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New book: Finistère Insolite

At last, my new book is here. Finistère Insolite (Exceptional Finistère) is a collection of 133 images across 100 pages exploring the wildness, vastness and serenity of, for me, Brittany’s most spectacular department.

The photographs were shot over the course of the past few years, with all of the visits having been made during Autumn – a time when Brittany is relatively empty of people and even more ruggedly beautiful.

Publishing this book was an educational experience. Having spent my whole career in one part of the publishing industry or another, I’m accustomed to working with desktop publishing platforms and outputting for print. But I’d never handled the whole process of producing a book from start – collecting together the images and planning layouts – to finish, which meant choosing and working with a printer.

My previous three photography books were all produced by mainstream publishers – all I had to do was supply the text and images and read the proofs.

And while my two novels – Lady Caine and Black Project – were published through our own small press venture, Webvivant Press, they were in e-book and print on demand (POD) formats.

POD is a convenient way of producing books (and now widely used by large publishers, too) because you don’t have to commit to specific print runs. The books are printed as and when needed – one at a time, if necessary.

However, I didn’t want to go that route with Finistère Insolite for a couple of reasons.

The first was format. Most of the images in the book are landscape format, so I wanted the book to be oriented that way too. Although POD publishers such as Lulu, CreateSpace and Blurb offer some landscape-format options, none of them was in the size and aspect ratio I wanted. Finistère Insolite is fairly large – 280mm x 210mm, which is just under A4 – in order to give the images room to breath.

The other reason for not going the POD route is that it’s terribly expensive. It’s bad enough when you’re dealing with text-only books such as novels, but with full-colour photo books the prices rocket. My first instinct, for example, was to go with Blurb. But when I costed it out I found that I would have had to roughly double the price I wanted to charge for the book!

Luckily, I discovered Biddles. It’s a UK printing firm that will do short runs using high quality digital printing. It meant that I could bring down the cover price without having to risk too much in stocks of the book. I was also able to go with heavier paper stock for both the main pages and cover than I could have afforded with POD services.

The Biddles staff were extremely friendly and helpful. And the quality of the product they produce is superb.

And so, here it is. The intention is that Finistère Insolite will be the first in a series of books covering the landscape projects you can find in the portfolio sections of this site – especially the Layered Land series.

The first 50 copies of the book will be signed by me.

To find out more or order your copy, go to the shop »

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