There are services for everything. Print on demand will print you as little as one book. There are ebook sites that will sell a PDF. If you mean published through a publishing house then you have to submit your manuscript or images like everyone else. One way to find out the potential is get it critiqued at a conference by an editor. Writers market has tons of resources but it's a tough gig. GL and go for it if you can be persistent and patient.
41photog wrote: I am new to photography and am wondering how one gets a book published besides taking great photos. Any thoughts would be helpful!
I don't understand why anyone would want to get a book published if they haven't made great photos?! I worked my ass off for over 3 years in NY so that I'd eventually get a great book deal. After 3 years I was approached by a publisher who would cover all expenses, print on AMAZING paper, and have the book distributed in great spaces in NY, Paris, London and Oslo. It had one of the most artist-friendly contracts and positions me so that I have a publisher moving forward as I grow my following. I could have paid to have a book printed of my earlier work, but why?! If you're just looking to get some work published in a book that isn't a book of great photos? WHY?! Why waste your time? Why waste money? Why waste the paper and the environment?! Just take your time, get great, and eventually great offers will come to you - there is no reason to rush this shit.
With traditional publishing you research a concept you think is marketable, research publishers that may be interested and try to sell them on it. Many ask for a chapter to review. Given all the digital competition, publishers are more selective than ever especially with full color projects.
The other option is to self publish. That means doing all the work yourself - figuring out what there is a market for, doing all the layout, getting it proofed, finding a printer, and marketing it yourself. I did this with a book of local history and photography which sold through a couple local book shops. The problem I ran into was that after selling about 250 units the printer I used increased their printing costs to the point I just couldn't be competitive. I think that can be a big barrier with POD. Often the printing costs are just too high. The other problem with many self publishing projects is how to market an distribute your work without the network that publishers have in place. I think that's why self publishing is best suited for smaller niche markets where you have the connections to reach that niche.
With either self publishing or traditional publishing you need to decide what your goals are. With either, making a good financial reward for your time is far from guaranteed. I know of some traditionally published authors who only ended up making $500 bucks or so in royalties.
What kind of book do you hope to publish and what is the intended audience?
Is the book nothing but images with no text? Will the book include lots of your notes and commentary?
If you're going to include any text at all, you'd better pay for a proofreader or a ghostwriter.
If you want just a few books to give to relatives, you can get your stuff printed through any number of print-on-demand services on short notice and they'll print whatever you want. Be prepared to pay out the nose.
I thought I replied to this, but my internet connection is dodgy, so it may have been dropped.
First off, don't expect anyone to approach you. Unless you've already established yourself with shows in high-end galleries, the chances of someone propositioning YOU about a book are near-zero.
This is because there is very little money to be made in art books, unless you're famous enough to sell several thousand copies. Even then, it's risky. However, you can try to contact Aperture or Steidl ... those are probably your best bets. Regardless of how much they like your work, expect the print run to be very small, and expect to put up AT LEAST half of the money yourself. Which means that you'll need to shell out around $2,000+. If you're lucky.
If you go the self-publishing route, try www.oddi.com. Blurb is fine, but they use several different printing houses. This means that statistically, if you order a proof copy to approve before a run of books, the full run will not come from the same factory, and the colours will probably be different. Oddi doesn't charge much more (assuming you buy at least 150 books at a time), and the control over the finished product is infinitely better.
If you're only going to order a few books at a time, Blurb is the way to go.