We caught up with photographer Mark Power, Magnum Photos the other day in Singapore and popped him a few questions on publishing Photo Books!
Do you still need a publisher as self publishing has become so accessible?
You still need to get it out there somehow – distribute it. It’s not easy. And for me, I think, it depends on the project. Like I just did a project, the Black Country Stories (http://www.thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk/whats-on/exhibition/mark-powerblack-country-stories) which is very much an exhibition. It has video and it has sound and you can’t replicate those things in a book. But this (pointing to The Sound of Two Songs) was always conceived as a book project. I’m a real nutcase for photo book collecting for twenty-five years. I have a lot of photo books. I love making books. I haven’t made enough. I’ve only made five. I am about to publish my sixth one.
On Self Publishing
I haven’t done a self-published book yet and it’s not far off because you know, I am lucky enough to have enough visitors to my website (http://www.markpower.co.uk/) to make that work, to distribute it from the website. But I am not quite ready to do that yet. But you might encourage me to do shorter, sharper photo projects. That might get things out faster.
I am interested in the book as an object as well. All my books have been designed very carefully. I am not embarrassed by any of them which is actually quite unusual because I’ve been very careful. So that’ s a good advice. You don’t make a book until it’s ready. Until you feel that it’s finished.
The relevance of books
The reason I think books are special is because having made books, a number of books and many exhibitions, I know that you put more effort into making a book than you do in making a show. In a way, it’s why I always think I prefer to collect books than prints. Most work that I like is about bodies of work and to sort of cherry pick a print doesn’t really do the work justice. I love prints and I have prints that I’ve swapped with friends of mine and have even bought a couple. Books are usually what I am working towards.
IPA Photo Books Day happens today!
IPA Singapore Photo Books Day happens today 2PM – 7PM at The Pigeonhole, 51/52 Duxton Road, Singapore 089516. Join IPA for Singapore’s 1ST Ever Photo Book Fair and possibly the largest collection showcase of Photo Books by Singapore Photographers bar none!