How to Get a Photography Book Published

Publishers of all kinds, be they houses promoting the great American novel, the tell-all bio or the picture book for your coffee table, are seeing a decline in readership nation-wide. How that translates to the budding author, poet or photographer is simple: Following the traditional path to publication is bound to be fraught with roadblocks, most of them insurmountable. Thus, if you choose to go that route, expect disappointment. However, in this 21st century, why settle for tradition? The fastest and easiest way to get your work published and before the masses is to do it yourself.

Self Publish Your Photography Book

Compile a body of work. The first step to publication is to have a product. Take your photographs, write your copy.

When you have what you consider to be a complete project, find a half dozen friends and associates to look over your masterpiece. Don't choose Mom (unless she is a photographer). You want to select people who are most apt to give you fair and honest criticism.

While you await constructive feedback, take time to do some construction of your own. Put together a query letter, along with two of the best photos from your would-be book . Your letter should tout not only the contents of your book, but your own credentials as well. It also doesn't hurt to offer up your own ideas on how to market your product.

Send out queries to publishers -not just any publishers, the right publishers. This is where you need to do a bit of research. Go to the library or the local bookstore and find out who is publishing the kinds of photo books you most admire, with whom you and your work most identify. Also check out the below website for a list of traditional book publishers that specialize in photography.

Don't sit still. Unless you are extremely patient, you probably want to start the self-publishing process while you wait for answers to your queries. You need to set realistic deadlines during this process. How long are you willing to wait for that positive response among the rejections -six months? a year? While you wait, format your book by the vision in your head. Set up the cover and pages exactly the way you want them to appear in book form. Even if a publisher says yes, yes, yes, they will not mind your input. In fact, they will welcome it.

Edit. Do it yourself or have someone else do the honors.

Go to the Internet. Finding a print-on-demand publisher is literally just a click away. Check out these publishers' websites and choose the one that fits your needs. You can purchase as few or as many books as you would like.

Follow the site's procedures to upload your pictures and text. Once they have your product and your payment, all you will need to do is wait for your book to arrive on your doorstep.


While the publishing piece is easy enough, selling and promoting your book on your own is another story. If you want to send your work out to the masses, your first stop should be Don’t plan on making money this way, but it is an excellent way of getting your book out in the world.

Things You'll Need

  • Photographs
  • Copy
  • Money
  • Patience