Well, despite the fact that every imaginable poll has predicted my book the uncontested Grand Prize Winner of Blurb's Photography Book Now 2010 competition, I thought it would be nice to glance over a few choice picks of what others somehow thought would present "competition."
In all seriousness, there's a very good chance I missed some real winners amongst this year's competitors since I selected the following only upon entering a self induced hypnotic state allowing me to tear through the 2,000+ listing in one sitting- hardly the fair means to an end. And I hope that's the case, cause in my much admitted haste, I really didn't see all that many that impressed the hell outta me- so please, please, please feel free to mention your faves. But if anything has been made abundantly clear- we definitely do need a workshop or two on naming book titles (eg- Glimpses Of Shadows And The Echoes Of Light- made up, but look for yourself, 'nuff said).
Anyway, books that kicked butt, incl:
The Donovans by Gina Brocker- Absolutely gorgeous color images of Irish Travellers, full of frenetic energy and reminiscent of a young Nick Waplington's Living Room, except with more poise and grace. One genuine visual tour de force!
The Woods by Emily Shur- More a collection of single images than anything to do with "the woods," and no problem there- I'll take a strong collection of individual photographs over an essay with a few winners and a supporting cast of mediocrity any damn day.
Time and Space On The Lower East Side by Brian Rose- An interesting look back with some remarkable images of the sights, smells and sounds of New York's Lower East Side in the early eighties highlighted against the backdrop of today's more genteel incarnation.
Covered by Barry Lewis- Awright! Who freakin' let this guy in? Here's a guy who kicks my ass in my own friggin' "demographic." Although there are a few images added solely for content, most of these photographs stand up quite nicely as striking compositions. Cars under wraps never looked so damn good, nor funny...
And speaking of Blurb- wouldn't it make sense that if you or I can get certain bookstores to sell our Blurb books on consignment, we could then merit a more substantial "Bookstore Discount" from Blurb to offset the store mark up? Few people will choose to pay prohibitively more for a book by an unknown artist, rather than get a known artist's book that is also cheaper- but if they were competitively priced... Wouldn't that provide Blurb with added exposure and an avenue into perhaps another stage of their business where they could somehow compete, or align themselves with the "legit" publishing world? Isn't that the most obvious and logical component missing in this whole self publishing equation? Soon many a book store could have a small, separate Blurb section. Just sayin'...