Having your own photo book business can be both fun and lucrative. Here are some tips to get you started,
The first thing you will have to do to stat your very own photo book business is to do some research and acquire the appropriate software. Some of the more popular programs that you should probably give serious consideration to are: Photoshop, QwarkXPress, and InDesign. When it comes to professional-quality design, there are really no substitutes for these types of software, so be prepared to make that initial investment required to purchase them, and to spend some time learning at least a little bit about how to use them (if you haven’t already). In your design and layout programs, you should be able to create and set up some templates relatively quickly that will make your work easier as you get more and more work. Whatever you do, don’t let this step intimidate you. Yes, there may be a little bit of a learning curve at first, but if you can learn how to, say drive a car, you can learn how to use design software to some effect.
Printing and Binding
You should put some thought into whether you are going to do your own printing and binding or if you are going to outsource it. If it is the former, take a look around and start pricing binding machines. IF you intend to create hardcover books, the type of binding you will be looking at is called thermal binding. There are a few companies that manufacture thermal binding machines in a few different configurations. For the purposes of a small home business such as the one you are looking to set up, machines can be had for less than $200, or even less than $100. The process of creating hardcover books is incredibly easy and inexpensive, so having your own thermal binding machine on hand is probably the way to go.
As far as printing the pages, and customizing the covers, you have a few options there as well. If you intend to do your printing at home, you should really do your research before purchasing a printer. There are a fair number of them on the market at a variety of prices to read the reviews carefully and go from there. Another option might be to outsource the printing or now, and do the binding yourself.
Custom covers can be ordered from a few sources either on an as-needed basis, or in bulk. Make sure that the covers you order work with the binding system that you have.
Marketing Your Services
As soon as you can, put up a website, and get some business cards and perhaps a brochure. You can either create the card and brochure yourself in InDesign, or have someone with more experience do it for you. As far as creating a website, there are too many options to list here. Just make sure that the URL (web address) is easy to remember and type. Finding the right one may take some time, but it it worth it. Remember when you are doing your business planning that, thanks to the internet, you will be able to offer your services to any place you which you can mail the finished books.