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Shark Tank: Photography Book Edition

Colleen Mullins & Bruce Myren

Saturday, November 11 - 4:20PM to 4:50PM

In the last five years, since the release of Publish Your Photography Book, By M.V. Swanson and Darius Himes, encouraging a mindful and professional approach to publishing, the monograph has become less a brass ring in the photography career merry-go-round, and more the horse upon which one, seemingly, must ride.

Subvention–based publishing has skyrocketed to the point of legitimacy, unchecked. And traditional mainstream publishers have become the minority in the creation of the photography book.

How does a photographer make a determination as to when in their career, and which project, will represent the best choices for the time and probable significant financial investment, needed to produce a book?

In this informative and comedic theatrical presentation, Bruce Myren and I recreate an episode of the television program Shark Tank, in which we will examine the publication options for one photographer, on the verge of this very important career milestone. Enjoy the drama, as the tables are turned, and the "Shark" becomes the photographer, with investment money, and the "Entrepreneurs" are series of publishing industry options, presented in the first-person, as a business seeking investment by a photographer, both in the use of their work, and sometimes financially. Will the present model hold up, when the photographer asks the hard questions about distribution, royalties, sales goals, and quality control, as well as other value added by the traditional publishing house, vs. subvention-based publisher, university press, or the route of self-publication? Will the photographer be Mr. Wonderful or will they become Mark Cuban before the audience's eyes?

Is it, as the Greek Chorus repeats, "the way publication is done now," or will this apples-to-apples on-stage comparison, where an artist deigns to discuss market capitalization for themselves, make one think twice, before tapping one's own network for the illustrious monograph? 


Bruce Myren
Bruce Myren
Colleen Mullins
Colleen Mullins

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