Three years ago, a couple of forces came to bear on me at the same time and I found myself unexpectedly playing with the idea of writing an eBook. I was on a hike with Corwin, my manager and best friend, and I remember asking him, “Hey, what do you think about me doing an eBook?” It was a vague idea at best, but I went home and, determined to learn Adobe InDesign, I sat down and began working on a short project I was calling, for lack of a better name, “Ten Ways to Improve Your Photography Without Buying Gear.” That book just became known as TEN, because, well, it’s a shorter title and it has brevity, if not wit, going for it. I put it up online as a $10 PDF that I would sell for $5 for a limited time. To my great shock people downloaded it. Over and over again. I did another one, cleverly called TEN MORE. And still people downloaded it. I never could bring myself to raise the prices; they’re still just $5 each.
When I first hit the Publish button there was nothing in the world that could have prepared me for the response. Three years later we’ve had well over a quarter million downloads, 43 digital books in the library, and by the end of 2013 will have 17 authors under this accidental publishing umbrella. I still wake up every day and shake my head, partly from disbelief, but mostly from gratitude. I’ve stumbled headlong into a creative project that I love, and one that’s provided for me and a growing team of photographers, layout artists, and editors. When I fell from the wall in Italy and could no longer take assignment work, I had something that kept me going, and paid the bills. We’re a small company that’s learning as we go, but even the failed experiments and harder lessons have been so worthwhile.
So today we’re celebrating our first three years. We’re doing that by announcing a few exciting changes, and then we’re going to give away a few things, and offer a great discount just to say thank you.
PHOTOGRAPH, The Magazine
First, we’re announcing PHOTOGRAPH, a Quarterly Magazine for Creative Photographers. PHOTOGRAPH is going to be big, elegant, and dedicated not only to the art of photography, but to photographs themselves. With each season there will be a new issue of PHOTOGRAPH. It’ll contain portfolios from exciting photographers, like Art Wolfe and Bruce Percy, in large, beautiful, layouts. It’ll also contain columns from a great list of regular contributors, from artists like John Paul Caponigro and Chris Orwig; articles that address the way we make photographs, post-processing, and creativity. It will stay clear of gimmicks and fads, it will honour the amateur who does this for the love of it, it’ll be ad-free, and it’ll be made with love. PHOTOGRAPH will be available, like the eBooks, as a digital PDF download, for $8 or as an annual subscription for $24.00. We’ll be announcing it soon; stay tuned!
For three days only, the 27th, 28th, and 29th of August, 2012, we’re offering 33% off on all purchases of 10 or more books at Craft & Vision when you use the code 3YEARS. So 10 books for $33. Get 12, 17, or 37, they’re 33% off for 3 days. Thank you for making this a great 3 years!
THE C&V BLOG + PODCAST
Today we’re announcing the opening of the Craft & Vision Community (effective later this week). What was a year ago opened as a paid, by-subscription service, is now open to everyone. The podcast, and the archives, are now free to all, on the Craft & Vision blog. We’ll have links to both of those on the Craft & Vision website. We hope that by doing this we get wider participation and enrich what is already a beautiful thing. We also hope that by detaching this from a financial obligation that we free everyone up – ourselves included – to do this better, in the way we most want to do it. We tried something, learned some lessons, and are now changing course a little. I hope the podcast and blog will enrich your experience with us.
A FEW PRIZES
Lastly, we’ve dipped into the database and from the names of every person that’s ever purchased an eBook from us, we’ve randomly chosen some winners. To David Block, Paul Clarke, and Michelle Raines we’re giving away a complete Craft & Vision Library, including a copy of every book we put out in 2013. To Javier Latorre Zacarés and Carson McComas we’re giving away an annual subscription to PHOTOGRAPH, and to Stuart May we’re giving away a signed copy of my last book, Photographically Speaking.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of this. While it’s my sincere hope that each person that downloads a Craft & Vision book is getting more than they paid for, it’s also a gift to me and those that partner with me – you allow us to do what we love, day after day, and to keep creating something beautiful. Your support, patience, and enthusiasm mean the world to me. Thank you so, so much. Happy birthday, Craft & Vision.