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Beth Moon – A Conversation on Publishing


photo-eye Gallery Beth Moon
A Conversation on Publishing
To frame the release of her upcoming monograph, we asked Beth Moon to share her experiences with publishing various photographic series in book form. Signed copies of Literary Chickens can be pre-ordered with our bookstore here, and Beth Moon: Ancient Kingdoms remains on view at photo-eye Gallery through November, 24th, 2018.

Literary Chickens. Photographs by Beth Moon. Afterword by Jane Goodall. Commentary by Collier Brown and Melissa Caughey. Foreword by Isabella Rossellini. Abbeville Press, Jackson, 2018. 144 pp., 9x11¼".
Signed Hardcover: $50.00

Alongside our current exhibition, Ancient Kingdoms, Beth Moon is preparing to release her fifth monograph, Literary Chickens published by Abbeville Press this month. Literary Chickens features work from Moon's series Augurs and Soothsayers where the artist focuses her camera on 52 fierce, funny, and flamboyant heritage-breed chickens. Each image deftly showcases the hen's individuality and personality while acting as a powerful statement to respect and revere the animals we share this earth with.

To frame the release of her upcoming monograph, we asked Moon to share a little about her experiences with publishing her various photographic series in book form. Signed copies of Literary Chickens can be pre-ordered with our bookstore here, and Beth Moon: Ancient Kingdoms remains on view at photo-eye Gallery through November, 24th, 2018.

The title page from Beth Moon's Literary Chickens from photo-eye's Booktease™.


photo-eye:     Literary Chickens will be your fifth book. How has the process varied from book to book?

Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees, photographs by Beth Moon
Abbeville Press, 2016, Signed Hardbound: $60.00
Beth Moon:     Each book has presented a unique learning experience with challenges and rewards. I tend to put publishers into two general camps, trade and fine art, although there are numerous variations within this framework, as well as self-publishing. It is an extensive subject!
A fine art publisher produces books with costly elements characterized by a high production value. Generally, these books are a limited edition, having a higher retail value, catering to a niche market of artists and collectors. By comparison, a trade or commercial publisher is geared to produce a larger print run and able to introduce the book to a larger audience.

I have worked with Abbeville Press on three books now; a rare publisher that is a nice combination of both fine art and trade. On the other spectrum, producing a book with fine art publisher, Galerie Vevais was a great collaboration with poet, Collier Brown.  Collier chose images to pair with a poem that he wrote for the limited edition book, La Langue Verte.

There are tradeoffs and benefits with each type of publishing, but what they both have in common is a tremendous amount of work that starts after the images are edited down to final choices. I greatly enjoy the process, even though, as I am approaching completion, I vow never to produce another book again!  My memory is short lived.

pe:     Do you have any advice for photographers who would like to have a book of their work published?

BM:     I am by no means qualified to give advice on what I consider such a vast subject, but I think if you are passionate about a project, making a book can take the work to a deeper level by rounding out the series, clarifying thoughts and purpose and expanding the dialogue. However, I think it is important to give great thought to defining what you hope to accomplish.  Making a book is an arduous process and it requires a wide range of skill sets to produce, so it is best to get advice/help especially in areas such as design, and marketing.

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For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 
505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com


Beth Moon: Ancient Kingdoms
On view through November 24th, 2018

» View the Work

» Read Anne Kelly's Interview with Beth Moon

» Behind the Photo with Beth Moon

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