I’m writing a book and it will be published which, as any celebrity who has managed to craft a novel without ever having to plug in a word processor will tell you, is an easy and straightforward process with no need for any of that pesky slaving away praying that some editor will like your end product. And it’s doubly easy for me because I’ve decided to go down the vanity photobook publishing route … and yet the bloody thing is still keeping me awake nights.
So to clarify. When I say ‘writing’ I mean drafting a very short introduction and making sure the image titles are right. And when I say ‘published’ I mean I’m currently engrossed in blurb’s (I chose blurb through sheer laziness and because their software was the first to work on my computer) software and juggling hundreds of images into forty shots (or thereabouts) that capture my view of Chesham as I’ve seen it over the past four years.
So far I have a title, a front cover and about fifteen guaranteed to be in photos and I keep changing my mind about the rest. The running order has been flipped, the text descriptions expanded, collapsed, deleted and reinstated. I keep going back to what I might grandly call my vision – and then thinking about how images will sit next to each other, what they will say about themselves and the shots they sit next to. In short, I am being a bit of a drama queen about it.
And I’m loving it.
I have no illusions to greatness. This isn’t The Americans although having now gone through a copy I now know that a photobook isn’t merely a collection of photos (damn you Robert Frank). All I am doing is producing a book whose print run will be one whole copy – and that will be mine. It’s that sense of owning every part of the process and producing something so wholly personal that is making all this worthwhile. And having had a good look over the books at blurb I’m happy to see I’m not alone – there are personal, exciting projects of all kinds of image-making, it’s inspiring just to spend half an hour dialing up the previews.
I’ll no doubt put up something on this blog when it’s all done, dusted and back in my hands – maybe disappointed, maybe pleased – but until then if you run into me and I have a far away look in my eye there’s a good chance it’s because I’ve decided that the No Smoking sign really needs to go on the right and the Keep Out sign on the left.
Or the other way round.