Print Publishers Should Learn from the Photobook

Print publishers still think they're in the information delivery business. This is probably only half true.

Publishers need to look to re-surging popularity of photobooks for the future of print books in general.

You can get information anywhere now. That's not what's scarce. Photobooks are about the luxury of leisure and the experience of paper. People will pay for that and pay a lot when quality is the differentiator.

Someone I know tried to buy a $1500.00 art book recently, because each page was fussed over and only a few hundred were being printed. They couldn't buy it, though, because it was sold out well in advance.

There's a good size market for high quality print books. 

I've heard this disputed by photographers who create instructional photobooks. But that's an entirely different animal. Instruction is the opposite of leisure. Also, there's a generational gap involved:

"The under 40 crowd in photography rarely pays for training or personal development. Their teachers are Google and Youtube." - Jack Hollingsworth

If you're picking up a paper book these days it's about the experience, not just info.