Author Topic: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions  (Read 2994 times)

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Offline Peter Mugridge

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Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« on: Sep 08, 2018, 11:18 PM »
I do wonder sometimes if, with so many excellent pictures and only 12 months in a year, the forum should produce one of those huge illustrated "coffee table books"...?

Just an idea...  ;)
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2018, 11:17 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #1 on: Sep 09, 2018, 11:58 AM »
I do wonder sometimes if, with so many excellent pictures and only 12 months in a year, the forum should produce one of those huge illustrated "coffee table books"...?

Just an idea...  ;)

Is that you volunteering Peter!?
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2018, 11:18 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Offline Peter Mugridge

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Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #2 on: Sep 09, 2018, 01:32 PM »
Is that you volunteering Peter!?

I could help assemble it although I wouldn't have time to do the whole thing - but we should ensure we have the funds in place first to do it...  perhaps seek an advance from a publisher?
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2018, 11:18 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Offline June Ingram

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Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #3 on: Sep 11, 2018, 03:13 PM »
The coffee table book is a marvelous idea.  I could help out also.   :)
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2018, 11:18 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #4 on: Sep 11, 2018, 06:01 PM »
I'm also happy to be involved, once the 2019 calendar is ready :) .
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2018, 11:19 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #5 on: Sep 11, 2018, 09:18 PM »
Looks like we have ourselves a project, then, as long as we can keep the costs down?
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2018, 11:19 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #6 on: Sep 12, 2018, 10:17 AM »
Looks like we have ourselves a project, then, as long as we can keep the costs down?

There's only 2 ways to do it - pre orders with a large non refundable deposit, or the Lulu model where they're printed to order.
And that takes us to the bank account issue...

The number of calendars ordered last year would have cost a lot to get a printer to print for us, perhaps a nice book could get more orders... Not sure.
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2018, 11:19 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #7 on: Sep 12, 2018, 11:21 AM »
I have split the discussion on the Illustrated Coffee Table Book into this topic, so as to let the discussions take place outwith the Photo Competition Poll topic.

Brilliant idea, which I hope comes to fruition. 
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Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #8 on: Sep 12, 2018, 08:48 PM »
The number of calendars ordered last year would have cost a lot to get a printer to print for us, perhaps a nice book could get more orders... Not sure.

Maybe we could test the waters with the calendar, which I shall be putting together next month.

We use Lulu forms to create it and they print it for us and sell it at their price, which includes packaging and postage, to which we can add a small margin of profit for Forum.

My feeling is that we would sell fewer books than calendars -- and even calendar sales have gone down from year to year. If we could find more outlets, that would be good -- but if a shop wanted to sell the calendars and the books, they would have to buy them from Lulu first and then add their own margins.

I once did a book for my family using Lulu, and it turned out very nice -- but it is a paperback and not a coffee table book as Lynda is suggesting.

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #9 on: Sep 12, 2018, 09:09 PM »
Its a great idea But a crazy idea, Seek the advice of Flagship, he has the wisdom of being in the know with "books"
How big is coffee table sized, How many pages, hard or soft backed pictures and words or only pictures.
As for printing, you have missed out Facebook and their social books ? Ok perhaps its a different way of printing. Does it even fit in with the groups requirements

I have for the past few years been doing "My Social Book" of my yearly travels and while editing is very limited, choice of layout is limited , there is free reign given to cover colour and style and some other small things are customable, But what is produded is a marvelous reminder of what l did on my holidays. Ok granted its all Facebook postings etc . Printed dates from Dec 1st to January 20th it covered all the various shite   things i post on Facebook during that period it ran to 326 pages . However what is produced is a remarkable product very well laid out and for me a nice reminder of a nice holiday. No more Holiday photo albums, instead here is a nice collection of social experiences. Facebook for all its good or bad things do seem to know how to get the good photos better. And very little, if any, effort on my behalf, other than paying for it.
The last book was in the region of , well l cant actually remember but it was priced in Euros, whatever that is as l never use them but i think around 110 euros then there are various discounts and it came down to around the 90 euro mark.     

The Forum calender , which is easiest doing it the old fashioned way ie getting it actually printed and going to the Post Office or having it all done by Lulu . I always found the large one was to big and the smaller one just a tad to small , and if truth be told l dont display the larger one . 
Vistaprint also do a marvelous range of such things are are quite cost effective l used to do desk top ones for family .

What would be interesting is knowing just how many calenders are sold , who buys them and how many are active members , Its safe to asume the regulars buy them but what about the non posters .
What is l find surprising , we have a limited number of active people on here, Yet you can fill a conference venue...     ;D 
 
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 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #10 on: Sep 12, 2018, 09:48 PM »
How big is coffee table sized, How many pages, hard or soft backed pictures and words or only pictures.

I have a few coffee table books downstairs - mostly Francis Frith archive ones; I'll measure them tomorrow - they are generally landscape orientation large format hardbacks with pages around A4 in size and are more or less completely pictures with captions; usually very little text other than introductory details at each chapter.

This type of book is usually produced to show off high quality photographs - and that is one thing where we are certainly not short on material.

The market for one based on those photos which do not make it into the calendar would not so much be the forum membership itself, but the maritime community in general - but would also likely appeal to former passengers and people who live in and around QE2's regular ports.  So it's rather difficult to judge things based on the performance of the calendars...
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Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #11 on: Sep 13, 2018, 03:58 PM »
I think there is the question of "what is the book?", or more specifically what is the theme or raison d'être for this book? There are lots of books out there about QE2 and lots of them have pictures. Is it "photos of her in service"? That seems very broad. Also, QE2 has had many cosmetic changes over the years, will it only be from one period or do we have enough photos to showcase changes? Could that be a theme unto itself?

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #12 on: Sep 13, 2018, 10:39 PM »
Yes - you could arrange the images in chronological order throughout such a book.  Or chronologically within a number of specific topics within the book.  There are many possibilities which would need to be discussed.

I had a look at my own coffee table books tonight; the page sizes are in fact slightly bigger than A4 and some books are somewhat larger.  Those with the Francis Frith archive pictures in contain more text than most, about 50% text,  but logically you would expect that as they do need to not only caption the pictures but put them into context.  On the other hand I have one of astronomical images where each page is virtually all image and with the sort of caption you'd expect in a magazine.

So again, there are all sorts of possibilities to discuss.

Clearly there are no hard and fast rules - while the prime purpose of this book would be to show off the stunning photographs of QE2, it would also be important to give accurate descriptions, as concise as possible but also explaining as fully as possible.

There is also no rush.  It's just an idea, and unlike a calendar there is no hard deadline to rush up at anyone.
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #13 on: Sep 14, 2018, 01:58 AM »
I think doing a coffee table book is a great idea, and as Peter just said, there is no rush.  We have time to decide all the particulars.   :)
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Offline Trevor Harris

Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #14 on: Sep 14, 2018, 03:38 AM »
Sounds like a brilliant idea! I have two years experience in editing and publishing a yearbook, so I'd be more than glad to help as much as I can. (I have 3 weeks off from school at the moment!)
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #15 on: Oct 13, 2021, 09:43 AM »
It is wonderful that we now have this much discussed book!

Lynda has done a fabulous job, and it is being offered as a special prize for the September and December photo competitions :) .

Read all about it here :

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=9767.0

Offline Rod

Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #16 on: Oct 13, 2021, 05:46 PM »
What about getting in touch with Ron Warwick. He has a little experience with books!
Personally I think it is a great idea, while at the same time a poor idea! Confused?
My experience with CT books is that they are large, usually over A-4 size probably no more than 50 pages that contain mostly pictures, and are used as a starting point for discussions.
As I said, great idea for these reasons.Bad idea: I don't think it would sell much because the cost would probably be way more than a calendar. You would probably also have a minimum run required. Surely that would probably be over 500 copies sitting in someones spare bedroom. That would have to have been paid for probably. Book like that would probably be over 30 quidI sincerely hope that I am wrong.
Good luck. I do mean that!

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #17 on: Oct 13, 2021, 10:25 PM »
I think this one would sell all right...

Yes, a coffee table book is around £30 to £40 and is mostly pictures; that's the whole point of them really - large format to display pictures well and plenty of room for text all about the subject in addition to the pictures.

Maybe I'm biased because I have quite a few such books - the Francis Frith ones, a lot of the 3D London Stereoscope Company ones and a few others mainly about astronomy subjects, but the quality does justify the price and I would suspect that there wouldn't be so many that I've been able to buy over the years if they weren't popular...?
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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Illustrated Coffee Table Book - Discussions
« Reply #18 on: Oct 16, 2021, 11:29 AM »
Discussions on producing a book of the Photo Competition photos or an  illustrated Coffee Table book have been ongoing not just in this topic area but behind the scenes in the Moderators section of the forum.  In view of the recent discussion on this topic I thought it would be useful to share with you some of the discussion that have taken place over the years.

We consulted with our forum member who are authors and designers on producing, marketing, distribution and sales of books.  We considered the minimum order for a realistic price, e.g. Ordering 500 and 1000 copies for a price of around £30. 

We considered three possible options:

1. To find a UK publisher who's interested in the project. Thus the book would be made available to purchase not only on Cunard ships, but in UK bookstores, including Amazon & other online shops. All costs in charge of the publisher, and a royalty scheme for the author (TheQE2Story).

2. An exclusive QE2Story limited edition, available for purchase to members only? The "limited edition" status would help put a higher retail price on the product (something around £40 - £50).

3. A manufactured-on-demand system, using any quality online photo book service.  No stock, no printing or shipping costs (but also no income!)

In 2016 we looked at the option of using the Lulu publication website that we use for the annual Calendars, but this option was not pursued.

In 2020 we discussed options for setting up a private publishing project versus using a publisher, who would take on the risk but it would be the publisher who would decide on the size, price, finding etc.

e.g.  a limited edition of 100 unwrapped 100-page A4 square (21.6 x 21.6 cm) hardcover books on 135 gsm art paper would cost £1652.16. With a retail price of £30 sales of 56 copies would be required to break even.

Advice was given in relation to the coffee table book:

"In the light of this, I think the « big coffee table book » option should be forgotten from the start, unless you’re ready to invest a huge amount of money. Designing and producing such a book is very expensive and certainly well beyond what Lulu’s and other online consorts are able to do qualitywise. You would need to work closely with a " real" printer or binder in order to achieve a product for which people will agree to pay a high price."


No further action was taken to investigate a publisher, partly because of time commitments and financial considerations. 

However, in March 2021, I put forward a suggestion to the Moderator Team to produce a Photo Book with the ten years of winning photos to commentate this achievement and to award as a prize for winners of special competitions. 

Although this is not a professional publication, it is a rather nice little commemorative item as you can see in Gallery album screenshots of the book. It is only available as a prize at the moment, but we will continue to look at making this available to purchase in the future. 

I hope this is helpful in outlining the work the Moderator team do behind the scenes on your behalf. 



« Last Edit: Oct 16, 2021, 11:31 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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