Maria Piscopo – The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion
Publisher: Allworth Press (NY), Fifth Edition, copyright 2016
While developing my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop for LACP (Note: this one-day workshop has space available, Oct 29th, at LACP) I came across Maria Piscopo’s The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion. Since this title was in its fifth edition I figured that this book has stood the test of time and photographer have kept buying it and thus might be worth checking out. What I anticipated was this is a generalist guide for a broad spectrum of photographers, not specific to the needs of artist and photographers who were marketing a small niche product like a self-published book.
My background includes graduate level marketing classes that was part of my focus while I was getting my M.B.A. Since that course work was even more general maybe Piscopo’s book might help with some photographic market specifics that I might not be aware of. Last, this might make an interesting reference book for those attending my workshop.
Well it turns out that Maria Piscopo’s book is intended entirely for professional photographers while the fine art market is treated as a side-line and provided a short chapter in the back of the book. I had expected a little better organization of the content, but at least many of the parts for a Marketing program appear to be present.
Much of this book is about the very business basics (and I do mean basics) of professional photography; business licenses, business ethics, getting organized, using a computer (e.g. bookkeeping), and an introduction to how to use the internet for event, wedding, and commercial. Writing a Marketing plan does not occur until almost the end of the book, something I might think would be the first thing to consider for a Marketing book. Which is to say, this book is not a very good guide for Marketing and you might be better off with a college basic Marketing text book.
If on the other hand you are very new to having your own business and have not done this before, yet you think you might want to be a professional photographer, this book might be of some help to make sure you have most of your business bases covered. This will not be a reference book for my Book Marketing workshop and not to say that occasionally there are some little gems buried in the book, just finding these can be more frustrating that what it is worth to me. It might be ideal for you.