Saturday, May 06, 2017

Photographer Robert Herman Shares His Self-Publishing Journey

"Capture in the photograph what is invisible." 
~ Robert Herman

Having had a long love affair with photography, I remember looking at photobooks by major specialty publishers at Book Expo with envy. Tonight I attended an event in Century City sponsored by the Annenberg Space for Photography where NYC street photographer Robert Herman told us about taking a different route.

When looking for a publisher for his The New Yorkers, Herman received five offers from traditional photobook publishers. The rub was that he'd have to contribute $20,000 to $30,000 to the effort. He just didn't have the money. So Herman turned to self-publishing as he was looking for something to energize his career.

Key to his early efforts was setting up the groundwork for a successful Kickstarter campaign with work on Facebook. For instance, he had a well-produced video there (which he shared this evening). His Kickstarter offers included a book for $60, which was the most popular contribution level. He passed his set goal and successfully raised $10,559. Later he would see that a third of his Kickstarter money came from Facebook, a third from friends and family, and a third from people just surfing through Kickstarter or the Internet. The Kickstarter funds were supplemented by tax deductible donations through Fractured Atlas. Credit cards helped too.

The effort to hone down the work to the final candidates was massive. Herman started with thousands of images and got it down to 80. He'd put the images up in groups on the wall to select the best of the bunch, moving them around as part of the process. Herman says that as a self-editor you "need to be brutal."

Herman believes becoming a successful self-published photographer involved some miracles. These included getting a $1.000 Kickstarter contribution from someone he met at a party. Also, returning to a portfolio review for a second year with a dummy of the book brought in Sean Corcoran as the writer of the Foreword. Corcoran is the Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York.

It was obvious that Herman was dedicated to an involved process that would result in a high quality end result in the book and its images. The New Yorkers has been sold at the Museum of Modern Art for four years. And it received a feature article with photos in The New York Times as well as coverage in their Lens blog. All three of these accomplishments are very impressive for a self-published book.

The photographer emphasized that self-publishing a photobook is a group effort, and that it's important to have support. His team included an editor, book designer, production person for CMYK color conversions, and a cooperative Canadian printer who worked with him onsite.

The New Yorkers is now in its fourth year of publication and on its third printing.

"You don't have to travel all around the world 
to get a good photograph.
It's right outside your door."
~ Robert Herman

Herman photographs the audience.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

See You at the LATFOB This Very Weekend!

Friend /client Susan Moss [right] (author, Survive Cancer
with Me [left] at BPSC Booth #933 in 2015

Wow! We're just a day away from the fabulous Los Angeles Festival of Books, one of those occasions where you can't do everything! I'll be walking the booths, attending panels, chatting with friends, and also making myself available at the Book Publicists of Southern California booth #933 to speak with you and answer your editing and publishing questions. Booth #933 is just slightly south of the LA Times Main Stage.

My times at the booth are:

Saturday, 4/22
2-3 pm and 5-6 pm

Sunday, 4/23
11-Noon and 3-4 pm

Come on by!

Write on!

Robin (Quinn)  / Book Coach and Editor

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Learn about the Secret Power of Books Reviews - This Monday!

When I first got involved in the world of writing and books, it was natural for me to apply my skills from producing in TV. Now more than two decades later, I'm still at it -- currently producing and moderating programs for the Publishers Association of Los Angeles - affectionately known as PALA.

This Monday (March 13th) is my latest - an evening exploring the ins and outs of getting and best utilizing book reviews. The goal in mind is to improve your book's visibility and increase your book sales.

Our speaker is Carolyn Howard Johnson, author of the HowtoDoItFrugally series of books. She's appeared on my panels numerous times, and I always find her to be informative as well as charming.

To sign up, go to the PALA website:

The cost is $5 for PALA members, and $15 for the general public.

Program starts at 7 PM, and will continue to 9 PM.

Location: Veteran's Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA.

I've been reading her book, and it's just packed with great information gleaned to a great degree from Carolyn's firsthand knowledge from being a best-selling author and excellent marketer.

Note: This program will be taped and made available soon after the event. Last month's PALA program on MONETIZING YOUR BLOG (see previous blog post) is now for sale at

Write on!

Program Producer, Book Coach & Editor

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Learn to Get More from Your Blog – Next Wednesday!

Many marketers believe an author’s blog is one of the most important parts of book marketing. In addition, some say that everything should be brought back there, or to your website.

Join us in LA next Wednesday, February 15, to learn the blogging game or step up your blog practices. I’ll be there to moderate and learn right along with you.

Program will recorded and sold as audio by the Publishers Association of Los Angeles,

Here are the details!

Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 7 PM
Stepping Up Your Blogging Game:
How to Blog Better, Monetize Your Blog & Sell More Books

Are you underutilizing your blog or don’t even have one? Whether you’re an author or publisher, this is a missed opportunity. February’s program will explore better blogging strategies, along with the smart ways to monetize your blog and use it to sell more books.
February’s PALA program will explore:

o Why blogging is an important marketing strategy
o Ways to research who will read your blog and books
o The different types of blogs and what they have to offer
o How to build traffic for your blog – strategies, tools and resources
o How blogs make money
o Independent vs. dependent types of income strategies
o Value as a marketing tool
o Using your blog to access other opportunities
o Changing the way you think about competition in the blogging world

Kitty Lusby is a full-time, professional blogger based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her early experiences with book blogging rapidly expanded into a profitable blogging career, and today, she manages and writes content for blogs in a variety of industries. When entrepreneurs and aspiring bloggers began regularly requesting coaching, Kitty transformed her personal website into a resource where people can find practical advice on the skill and business of blogging. Recently, she accepted a mentorship role for business students at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and she regularly leads workshops and lectures in Las Vegas and around the country. You can find her blog and a variety of online training at

Robin Quinn has been in the book business for two and a half decades. She is an award-winning book editor, book coach, copywriter and ghostwriter. Robin specializes in self-help, spirituality, health, business and the media, and also loves to work with uplifting memoir and fiction. Her editing credits include the newly released The Frustrated Believer: What to do when you don't know what to do by Shelley Roxanne, I Heard Your Dog Died: Imaginings for Those Who Have Lost a Pet by Bonnie Kreitler, the college memoir, Heaven + Hell = Harvard by Jason W. Park, and the forthcoming child abuse survivor memoir, Heart Warrior by Stuart Lord and Jamison Stone. She is a board member of the Publishers Association of Los Angeles, Secretary of PALA and a member of PALA’s Program Planning Committee.

LOCATION:  Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City. Corner of Overland & Culver. Parking is free on site. The parking entrance is on Culver. Meetings are on the first floor, down the hall to the left of the front doors. The PALA sign will be on the meeting room door. NOTE: Wear layered clothing. The room is usually comfortable, but the temperature may vary.
COST:  $5.00 for PALA members; $15.00 for nonmembers. Advance admission can be purchased until the day before the program with PayPal on our website: .
QUESTIONS:  Contact Robin Quinn, PALA Secretary and Board member,, 310-838-7098.