Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Vanity Book to Suck Money from Needy Artists

Yet another vanity book has appeared on the playing field, ready to take the money of naive, needy and usually mediocre artists. It is being "published" by two women who claim to be curators and collectors. They call themselves and the proposed book, "International Contemporary Artists".

Their business plan is nothing new: put out a call for artists, claim to charge nothing to enter, but require a prepublication purchase of the book to qualify for inclusion, in this case about $220 for two full-color copies. (Or about $90 for one black and white edition, but who would?) They of course hope each artist buys more than two books. And anyone who is already going to spend that kind of money for a 150-page paperback book, will probably buy several.

The judges of who gets in are the publishers themselves. If you look at the samples of who has been accepted, you can see the standards aren't quite those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Distribution, they claim, "is made internationally through large wholesalers and e-shops, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and more." Which means nothing. It means they are going to make the book available through those places, which virtually anyone can do. And they say nothing about shipping it to galleries, collectors and such (which never accomplishes anything of value, anyway). The odds of the book selling more than 100 copies to people who are not connected with an artist in the book are extremely slim. The organizers say nothing about the retail cost of the book. If it is the same as the cost to the participating artist, I lower my estimate of total copies sold to outsiders to four. No one but a drunk or a fool would shell out that kind of money for a paperback book of ordinary art.

All of the above assumes the book actually gets published. If it doesn't get published it's a scam. If it does get published . . .


  1. it is an excellent publication I am in it.

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  2. "it is an excellent publication," claims some poor sap who got suckered by the scam? ugh.

  3. thanks I wont bother yeh there are a lot of people claiming to be art curators and even Gallery owners are often totally ....normal people with a shop that sells paintings lol:D

  4. You are IN it because is is BY you. Sheesh!

  5. Anyone can self publish. There is NO BARRIER TO ENTRY. So, If an artist wants to see their own work in print, just upload your files to any of the on line publishers.