View Full Version : Photographs for history book

07-20-2008, 06:34 AM
I'm doing a beta read for a history of Canada's Parliament buildings. The author knows his stuff, having worked on repairs and restorations of said buildings his entire career.

While his manuscript is entertaining and well laid out, he has imbedded photographs in it throughout to illustrate things. Pictures of the aftermath of an historically significant fire, a look at the texturing for the stone that was chosen for the exterior, things like that.

Now he's a first-time author, and I know nothing about what non-fiction publishers want. My first instinct says retype the manuscript without the pictures but mention that you have them available. He's probably got a fair chance of attracting a publisher and I don't want to mislead him, so I thought I'd check with the experts before saying anything.

ETA: The manuscript is formatted as if it were the finished book, with pictures or placeholders on almost every page. The pictures are great, permissions or sources cited, but should they be included with the manuscript or query?

07-22-2008, 08:04 PM
I read your post yesterday and hoped members who know what their doing would come forward with an answer. No one has, so here are my thoughts:

When I published an article that included photographs (in a magazine) I let them decide where they would put the images. Easier when it's only an article and the magazine uses columns of text.

Although the manuscript you have is set out as it would be in the published version, there may be many pagination reasons why the publisher would want them offered as a separate package. They may decide to keep the photographs and figures, etc., in a separate block or blocks of pages.

If you decide to go that route, maybe all it needs is a (Fig 1.) at the end of a paragraph. Alternatively, you could leave a few spaces, centre "Fig 1: Parliamentary Building 1910" and leave a few more spaces before continuing the text.

Now we'll wait to see if an expert will come along and put me right. wink-wink.

Good luck, BardSkye, and let us know what you decide to do.

07-22-2008, 09:57 PM
The photos should be removed from the manuscript. The author should note to the agent/publisher that photos are available.

I would also note that there's a difference between citing the source for an image and actually obtaining written permission to use it commercially, which often includes monetary payment. I see no reason for the author to have paid for images for a book that does not currently have a publisher so I question whether true permission has been obtained for these images.

Food for thought!

Chris Huff
07-22-2008, 10:09 PM
As stated, have him pull the pictures and reformat the ms. into standard ms. format.

It is the author's responsibility to get permissions for any images he needs. He should get that permission in writing from who ever has that authority.

If he wants certain images used in certain places, that's what image references and notes are for. A simple "{Image 17}" in the ms. is usually enough.

Don't categorize the images by theme, what's in them, or anything else. Put them in the order they should appear in the text and number them #1 through whatever. Double, and triple check that the images are in the right order. If you have physical photos, number the backs. If you have image files, rename them to the proper number.

07-22-2008, 10:23 PM
Thanks for the responses. I don't know if he's realized he has to get and possibly pay for images. My thinking was also that a publisher might want to group them together so not every page has to be the more expensive gloss paper.

Appreciate your time, always.

07-23-2008, 06:31 PM
The author might find that museums will give him permission to use any photographs they have. (The Glenbow was very helpful to me and provided copies, which I paid for.) I don't know how a government records office would react.

Keep us posted, please.

07-23-2008, 10:54 PM
The majority of the photographs are from Library and Archives Canada. Given that, he probably won't have too many problems with permission. Quite a few are his own (and look very professional, too.)

Chris Huff
07-24-2008, 08:39 AM
One of the books I worked on included many images from a local Historical Society. Even though we had the images and a nod to publish them, a publishing company will still require written permission before publishing the images. It's just a legal hurdle to prevent any possibility of liability.

The quality of the photos will need to be at least 300dpi for quality printing. Old polaroids won't cut it. If he's still on site, and has a digital camera, the best bet is to change the settings to the highest resolution and snap away.

Also, if it's a public building anyone can take photos and publish them, but for private property, or photos that happen to include people, he'd need permissions from anyone in the photos that's still alive, and whoever can grant permission for publishing photos of private property.

07-24-2008, 10:17 PM
I'm so glad I came here to ask questions.

I'll pass all of that along to him when I finish reading, this weekend, hopefully.

Thank you again.

08-04-2008, 02:15 PM
I'm the dissenter. In a non-fiction book such as this one, the pictures are as much a part of the book as the text - they should be submitted together as the author has them laid out - you wouldn't submit a nonfiction book about the wildflowers of Canada without pictures would you? If the author's successful, the publisher can chose to move pictures and change the layout - but at this point, it's the author's idea, the way the author sees that it should be, and he will be trying to sell the entire package, not just the text. Puma

08-05-2008, 03:26 AM
Okay, I'll pass that along to him as well and let him decide what he wants to do. I know nothing about the publishers or market for this type of tome. I'll make sure I tell him to check the guidelines for each publisher.