If you’re new to Photobook Collective, welcome and thank you for joining our community! Also, thank you for taking a few minutes to read this post. It might be the most important information we can pass along before you jump in and get acquainted with the rest of our site.
There are many obvious benefits to the unique model we’ve created for photobook enthusiasts to build or refresh their collections. Everyone who joins Photobook Collective should feel the value they receive far outweighs their membership fee. In fact, many will find they save more than the cost of an annual membership with the purchase of just one book during a Member Appreciation Program sale event.
The key to maximizing your benefits as a member of Photobook Collective though, is hidden right there in our name. We chose the word collective intentionally because it embodies the vision we had for this community from the beginning. Artists have joined together and pooled their resources using the collective model throughout history and continue to do so today. The Chicago Artist’s Collective is one well-known example.
What Is A Collective?
A collective is a group of like-minded people who share a common interest and work toward the same goal. Each member contributes, and in return they benefit from the contributions of all the other members. Contributions can be knowledge, skills, financial support or even words, but the concept is the same. Each member gives a little, and together the collective group gains far more than the individual could on their own.
A Larger Community is a Stronger Community!
Our members don’t incur fees (commissions, referral fees, value fees or variable closing fees) to sell their books. This gives them the option to consider pricing their books competitively relative to the same titles (in similar condition) on other platforms and still retain more of their investment. The compounding results of selling and buying books on Photobook Collective might look something like this:
- Photobook enthusiasts learn that books they’re interested in are available at competitive prices on the Photobook Collective website. They are then prompted to join our collective for just $5 per month (or $50 per year).
- Each new member benefits the community in two ways. They increase the size of the audience for those who have books for sale, and they may have books to sell as well, which increases the selection available to our members who want to add to their collections.
- Competitive prices and a larger audience provide an opportunity for a book to sell more quickly.
- When other photobook enthusiasts with books to sell learn about this, they’re prompted to become members, which again, benefits the community in two ways.
- And the cycle repeats.
Simply stated… every new member benefits everyone else in the community and simultaneously attracts other new members who do the same.
One of the most popular benefits members of our community will enjoy is the Membership Appreciation Program (MAP). Members can save more on one book purchased at one of our sales than the cost of membership. Contest winners benefit even more. But MAP events are funded by a percentage of each member’s monthly or annual fee. The size and number of events we can provide is directly related to the number of members we have. The larger the community becomes, the more events we can schedule and the more books we can source. The larger the community becomes the more we can reinvest in the community.
Some other examples of contributing to the community include:
- Recognizing that you own a book another member has created a Want to Buy (WTB) listing for and offering to sell the book to them if it’s one you no longer have a strong interest in.
- Answering questions or sharing best practices in the forums.
- Donating books that can be used to reinvest in the community.
We Welcome Self-Published Photographers!
Members who list their self-published work on Photobook Collective contribute as well.
- They give our community the opportunity to explore new work and seek out emerging talent.
- As the number of self-published titles grows, more collectors who have an interest in fresh new work are attracted to join our community. The first published work of a soon-to-be significant name among photographers might be found right here on the Photobook Collective platform.
Self-published photographers who make their work available on Photobook Collective also benefit significantly.
- Listing their books or zines on Photobook Collective provides exposure and the ability to sell them to a growing audience of people who are passionate about photobooks.
- The ability to mark the work as self-published when it’s listed, coupled with the ability to filter searches for self-published work only, provides a more direct path to their work by separating it from all the other books in our database.
- Self-published photographers are encouraged to announce and describe work they’ve listed in the Self-Published Photobook Announcements forum.
- Self-published photographers also have the opportunity to be interviewed for our Insights column, which gives them more exposure and the ability to discuss their work at a deeper level.
No two collectors are alike. There are those who never intend to sell a single photobook they’ve ever acquired, even if the work doesn’t appeal to them. It makes sense that curators, authors, editors and others view their collections as resource libraries, and any book could be useful in a future project. In the middle are collectors – both within and outside of our community – that continuously build and refresh their collection. A photobook we no longer pick up might be the same book another person can’t put down. And there are those just starting their collection journey. We think Photobook Collective has something for everyone, no matter where you are on this continuum.
We don’t dictate the terms of a sale. Members are free to price books as they see fit, determine other factors such as the form of payment they’ll accept and the method of delivery they intend to use. Likewise, a member who is interested in the book can ask to negotiate any of those terms as well.
We also want to be very clear about our role at Photobook Collective. We’re very passionate about photobooks…but we are not experts. There are many people who are far more knowledgeable about every aspect of the photobook world than we are. We hope some of those people will join us and share their insight.
We’ve simply developed a better tool we felt was long overdue based on 30 years of personal experience and the comments of many other photobook collectors. Our platform is dedicated to a community of people who are passionate about photobooks. We bring together like-minded people as they buy, sell or trade their way to the photobooks that truly have meaning for them.
Our members who have photobooks that gather dust on their shelves now have a simple and cost-effective platform to make those available to other members. We think of this as maintaining a meaningful collection by recycling the books you rarely open so others can acquire them and replacing them with new work that has a stronger appeal.
Enjoy the journey!