untitled (Bluewater Shore, maquette interior) copyright 2014 Douglas Stockdale
Attending the 2014 LA Art Book Fair with regard to spending some show and tell time with the Bluewater Shore maquette was a bit anticlimactic.
First, I attended on a Friday knowing that for these three day weekend events, Friday should be a little slower with a much smaller crowd, which was the case. Thus if no one was lurking in front of the booth, there might be some time available with a friend for a quick look-n-see of my maquette. This is a sensitive moment, as the folks are primarily there to show-and-sell their books, but as friends, they can make some leeway with their time if they don’t feel pressed. Not recommended for a cold pitch when you have never met the person you want to approach. Nevertheless, after some shop-talk, I did get a couple of look-sees and some very, very nice feedback and interest. That is always nice.
Meeting up with some photobook/photographer friends who are roaming the isles is much easier and safer to approach and share. They usually have something they want you to look at or discuss as well, so a nice give and take, appreciated by both. These exchanges are generating more interest in my Bluewater Shore project.
Another of my key reasons for attending this particular event is to figure out who are the booksellers/galleries that are focusing on the true hand-made artist books. Regretfully there were not many. Let me correct that, I could not find one. Okay, maybe there is hope for one. There are rare book dealers who have created a after market for books that are now out of print, etc, and these books can get very expensive, over $5,000 and for some, well over that price. But although they have a market for high end books, they do not sell new artist books that can be very expensive compared to the commercial trade books. Even Printed Matter in NYC which attempts to be a zine and artist bookstore has a limit on their price point, preferring not to stock books that retail for more than $50.00. sigh.
So the good news, more validation for my Bluewater Shore project. (Since I am a guy, I am going to just ignore the bad news.)
Next week I am going to meet with a printer to discuss their digital versus offset litho printing and look at some options for paper stock. I will bring them the maquette for the design and layout as well as some match prints for the printing. Then they should be able to provide some print/fold/trim quotes for the single two-sided signature that I am envisioning. The elephant in the room is the low quantity of printed signatures that I need.