How To Write A Photography Book - Part 1

It all starts with a plan...

How do you write a photography book?

To be honest I don't really know yet! That's the point of this blog - I'm going to learn, and show you how I figure things out.

I've created my own photo-books before but they were always personal projects with a print run of 1. It's a passion project this time! What I will do with this blog series is show how I will plan, create, market and publish my first book. I was always taught to "show your working" when trying to figure something out and that's the idea here; I'll be showing you everything, all my successes, my errors and my plans. I also want - actually, I *need* - your input, ideas, inspiration and critique! I need your motivation! Don't hold back!

 I've always wanted to write a book. I don't think I have particularly had a story to tell before now, just a desire to "publish something" I created based on some incoherent ideas in my head and my net achievement to date is maybe half a dozen aborted novels. My personal best is maybe 100 pages of manuscript! So why now and what makes this endeavour different to any of the aborted efforts of the past?

Every time I've tried his in the past it has just been an off the cuff attempt, words splurged onto a page with no plan or even just a rough idea how to make it happen. I've always been good at starting things & coming up with cool ideas... seeing them through and actually completing them has always been my big problem so before I started writing again for the umpteenth time I've approached this project a little differently and done my homework.

Oh how I wish my failed attempts of the past only amounted to two balls of paper... 

Oh how I wish my failed attempts of the past only amounted to two balls of paper... 

Enough waffling then, here we go.


The Plan

I've used lots of writing blogs for research and based on that I've come up with the following rough plan I intend to follow & blog about as I go.


Know Your Goal

  • What's the Story - define the audience/target market. Consider how the tone & writing style will feel. Define the subject and scope.
  • Skeleton outline - outline the backbone of the text, start > middle > end, key sections and major elements that need to be covered


Create Assets

  • First Draft - get words onto paper. Don't worry about editing, or if the order is correct, just write. Try to finish all major sections out have planned (from step 2)
  • Pictures - how will pictures accompany the text? Plan out each scene needed, list requirements. Include "b-roll" type filler images. Do images replace or compliment text?
  • First full draft & layout - combined manuscript with draft text and images, placeholders where needed



  • Edits & reviews - each iteration will yield a new manuscript. Murder your darlings!
  • Pros & cons of hiring a professional editor.
  • Do not underestimate how much time needs to be spent editing! 


Finishing Touches

  • Marketing strategy
  • Publishing & Printing
  • How to Sell


Although most of this needs to be executed in order - obviously I can't edit before I have a manuscript - some things can proceed in parallel. I'll probably start exploring the marketing & publish/print side of things early-on as they could have an impact on some of my design decisions.


So we have our plan. In my next post I'll start going into more detail of each of the individual points.

*Click here for part 0 of this guide, where I give the background to my book project*

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my book project so far, all encouragement and critique is welcomed! Just drop me an email or leave a comment on my site or Facebook.