In 2008, Paul Butzi launched the first Solo Photo Book Month. It continued, with entries coming from all over the world, for the next many years, but eventually he retired the website. It was taken up again by someone named Suprada, who ran it for several more years but has since retired it.
The explanation below is from Paul’s original event in 2008, modified here to reflect our own dates and contact info.
Posted in Solo Photo Book Month by Paul Butzi on January 18, 2008
Novelists have NaNoWriMo – the National Novel Writing Month, during which hundreds of thousands of novelists and folks who want to be novelists (even just for a month) write a novel, start to finish, in one month.
Musicians have NaSoAlMo – the National Solo Album Month, during which a large bunch of musicians write, perform, and record the music for a solo album.
And now I’m pleased to announce the first ever SoFoBoMo – Solo Photo Book Month, for photographers who want to take a crack at putting together a solo photo book in one month.
It’s called SoFoBoMo because it’s fun to say, and because it’s easier to type than NaSoPhoBoMo. I dropped the Na part because it’s clear at the outset that it’s involving photographers from around the world, and thus it really ought to be InSoFoBoMo, but again that’s just too much. SoFoBoMo is just right.
Because we’re just getting started, we’re doing a fuzzy month. You should pick a 31-day period that starts no earlier than [May 20, 2020], and ends no later than [July 20, 2020]. In other words, if you start on [May 20], your month ends on [June 20]. If you start on [June 10], your month ends on [July 10]. Having everyone do it exactly at the same time would be nice, because it would allow for maximum sense of camaraderie, but everyone has different schedules and this fuzzy month start/finish plan buys some of that without the inflexibility.
35 – large enough that it can’t be flung together from a single afternoon’s photography, short enough to be doable. I understand that for some folks 35 is big number. For the folks who have been running photo-a-day photoblogs, it’s child’s play. 35 is a reasonable compromise. It’s the number of photos in the book “The Gift of the Commonplace”, a book of photographs by Ruth Bernhard. If it’s long enough for Ruth Bernhard, it’s long enough for us. UPDATE: You can have more than 35 photos if you like.
No. The book should include only text written and photos made (including both exposure and any editing) during the month.
Yes. Planning ahead, getting hold of equipment or software you plan to use, and learning the skills to put together whatever book-like thing is the final result are all things that you can do in advance. But you have to take the photos and write the text in that one month.
The goal is a nicely formatted PDF with the photos in it. That means the book might range from just a PDF assembled with the automated PDF merge in Photoshop all the way to a ready to send off to the POD publisher document assembled with Quark Express or Adobe InDesign. I don’t think it’s a problem to have a broad range of what’s acceptable; NaSoAlMo accepts any sort of recording at all, from an answering machine up through studio recordings. People will set their goal to match their own interests and level, which is probably a Good Thing.
Nope. A PDF file will do.
[Email Lorraine Day at [email protected], expressing your intent].
Get your finished PDF to David Johnson by the end of your ‘fuzzy month.’. His email is [email protected].
Yes, it will. This is like playing solitaire – the satisfaction is almost entirely in winning, and if you cheat, you only cheat yourself.