Publish yourself via your own blog, website, PDF ebooks, prints, zines (magazine), or your own self-published print book.
Why publish yourself?
No gatekeepers. No excuses. No need to network, kiss ass, or impress editors or agents.
You got 100% control.
To me, control is more important than fame, wealth, or prestige. If you control the means of publishing, printing, and sharing — you own yourself.
Start your own website and blog
First register your own website and domain. I recommend using 1and1.com, and install WordPress.org.
Then, start publishing! Start publishing your photos, blog posts, and the goal is to get indexed by Google. If you get indexed by Google, you will show up in Google searches (the best way to get discovered).
Photography SEO (search engine optimization) is the focus.
Make PDF ebooks
Think beyond print books. Make PDF ebooks (HAPTIC DIGITAL PRESS).
I personally believe that ebooks are superior to traditional print books. Why? Ebooks will live forever — they are free to distribute and copy. Most of the ebooks which I’ve created I keep open and free. I personally believe in “open source” knowledge and information, and the more your information gets shared, the better.
If you have a Mac, use the free Apple iBooks Author. You can see the digital version of my SUITS book. Or you can use Adobe Indesign to create PDF ebooks.
What about copyright?
I’ve personally experienced this:
Not having copyright is superior for business.
Why? Everyone hates copyright and DRM (digital rights management). The goal is for your information and knowledge to propagate as far as possible. By adopting an “open source” and anti-copyright (copyleft) approach, you’re more likely to win.
Even Elon Musk open sourced all of Tesla’s electric car patents. This has helped the entire electric car industry flourish, which has ultimately also helped Tesla succeed.
How to print your own books
Another idea — use Adobe Indesign to design and make your own print books. You export the book as a PDF, and find a local printer which will accept your PDF file and turn it into a print book.
Or for a simpler solution, use a “print on demand” option like blurb.com. This will simplify the process for you.
Anti-hierarchy in publishing
Of course there is a hierarchy and snobbery when it comes to publishing. But I think the reason why there is this silly elitism in publishing is this:
The old guard is trying to protect their own dung-hill.
The old days of publishing are dead, and not entirely applicable to today’s digital world. I say that blogging is just as legitimate as print books, and vice versa. It matters less how your work is published— what matters more is the soul behind what you gotta share or say.
What are your personal publishing goals?
A lot of us desire to get “discovered” and published, because we still have this antiquated French art-exhibition-salon model stuck in our psyche.
Why do you desire to publish?
I cannot speak for you, but I personally want to get others to see my artwork and derive joy from it. Furthermore, I love to teach and educate. Why? When I got started in photography, it was all foreign to me. Now that I have some knowledge, I desire to share it with others.
When Cindy started HAPTICPRESS.com, her ambition was to promote others.
I love this notion. If you desire to promote yourself, promoting others is a very effective strategy.
The great thing about promoting and publishing others is that it helps you become a better curator (of the work of others, and of your own work).
We see currently in a brave new world of photography. Will you evolve and move forward, or stay behind and die off?