Eight Photobook Mistakes

May 07, 2015

RRB's Rudi Thoemmes: I have made a lot more than eight mistakes in my buying of photobooks over the years. 

But here's the eight I'm willing to talk about:

I always bemoan the lack of photobooks on football so when this crossed my desk I optimistically ordered 30 copies. We still have 28 (managed to give two away). The subject does not much help much either: ageing German football stars.

The assumption here was that our customers who happily buy Richard Prince in great numbers might be interested in his writings. Wrong, really wrong. Writing and photography don’t seem to mix well.

Dirk Alvermann was one of the hottest names around when he was *re-discovered* by Thomas Wiegand and Martin Parr so you would think that an excellent selection of some of his images at a modest price would sell, wouldn’t you? No chance.

This is just bonkers: two books in a wooden case, it does not get any worse. Maybe use the box in our wood burning stove and sell the books separately?

I always liked Axel Hutte and always bought his books but I just realised that no-one else does.

First book, pretty rare and a well-known name: surely a good combo? I discovered a whole box of them a couple of years ago and guess what? I still have most of them.

In fact most of the Dusseldorf lot is taking up a disproportionate amount of shelving in our Bristol warehouse…

Mikhailov: am I the only person who buys his books?  I sometimes wonder.
This one is a double whammy since any books published under the Hasselblad awards brand regularly get remaindered quickly. They are all printed by Steidl, great names too - Calle, Goldblatt etc etc. Maybe they print too many. Or their distribution does not work. Or both.

Colin Pantall wrote an interesting blog post on this.

So there are my 8 mistakes. 
Anyone interested in making me an offer? Or buy a special set of all eight at 50% off?