High quality colour books for publishers in the Visual Arts
My name is David Brimble. I specialise in production of high quality colour books showcasing photography, art or illustration. I offer expert support to publishers, businesses and organisations, working with them from concept to finished copies.
My specialism is image-led work, working with specialist stakeholders like photographers, illustrators, galleries and museums, ensuring the best work is shown off to its best advantage.
Who are my clients?
- Individual visual artists seeking to publish themselves
- Organisations or businesses embarking on a publishing / print production project
- Designers, agencies or studios
- Publishers of all sizes outworking aspects of their projects or needing input on processes and documentation
What do I do?
My focus is entirely on helping clients engaged in a custom publishing project. By this I mean they have decided not to choose from the menu offering of any online book production service.
I use my expertise to help you create something bespoke where you can work directly with pre-press and print suppliers to achieve the creative outcome you are seeking, but with the mentoring support of an expert in the process.
Essentially, I help you achieve a smooth-running project, a high-quality product and cost-effective purchasing. Even if you have some level of experience with print and publishing it’s easy, without the right guidance, to spend a lot more than you need to or to make costly mistakes.
Whether or not you are a first-time self-publisher there are likely to be knowledge gaps which I can help you fill.
Services I provide
To break things down a bit further here are some examples of more specific tasks I can fulfil:
Specification development and material selection.
I will assist you in developing a brief so you can create your specification in the right level of detail to discuss and cost with printers.
Cost estimating and Profit & Loss analysis
- Establishing the costs you can realistically expect to deliver your book, not only for the printing and binding but for other services you may well require in order to put your book together and prepare it in the best way. Whether you are already funded or intending to crowdfund this helps you set a realistic target from the outset.
- Creating a model of cost and profit margin based on selling price, print volume and sales discounts, so you move ahead on a sound business footing.
I can provide guideance on how to prepare your images and layout in the way pre-press and print suppliers need in order to give you the high quality printed result you want, and which is faithfull to the images you have created. ‘Colour management’ is a hugely important facet of book production when the content is colour-sensitive.
Choosing and working with a printer
I offer advice on choosing suppliers. I have extensive supplier contacts in the UK, Europe and Asia, which I can recommend according to the nature of your project.
I can introduce you to appropriate suppliers, help you to make arrangements with them, oversee the print management process and brief you on what to do if you attend the printing of your book.
Project Management input
Suggestions on the type of project planning, software and technical capabilities you will need in order to manage the process effectively, including:
- Documentation to help you communicate effectively with pre-press and print suppliers, to get the results you require in a smooth-running fashion.
I believe I add value to your project in several ways
- Curated network of trusted suppliers and other professionals
- Expert knowledge of the high-quality book production process and the ways in which cost and effort can be saved throughout
- Technical knowledge and the ways it can assure high quality in the preparation of your content
Books can be produced bespoke for much lower cost per copy than you can expect to pay the online book production options. By working directly with the suppliers you will cut out the middle-person and pay trade prices in the same way a traditional book publisher would.
Whether you are producing your labour of love or a crucial book product for your client you can retain full involvement in the process but with a supportive and knowledgeable mentor alongside, who will help you achieve a Publishing-standard product.
Using the correct methods when preparing image and design files ensures the highest quality result in print. Much can go awry between the camera or scanner, computer screen and the finished product so care and knowledge is required in managing the process. I am very experienced in this and can provide the guidance you need to get a top-quality result.
How do we work together?
The exact process of collaboration depends somewhat on the details of the project and your level of prior experience, capabilities and your preferences.
In my experience it is advisable to carry out a sound planning stage at the beginning. I will help you define your aims and will outline how you go about realising them.
Usually it is helpful to have periodic, scheduled calls, breaking the project into a series of stages with debrief and planning at the border between the current and next stage.
I then provide follow-up with explanatory notes and advice according to the requirements of the project.
It’s not practical for me to provide unlimited support, whether that is over the phone or in writing. I try and use collaborative software tool such as Trello or Google documents, where I can answer your questions in a centralised place online and maintain a methodical structure for ongoing reference.
I am not a great believer in email as a tool for managing complex tasks. In book production you need to work through processes in a methodical fashion. I provide clear, concise information in writing in a way that can easily be referred back to, keeping things on track.
Are you a publisher?
I’m not. I coach you though the process of producing a beautiful book and provide the production and project management direction you will need. The funding, the sales and marketing effort and the storage / distribution for the book will be down to you.
Do you project manage the whole thing as a Book Packager would?
No, I fill a supporting role. I enable you to be in the driving seat in turning your material into reality. I provide the opportunity to learn about the process as you work through it and provide the safety-net of an experienced collaborator to advise and support you where you need it.
My approach tends to suit people who are confident in being self-reliant rather than looking to another party to drive the process forward.
Are you employed or engaged by any particular printer?
I am independent of any suppliers and only put you in touch with those I consider to offer proven quality and service.
How does payment work?
Pricing for my services is tailored to your requirements. I will provide indicative cost estimates once we have had some form of discussion of what is involved.
Payments to other suppliers, such as the printer, will be your responsibility. You will make such payments directly based on their price quotations, invoices and payment terms.
What scale of project can you get involved with?
There are no hard and fast rules on this. I can scale my involvement according to size of the project. I feel I can add value even to projects with a low overall spend, although inevitably my involvement will then tend to be briefer than for larger scale projects.
Sometimes a short conversation can help a client make progress in an area where they were struggling. Projects of higher volume or complexity might see me involved at a number of points across a 6-9month period. It really does depend on the nature of the project and the needs of the client.
Contact me by email to discuss your project in more detail or, preferably, complete the short survey to provide me with a starting point for understanding your aims and the kind of support you might need. There is no charge or obligation to proceed from providing this initial overview. I will not add any of your details to any mailing list or supply it to any third parties.
You would, however, be ill-advised to try this without the help of a project and production manager; someone who knows all the intricacies of book production, the right printers and paper suppliers and a hundred and one other things. It’s knowledge that takes years to acquire. And in the UK, the go-to man is David Brimble.