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[BKARTS] Blurb Books vs. Artist Books

Regarding the question of SPOD books (nice term!) versus hand-made books:

I recently published a book on Blurb (“Pocketbook of Drag Queens”, announced to this list) which had previously existed as a small edition of hand-printed, hand-folded, hand-pasted, hand-bound books. I was pleased with the translation and the outcome of the SPOD book; I thought the printing was very good, even if the pages were a little thin. And I love the idea that the book is reasonably priced, in an open-ended edition. It’s a great way to publish a book that might be passed up by a photo publisher for various reasons (too local, too dicey, too out-of-date, whatever.)

In terms of collectibility, it is now available to anyone, in the spirit of Ed Ruscha’s ”26 Gasoline Stations” (I should be so lucky.)

However, I agree that the Booksmart download is limited. Speaking only for myself, (as I teach book arts and am pretty practiced at hand-binding) it took a longer time to download my images than for me to make a handmade book! But for anyone who is computer-savvy, it's not too difficult.

I advise anyone wanting to make a SPOD book that nothing replaces a first (or second, or third) dummy and a subsequent stab or two at making a unique book.
In my opinion, the craft and art of binding is not commercially replaceable.

I believe that some of these topics will be covered in a discussion at the upcoming ARLIS book artists conference in NYC (and other similar venues).
Perhaps that information can be made available to this list or published in the next issue of Bonefolder.

Best to everyone,
Ellen Wallenstein
NOW ONLINE, The Bonefolder, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008 at
For all your subscription questions, go to the
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