Printing a Book of Fine Art Photography and Essays Funded by Kickstarter

Warning: this book will make you jealous of its authors. TAKK: Explorations of Nordic Café Culture is a beautiful book of fine art photography and essays exploring the integral role that coffee plays in Nordic communities. Written by Samantha Albert with photographs from Corey Kingston, TAKK (which is Icelandic for thanks) takes readers on a tour of cafés in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.

In 2012, Samantha and Corey raised $16,163 via Kickstarter to fund their travel and the book’s printing. They traveled for three months, looking at “the commonalities and differences in aesthetics, rituals, and virtues found in cafés and homes through the five Nordic countries.” After returning home, they took their time to put the book together, and their care and effort shows.

The print book is 8″ x 10″, with 266 pages. Bookmobile printed the color interior on 70-lb. uncoated white stock, with interior bleeds. The uncoated stock is a great choice for photography interiors: it gives the landscape spreads a very rich look.

The cover is exceptional—they chose our ivory card stock, with matte lay-flat lamination. There is no printing on the front or back cover, just the word “TAKK blind debossed on the front cover, and two coffee cups blind embossed on the back. The title is printed on the spine, subtly in faint gray type, and the bar code is printed on the inside back cover, so it doesn’t divert attention from the minimalist cover design.

I first started talking with Corey in the Fall of 2014 about pricing and options for the printing. From the beginning, they were interested in debossing the cover. In December, we did a set of very preliminary proofs for them, so they could adjust color as needed and take their time with edits (Corey was moving from the West Coast to the East Coast at the time as well). In early March, they were ready with final files. They had an event scheduled in Seattle on April 10th, but that turnaround was not an issue, given the easy and fast “okay to print” on the new proofs. We also had enough time to ship the event copies via Ground to Seattle, which saved on costs.

We kept a portion of the print run here at Itasca Books, and Itasca will be fulfilling orders for  TAKK. Corey and Samantha are selling the book Direct-to-Consumer from their website (and I recommend purchasing a copy), which is a great choice: they know who their audience is from their Kickstarter campaign, so why not reach out to them directly and get a larger percentage of the sale, instead of sharing it with a distributor?

As Corey describes,

Samantha and I made the choice to self-publish our book because we wanted to have complete creative control over the process and the final product. We chose Bookmobile for their high quality and short-run printing options, and they lived up to their great reputation. Not only is our book aesthetically beautiful, but Bookmobile delivered our books before our deadline. The process was seamless, and our concerns and questions were always addressed swiftly. We loved working with Bookmobile’s fulfillment center partner, Itasca, to make the process even more streamlined. We are grateful to Nicole and the whole Bookmobile team who turned our dream into a reality. We are delighted with our final book. It is everything we dreamed it would be.

As with other titles we’ve seen that are thoughtfully put together and whose authors know their niche well (for example, The Baby as Art Workbook, The Monolyth, and Secret Atlas of North Coast Food, among others), I suspect Samantha and Corey will be back very soon for a reprint.

Questions about getting a print budget for your Kickstarter project? Interested in our options like debossing or fulfillment services? Contact me!