image, two max.
  • Use of text--I felt that to differentiate my book from the multitudes, I would make liberal use of text. Viewers thus know the subject of each photo, where it was taken, and most importantly WHY I made it and chose it for the book.
  • Design--There are many thousands of optional color, background, frame, decoration and layout combinations. I opted for simplicity, but these decisions can be a very important part of the creative process.

One feature that I really like about AdoramaPix is that the pages lie flat, so you can stretch a photo seamlessly across a single unbroken two page spread without an unsightly "gutter" or crease in the middle.

There is no cost to set up and edit your book. You pay only for books you order, which can be as few as one. Reorders are easy; shipping time is a matter of a week or so. 

Okay, what about cost? Obviously it all depends on your choices as discussed above. At AdoramaPix, the cost of a 10 x 10 inch, 26 page hardcover "coffee table" quality book is about $62.00 (plus shipping).  An 8 x 8 inch version is about $42.00 and the 6 x 6 about $27.00. Publishers sometimes run sales or offer quantity discounts that can reduce the cost by 10% - 25% or more. Smaller softcover books at retail stores will be less, but I feel you get what you pay for.

You can see that creating a classy book (which I'd like to think I did) is quite a detailed and even complex project. BUT, it sure is fun, and the artistic possibilities are unlimited. I'm very interested in your feedback, so do let me know. If you'd like to order a signed copy of the book, just email me by clicking HERE


All the best,





Other Stuff


You can view and purchase any of my photographs at my website (click HERE). Better yet, just email me (click HERE), or feel free to phone me at 612-374-2766. (Same goes for my new photo book--A Photo Journey.)


My wife and I just returned from a fascinating, eye-opening trip to Cuba. This will be the subject of my next issue of Photo Tips. For a small preview, here is an example of one of the GREAT '50's cars that are ubiquitous around the country. Okay, this one needs a little work!



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Mike Rosen Photography
512 River St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401

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