The biggest book in the world

Damn big book
You’re looking at the biggest book in the world, 44 inches x 60 inches (1m x 1.5m roughly) and it weighs 60kg. And just because it sells on for $15,000 doesn’t mean that you can’t make one.

Think about this for a minute. You’re a photographer, you have a decent camera and you want to sell your photos. Every photographer is framing their prints for sale, some – wait for it – print on canvas *gasp*, but you decide to sell your prints in a book so big it needs a truck to deliver it and an easel to display it… do you think you might stand out from the crowd? Would your book be remarkable?

Let’s see how this can be done and discover how big printer companies like Epson are dropping the ball with their marketing

I have, in my office one of these:
epson 9600
It’s the Epson 9600 and co-incidentally it can take a roll of paper or canvas up to 44 inches wide and these rolls of photopaper are about 30m long. You don’t have to be a genius to see that one of these printers is going to be able to create a HUGE photo book for you.

Now here’s my point about Epson’s marketing: these guys are so focussed on their specs, print head technology that they totally fail to ignite my imagination. I can’t remember how I stumbled on the huge photo book in the picture at the top of this page but I can tell you that it wasn’t on Epson’s site… which is a fucking crime. So here I am telling you about what the epson 9600 can do and you’re reading it in my blog but you really should be reading about it on Epson’s blog, but they don’t have one, instead they have a marketing department stocked with people with degrees.

Now let’s break this book down and work out what it would cost to create a 50 page book that is 1m x 1.5m (half that size would still be impressive). We’re going to need:

  • 75m of paper which will cost us around $600.
  • We’re talking alot of ink to do these pages so let’s say $200.
  • Next we need hinges and some MDF to make the cover… another $100

So I’d say about $1,000 would see the project finished with a nice easel thrown in to display the book. Now here’s the thing: a 1m x 1.5m print would easily retail for $100 or more in a gallery or market. So arguably the book could have a retail price of $5,000 (50 pages x $100)… but at $2,000 retail, a photographer only needs to sell 20 or so of these books a year and she’s making ok money. And the best part is that she can print the books on demand.

Make no mistake, a large format printer is expensive (around $10,000 or $200 per month if you lease it) but you can always go to a place like Arthouse Reproductions and get them to print the pages for you. It might cost you more up front but it allows you to test the market before you take the plunge and invest in an expensive printer.

Here are the lessons from this post:

  • Create something remarkable… if your product isn’t that remarkable (photos of Bhutan for instance) then create remarkable packaging or promote it in a remarkable way.
  • Inspire your customers with your products or services by showing them more than prices, specs and features. No matter what you’re selling, you’re selling a dream – so let them dream
  • Do your phone-work: come up with an idea and then get on the phone to find out what it would cost to put together. An idea is no good if it sits in your head. At least take a few steps towards giving your ideas some life, maybe your idea will work out, maybe it won’t or maybe a better your idea evolves into a living, breathing thing.

Don’t be afraid to invest in your ideas. People waste are happy to put their money into the stock market investing in someone else’s ideas but won’t spend a few thousand dollars on their own ideas. My bet is you’re going to lose more money in the market than you will investing in your own ideas or projects. Not all of your projects will work out but the journey makes it worthwhile… don’t be afraid to try or learn new things, it makes your life so much more interesting. And one day, one of your ideas will pay off and you can quit your job and spend more time doing what you love.

Published in: on November 9, 2005 at 10:00 am Comments (1)

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One Comment

  1. On March 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm Said:

    Acland Brierty┬ůexplained ┬╗ The biggest book in the world