Enthusiastically noted: Peter Turnley's new book goes on sale today.
...Which is going to be great fun to watch.
I can't pretend to be anything close to objective here. I've been hearing about this book for years, since it was a gleam in its author's eye; I've been heavily involved as one of several friendly advisors during the development of the book; and, TOP will be offering three original prints from the book for sale at the end of the month (including the cover image). Peter, of course, is a longtime "friend of TOP," and we've had two hugely popular sales of his Paris pictures prior to this next one. He and I met for the first time just recently, but I felt as if I were meeting an old friend. Which of course I was.
I have not seen the book yet. I have seen the final edit in PDF form. And many of the edits prior to that. And have shared my opinions with Peter along the way.
The book is called French Kiss: A Love Letter to Paris and it is a sort of hybrid, or a book with two vectors: on the one hand it is a book of art photography. On the other hand it is a romantic picture book that will appeal to anyone who is in love or has ever been in love...even if they don't have any particular passion for photography. You know...the kind of thing that (gasp!) actually appeals to people who aren't photo nuts.
I know, crazy, right?
It is many other things:
- Career-spanning: the earliest picture in the book was taken in 1975 and the most recent one was taken not even two months ago (August 2013);
- A gift book, only available in a special deluxe edition, slipcased and signed; and
- Self-published. Peter's going it alone on this one (although it is professionally produced). Pretty brave, if you ask me.
A few more things I can tell you:
The special pre-order price is good through the month of October. All the books ordered in October will be shipped in early November, and will arrive (at least to U.S. addresses) in plenty of time to re-ship for Christmas or Hanukkah.
This isn't a TOP sale. The book is going to be widely publicized, and it's for sale direct-only.
The edition is 3,000 copies, which is kind of a lot for a printing of a photography book. So there should be a plentiful supply, at least for a while. Nevertheless, I'll try to keep you up to date here.
Leica is not sponsoring the book in any way, but they have made a short film about it, which you can see at the book page. All of the pictures in the book were made with Leica rangefinder cameras, from the M4 to the M Monochrom and every model in between.
All the books will be signed.
Enough for now. I should have a copy in my hands a couple of days, and I'll wait till then to say more. As I say, I think this is going to be fun.
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Ned Bunnell: "Thanks for sharing this news. As a previous person noted, immediately placing my order for Peter's book was a no-brainer. I wish him well with this self-publishing venture, but I'm sure it'll sell out. I'm really looking forward to seeing the book not only for his beautiful images but the book's design, reproduction quality, paper stock etc."
[Ned is the former president of Pentax Imaging. —Ed.]
Bob Smith: "Ahhh, home from work. Grab the iPad and click on TOP to see what Mike is tickling our brain cells with today. A new book he seems to feel strongly about. Paris, my favorite city I've never been to. Hit the link for the book, hit Buy Now and buy it...then say to myself What. Did. I. Just. Do? Guess I'll take a look at the preview and watch the video...okay Mike's nailed it again I think.
"This will make book #4 purchased because of TOP's recommendations. I'm afraid to look through the Book and Book of the Week sections. Don't know if I can afford to."
Mike replies: Plus, you have to save a little dough for our first book. [g]
Kenneth Jarecke: "Congratulations, Peter. This book looks great and I can't wait to get a copy."
[Ken is a former contract photographer for TIME and U.S. News & World Report. —Ed.]
Stephen F Faust: "Ordered! As a current owner of both McClellan Street and Parisians, I'm really looking forward to having a signed copy of this. Though I do have to wonder how much overlap there will be with the content in Parisians?"
Mike replies: I asked Peter for you, and he said there's "very little" overlap. He estimated off the cuff that at least 80% or 85% of the pictures in French Kiss are not in Parisians.
Andreas: "I like Peter's photography and also purchased a print of his photos in the past (also a kiss-photo ;-). Also, I find it a good move to self-publish and bypass the publishing industry. But I don't understand why this is brave, considering that it will certainly sell out in a short time. And I don't mean this cynical but as an honest question."
Mike replies: Well, you're probably right—it will most likely prove to be a good investment and end up being profitable (see the post after this one for a positive update). But producing a high-quality book can be a minefield, and the investment is all up front—it's just not easy for someone who has never paid much attention to money to drop tens of thousands of dollars into a project that has no absolute guarantee of returning to break-even. After it proves to be a winner it will seem like an easy decision, but anyone who self-publishes a photo book—as anyone who has done so can tell you—still has to climb pretty far out on a limb. Maybe "brave" is overstating what it takes, but it is not for the faint of heart.