To be blunt, we probably won’t get the chance. Sales suck, and the reviews are horrid. But I do feel the need to address two of the comments specifically. They both slam the book for not including cookbook material. Fair enough. But our description and the inside of the book are very explicit: we are talking about the cerebral stuff, and to people who know their way around Photoshop fairly well. The problem with the marketing is that the cover notes ‘Industrial Strength Techniques’, which is a stretch at best. One point I will concede readily is that the material is very heavily photographer-centric. Most of the discussion centers on how to set up and shoot images that you know will be used in some kind of composite.
That doesn’t make the reviewers wrong, though. It simply means they are not the right audience. Dan and I both had several “ah-ha!” moments in writing this thing, and even our technical editor picked up a few tricks. All of us are very capable shooters. I know I came out with better technique and skill than I started.
Where does Peachpit sit in all of this? Honestly, they share as much responsibility for this book as Dan and I do. There was no marketing to speak of, and what little appeared really went the wrong way. During the writing process, we got virtually no feedback on content or style, so perhaps we were just an experiment to them. “What happens if we let two authors loose on a major series title, but don’t give them any kind of idea about expectations or market impact which we learned in the last 20 years?” I hardly think that’s what happened.
It’s more likely that they trusted us enough to give us free reign, but also didn’t want to expend time or resources on unknown authors. They have tons of books and authors, covering all kinds of material. They have the corner for anyone associated with NAPP, with only a few exceptions. One down side to this is everyone picks up a Peachpit book expecting Kelby’s cookie-cutter ‘tricks’. And that really undermines some of the best authors out there who are responsible for some of my favorite titles. Katrin Eismann, Dan Margulis, Jeff Schewe and the late, great Bruce Fraser. I know I’m leaving some out, but you get the drift.
So, I’m hunting for a new publisher, but time is certainly not on my side. What I learned is that the dollar-wielding public wants their hand held. But I’m going to aim higher than that. While I will include lots of hands-on stuff in the future, much like my tutorials at CommunityMX, I will also focus on what people need to move into professional levels of Photoshop use. Filling a portfolio with celebrity fakes, 3D text or glass buttons is not going to do it.
Stay tuned… you may be surprised 😉