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Thank you, Bruce.
Honestly, I just want to see a book on the proposed topic to be inspiring and beautiful.  If they had charged artists a dime, I would have laughed and turned the other direction.

 

barrett klein
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI
www.pupating.org

On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 7:43 PM, Bruce Bartrug <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
This sounds exactly like a lot of "art books" that are supposedly distributed to galleries.  Some (many?) may be legitimate, but more than a few are (or were) quite the rip-off.  Artists actually paid the publisher -- over $200 in many cases -- to have their work in these books, although the payment did allow the participating artists one copy of the resulting publication.  Figure it out......$200 from 100 artists (at 2 pages per artist) is 20kilobucks.  It doesn't cost that much to print 100 copies and give them away to galleries.  

There's a art promotion site here in Maine that works on the same plan.  One pays $250 and is allowed so many pieces of art work on the site.  Supposedly, "accepted" artists (anyone with $250?) gets "promoted" by the owners/operators.  I'm not certain what type promotion that entails other than having one's work on their website, as I've never joined.  Also, one has to pay every year to be included.

Yes, it's true that publishers and bookstores are going out of business (anyone here buy from Amazon? for shame), but this type publication has been around for quite a while.

On the other side of the coin, I'm certain everyone will recognize the name Art Wolfe.  Art is a wildlife photographer that has published quite a string of superb photography books.  Thing is, Wolfe only breaks even on the books.  He produces them to keep his name at the top of the list at the photo stock agencies, which is where he makes his money. 

So compromise is always an issue in self-promotion.  Your friend may have produced an excellent piece of work that may help some artists.  I'm not certain how galleries select the artists they chose to promote, but I suspect most galleries turn away dozens of artists who are clamoring to have their work shown.  I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that galleries today have to go looking for high quality artists.  (As an aside, having been to many art galleries it sometimes seems to me they are NOT looking for high quality artists but rather artists that produce something the gallery thinks will sell in that community.  High quality artists become illustrators so they can stick to high quality art work.)

If you are comfortable with this arrangement, go with it.  I suspect, however, that most of us here are looking for other ways to promote themselves than work for free "exposure."  We've all had that experience in one guise or another, and most who have realize it doesn't get them much.

Best,
Bruce

 

   

On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 7:41 PM, barrett klein <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I received a response from the author that contains no surprises.  The book project is an unusual one, to be sure, so I understand the author's predicament.  I will ask specifically about copyright protection of artists' works and, if they are protected, I will go ahead and participate.  No work is being commissioned for the book and my introduction may be "adapted" from a previous catalog introduction I wrote (with appropriate permissions).  I feel more comfortable with the arrangement and am glad that I inquired, if for no other reason than to plant a seed. 
To protect the author's identity, I am copying portions of the author's response here:

"Yes, the book is for profit, and I expect the publisher makes some money off it; otherwise he would not be in business. The final copy is classy - something that you will be proud of and give to your parents and clients as a gift...
I get a small royalty, which averages about $1 a book if it is hardcover. Less if it is soft cover...
Your question is unique. This is the first time in all the art books I have done that artists expect to be compensated for their work. Most of them look at this as their chance to get free pr, to meet potential clients and gallery owners, to share their work with the world.  Of course, they have to show it off.  Already one gallery is interested in this undertaking... The publisher offers a substantial  discount to participants.
I think you have to look at these coffee table books as promotional pieces... [specifics of what came out of a previous publication].
Certainly, it would be nice to compensate those who write the Intro/Foreword, but there is no money to do it.  Those writers get their name on the cover, which means that every time anyone looks up [book title] their name will pop up.
That's the deal, and there's little maneuvering room here. Publishers/bookstores have been going out of business at a great rate. The good old days are gone..."



barrett klein
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI
www.pupating.org

On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 5:15 PM, OC Carlisle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Barrett,

I echo Kathy G! Best wishes for resolving this very important issue.

Don’t forget the note from Gail Guth about the Orphan Works issue.

Best,

OC Carlisle

On Jul 19, 2015, at 5:08 PM, barrett klein <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Thank you, Kathy.  I will let you know what kind of response I receive.

barrett klein
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI
www.pupating.org

On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 3:14 PM, Kathleen Garness <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I think that's beautifully phrased!

Kathy G

On Jul 19, 2015, at 2:35 PM, barrett klein wrote:

I've received very interesting and not-unexpected feedback from this listserve.  Thank you!

I crafted this email message, including mention of GNSI, and sent it to the author who invited me.  Let's see how the author responds...

Dear ____,

I've been receiving messages full of questions from the artists I recommended you contact.  Colleagues of mine are concerned and I can appreciate these concerns, so I would like to share them with you so that I might properly respond.  Artists are often asked to share their work for "exposure," and are not reimbursed for products that make others money.  For my sake and the sake of those coming to me for information, could you respond to the following?

1) Is this book for profit and who attains financial rewards from sales of the book?
2) Why is the author of the introduction not paid?
3) Why are contributing artists not paid?

My colleagues share a concern with the Guild for Natural Science Illustrators and others that artists should receive payment for their contributions, taking the form of a one-time payment, royalties from sales, and/or copies of the book.

I would like to see this book become the best it can be, but I also do not wish to undermine my colleague's profession and integrity in the process.  Please let me know your thoughts on the matter and whether or not an arrangement that respects artists' contributions can be instituted here.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
barrett

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--
Bruce Bartrug
Nobleboro, Maine, USA
[log in to unmask]
www.brucebartrug.com

•The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.  - Albert Einstein
•In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King

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