We are starting work on a new on demand book and I thought it might be informative to write about the process. This will be the seventh we have done. Andrea Star Greitzer is the designer, Patrick Philips is the writer of the intro and I am using pictures made either on or above Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts for the book's content. Andrea was a colleague of mine at Northeastern and has designed all of these books. Patrick is the editor and publisher of the magazine, Arts and Ideas.
All of these books, printed by My Publisher, are organic projects that involve quite a bit of back and forth between Andrea and myself. I would describe the books we've done as being collaborative projects. We will discuss, debate and negotiate back and forth for several weeks, trying different versions of ordering the photographs, eliminating pictures or replacing pictures with other pictures, until the book begins to fall together.
The Vineyard is a difficult place to make pictures that avoid cliché, redundancy or are just too pretty. So far we are working on defining the story I will try to say with my pictures and we are thinking of trying to speak to the struggle entailed in doing a book from such a beautiful and over photographed place.
Of course, having no editor, no real publisher and no large financial restrictions helps things along quite a bit. This means we are free to make a book just as we please. Also, you can print just a few and then go back and print them as you need to.
Progress update from a couple of weeks ago when I first posted this. I have now made another flight over the island and we will incorporate some of the new pictures in the book. I also have a far better idea of the story we will tell. It is far too easy to lose sight of just what the island is, to assume it is the same as any other seaside community. But from the air, the place's sheer beauty is inescapable.
Once published we will post the book for sale on the site. I will be showing some of this work next summer at Featherstone Gallery on the island next summer.