Yesterday, one of the founders of Nobrow, publishers of illustrated books, came by the School of Visual Arts to talk about his company. He showed slides of their initial workspace, their store, and the books they’ve published over the years. A lot of the inspiration for NoBrow came from japanese illustrated books of the 70s.
What I found interesting about the talk is that NoBrow started out by making silkscreen books. It’s not until they printed their first offset project, the magazine NoBrow that they actively tried to get their magazine in bookstores. In the beginning they were reliant on their web store sales to stay afloat since bookstores take forever to pay their invoices. It’s not until they got a distributor that they were able to reach a wider audience and get paid reliably. Also, they design their books so there’s a minimum amount of wastage at the printing press. For instance, their concertina books are printed on just one page.
So what I learned is: I need to make shorter or smaller books I can fit on one page (my shortest silkscreen book takes up 3 pages), and I need to get a book offset printed somehow. As it stands now, my books take too long to make, and the price doesn’t reflect the amount of work each book represents. I do want to make affordable books, but my current set up isn’t sustainable…So on that note, go to my store and buy something before it all disappears!
Also, as I’m sure everyone is wondering: How do you submit artwork to NoBrow? The only reliable way is if you send them samples of your work through the mail (and not email).