Anna Mia Davidson on Getting Published Through an Alternative Book Publishing Model

Anna Mia Davidson on Getting Published Through an Alternative Book Publishing Model

Anna Mia Davidson has been shooting and documenting sustainable farmers in the Pacific Northwest for the past seven years. The USA Television Network and Aperture collaborated for a campaign called, “The Character of America,” which commissioned nine photographers to document the positive aspects of America. Anna was one of those commissioned to further her personal project under that campaign. She also gained further funding from Fotodocument to be able to complete the project.

A publisher formerly with Aperture and Chronicle Books who was a fan of Anna’s work wanted to see her photographs published in book form for their new innovative book publishing company, MinorMatters. MinorMatters publishes photographer’s work by seeking community support to co-publish these books through an alternative book publishing model.

This alternative book publishing model is a hybrid between traditional publishing and crowd-funding. It’s taking the traditional book publishing component of selecting which books they deem worthy of publication with the crowd-funded concept of the community “buying-in” to the concept of the book and helping to make it happen. The pre-sell minimum is 500 copies within six months for the book to go to press.  

In the olden days, a common book publishing strategy was to pre-sell the book in order for the press to run. So if people believed in your book they had to pre-buy it before it would get a print run. So nowadays with most traditional publishers, up-and-coming artists or mid-career photographers need to come to the table with $25,000-30,000 in investment in order to get their first print run. This is where MinorMatters works to crowd-fund that initial investment

Here's what Anna has to say about the process in her own words.

I am honored to be able to have the opportunity to collaborate with Michelle Dunn Marsh of Minor Matters Books to create a book that both of us believe in. I believe in the power of photography to affect social change and impact our lives through the quiet moments of absorbing an image. This is a personal project about sustainable farmers in my community but reflects a global issue. It has been a privilege to work with a book publishing company that both believe in the power of photography and in the power of beautifully crafted books and believes in my work. It is the beginning of an era where we as photographers need to be creative and open to alternative ways to publish our work.

Anna shot this project on an old Hasselblad film camera with a 80mm lens with Kodak Portra VC film.

Anna’s book is titled, “Human Nature,” and it documents sustainable farmers in the Pacific Northwest. Sustainable farming is the solution to the global issue of industrialized farming. Anna is just about 50 copies shy of hitting the necessary pre-sale goal and getting the book published. The book is reasonably priced at $50. I have no doubt that our Fstoppers community of readers would love to be able to own a copy of Anna’s strong environmental portraits of an often overlooked community of people.

As an extra bonus, Anna is also a Leica Akademie Instructor and Leica is giving a special offer to Fstoppers readers for purchasing Anna’s book; Human Nature. Buy the book between now and Tuesday, September 30th, 11:59pm PST and receive a $199 voucher toward any Leica Akademie workshop in North America (to be used within the next calendar year). Just make sure to add the name, LEICA into the notes field when completing your order. You must do this to receive the voucher.

Thank you to Leica for their support to the Fstoppers community!

Pictures used with permission from Anna Mia Davidson

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