Category Archives: Book Ideas

Bashing the Page Barrier

We don’t like to limit the creativity or capability of our customers. Unlike some competitors, we’ve never asked you to add pages in certain multiples. In the past however, we have had some limitation with our book thickness Our standard stitch binding technique can handle a stack of pages up to about 0.6″ (15 mm) thick, which equates to 72 pages of our heavy cover weight papers and 220 pages of our lighter text weight papers. While this is usually more than plenty for guest books, wedding albums, and most other projects, sometimes it’s not enough.

Our text weight paper is not a lightweight paper, so most customers find no issue switching from cover weight paper to 100# text weight (150 gsm) paper when they want standard, magazine style, binding.

However, some customers found they wanted to use our layflat papers on books with more than 72 pages.  Since we were getting requests for layflat books with 80 to 120 pages, and we hate saying “no” to customers, our bindery craftsman came up with an awesome solution that allows our customers to make layflat books with over 100 pages.

This technique allows us to make layflat books with 130 or more.

A typical 42 page wedding album with layflat paper.

 

A proof book with large images with 150 pages of 100# text (150 gsm). This book would hold 900 image proofs. With custom binding this book could hold 2,000 or more images.

 

A custom bound book with 130 pages of 110# cover (300 gsm) layflat paper.

 

Contact SharedInk customer service to learn about pricing and how to place an order for extra page books.

Senior Trends with Kevin Focht

Expert photographer Kevin Focht shares his insights on selling high school senior packages & delighting his clients by keeping up on current trends. Watch as Kevin talks about why he uses SharedInk books as part of his package, how he uses studio samples to upsell his clients, and how he keeps up with what’s cool to cater to his clients.

Many of Kevin’s ideas are also useful for weddings and family portrait sessions.

By watching the video you will learn how to:

  • communicate with today’s seniors
  • deal with the “I just want digital files” issue
  • use studio samples to upsell your clients
  • and more!
You can check out Kevin’s left turn seniors web site to see how he markets his senior business. For more great tips from Kevin, check out The Creative Orange.
As Kevin explains, you sell what you show. We always offer 33% off studio samples. Just contact us when placing your order.

 

Engagement Sessions Up 66%

a wedding guest book is a good use for engagement session photos

Are you up selling engagement sessions when you book a wedding? Your competitors are. According to TheWeddingReport.com:

  • 53% of photographers booked engagement sessions in 2011
  • Engagement session bookings are up 66% over 2009
  • 70% of photographers offer engagement sessions as part of their wedding package

If you’re not part of the 70% you are not maximizing your wedding revenues and you’re likely loosing clients. Why? Engagement shoots are becoming very popular, and the bride may move on to a different photographer before calling if she doesn’t see an engagement session in your packages.

We hear over and over again from our customers that:

“Guest books sell engagement sessions,
and engagement sessions sell guest books.”

Show a guest book along with wedding and parent albums to your initial meeting with your client. An engagement shoot that may not have even been on your client’s radar may suddenly become a necessity!

A guest book is an elegant way to preserve the insights and advice from your client’s wedding guests that they will be able to cherish for years to come. A studio sample can make it really easy to add on an engagement shoot when booking a wedding.

  • SharedInk supplies an archival pen with every guest book we ship. We also include a paper swatch so you or the bride can test your own pen.
  • Guest books are a great marketing opportunity for your studio. Be sure to brand the book so the guests know it’s your work.
  • Layflat pages work great for guest books. No more signing into the gutter!
  • Matte and felt paper are less prone to smear than gloss, pearl and lustre papers.
  • SharedInk provides a 33% discount on all studio samples you order.

For the entire month of April and into early May we are offering a 50% discount on all guest book studio samples! This is a hefty increase over our normal 33% studio sample discount.

Discount Code


Wedding Book Grand Slam

wedding books

Increase your profits and do your clients a favor by offering keepsakes of their special day that will last for generations.

There are only so many days in the year to book clients so take advantage of each opportunity to increase your revenue. You have four opportunities for photo book and album sales with every wedding you shoot. Present them correctly and you’ll have a happy bride and more money in the bank. The opportunities are:

  1. Guest Book
  2. Proof Book
  3. Wedding Album and Parent Albums
  4. Wedding Memory Book

Guest Book

“Guest books sell engagement sessions, and engagement sessions sell guest books.”

Guest books go hand in hand with an engagement shoot. Showing a sample guest book when booking the wedding is the easiest way to book an engagement shoot. If you already have the engagement shoot lined up then offering a guest book it is another opportunity to sell it as an add-on revenue opportunity.

Proof Books

Most SharedInk customers that supply proof books to their clients do it as part of a package and not an add-on product. Offering a printed proof book has several advantages

  • It is an extra touch that sets you apart from the competition.
  • You can paint the picture of the bride sitting on the couch with her mother viewing the photos and selecting the favorites.
  • Prints can be scanned and emailed or reprinted. Even if they don’t have the quality of prints you supply, free is very tempting.

A SharedInk proof book has the same high quality printing and goes through the same QA processes as all of our photo books. Some of the best books have a single large image on the first page with title text, then one to three pages of images you select and would like to steer your client towards. The remainder of the book is standard proof images, easily created in minutes using the Adobe Bridge Output tool.

Wedding and Parent Albums

Do your clients a huge favor and supply some type of wedding album in all your wedding packages. Depending on your clientele, you might use SharedInk 6 color books in your less expensive packages and upgraded papers and covers, or flush mount albums, in your premium packages.

A few years from now your clients will be very glad they have the album.

“90 days after the wedding is the best time to upgrade clients.”

There seems to be a trend among many photographers to offer a press printed wedding album as a standard part of the wedding package, and then offer a flush mount album as an upsell opportunity later. It seems that 90 days after the wedding is the best time to offer upgrades. Your client is into their new life routine, earning paychecks, with maybe some money in the bank from wedding gits. This is the ideal time to upgrade their albums or other photo products.

Parent albums are a great opportunity to increase your revenues with very little work. Occasionally photographers order multiple copies of the bride’s album for parents, but normally it is a smaller, less expensive version of the same book. Contact us and we can provide you with a smaller “clone” of the bride’s album. Some photographer’s swapping out cover images or other pages in the book for the different sides of the family.

Wedding Memory Book

This book tells the details of the day and is the place for all those photos that don’t make the album cut. The bride can select all the photos she wants, allowing the wedding album focus on the story of the day. It is also a great use of all those photo booth photos. Read the blog post for more info.

The Wedding Book Grand Slam

Maximize your profits by always offering these four products for all of your weddings. The increased revenue is a real grand slam!

The Ten Minute Portrait Album

Have you ever wanted to enhance your portrait session revenues, but the album design process seems overwhelming? Are you looking for an easy way to enhance your portrait package?

Creating an album doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking. Of course we love making big, tricked out, all the bells and whistles metal-cover books with a photographers heart poured into every page, but sometimes a nice, simple, inexpensive professional quality book that shows off your photos can help differentiate your portrait packages and increase your profits.

We’ve created a quick video tutorial with how Eric (our customer advocate) likes to create portrait books in less than 10 minutes using Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.

In this video you will learn how to design and order a portrait album in less than 10 minutes!

Don’t forget that studio samples sell themselves. Take advantage of our 33% studio sample discount program. Have any questions? Let us know! 

Guest Signature Books

Another perfect application of a SharedInk book is as a guest signature book. Guest signature books are a perfect way to capture memories from weddings, anniversaries, bar/bat mitzvahs and other important events. By offering a SharedInk guest signature book to your client, you’ll be providing a lasting keepsake that your customer will cherish (and gladly pay for!).

The Keepsake 11×8.25 book size is the most common book we make for guest books. Most guest books have 20 to 30 pages.

Number of Pages

  • In an 11×8 landscape book with an average of 40% photo coverage you would probably get about 5 signatures per page, or 10 per spread. Since not every guest signs, often only one person per couple, you could figure one page for every 10 guests.
  • There’s a couple of things you can do to reduce the chance of having a lot of blank pages after the event.
    • Put one or two images in the middle of a page with 2″ borders all around or above and below the photo. Guests will sign in the border if the space is needed, otherwise it’s a pleasing design.
    • Have a lot of spreads with white backgrounds, and mix in some with very light full bleed images, maybe 25% opacity on the layer.

Paper Considerations

  • Most customers prefer layflat pages so guests don’t have to write on the curved part of the page as it goes into the binding.
  • Use matte or felt/watercolor pages to reduce the chance of smears. These paper types absorb ink much better than gloss papers.
  • Choosing a good pen is just as important, if not MORE important than choosing a paper. After spending an afternoon writing, smearing, pressing pages together, and generally making a mess, our favorite pen is the Staedtler Lumocolor 313-9 pen. It writes smoothly, leaves a good amount of ink without smearing, and has archival-quality ink that will outlast those writing with it. Luckily for you, we include the pen as well as a sample swatch of paper for you to test your own pen with every guest book order.

 

use a pen that doesn't smear

 

Design

  • Most guest books we see don’t have lines. They either have white space or they have light background images. One affect we frequently see is a two page spread with the bride and groom placed on one side of the spread and a bright sky in the background that blends out to white. The lighter space can be used for signing as the book fills up.
  • You can put several images on a page or none. Since you have a lot of images to work with, you could put 4 small landscape images across the bottom of a two page spread. On another spread put 2 images along the left edge and 2 on the right edge, allowing signatures in the middle of the spread. Variety keeps the book interesting.
This design leaves space if the book gets full, but looks good without signatures.

 

Here’s a blog post that shows a signed guest book. There’s some comments that point out some of the details.Guest books sell engagement shoots!