Polar Opposites: My First Book
Antarctic waves in water

Polar Opposites: My First Book

Book Cover — Images ©Lauri Novak

I’ve been working on a book, Polar Opposites, for over a year. It’s a photography book and I’ve wanted to write up a bit of my process and what’s been happening with it all, so here you go.

Polar Opposites

I’ve recently completed a unique, 144-page photo book titled Polar Opposites. I showcase the amazing visual similarities between the Arctic and Antarctica in its pages.

The idea for this image-rich book came after traveling to the northern and southern polar regions where I noticed the two regions of our earth are different but so much the same. Opposite ends of the world that both experience similar extremes in weather, terrain and environment. The book highlights those relationships by showing photographs in six categories from each location.

Arctic Iceberge details — ©Lauri Novak

Where I’m at in the process

I used Affinity Publisher to create the layout. It still needs work as I’ve set it up as a two-page spread I’m thinking I need to create a single-page version as well. It will all depend on who prints it and what they need. I figure it’ll be good practice for me to create both types of layouts.

Initially, I was hoping to find a publisher. Someone to help me with the details and process of publishing a book that I’m not familiar with. I researched publishers and submitted Polar Opposites to those I thought would be a good fit.

Antarctic iceberg details — ©Lauri Novak

Unfortunately, I have not found a publisher who will publish it.

Now I’m researching and figuring out the best way to go about self-publishing. I’d prefer to have some control over the printing process, being a photography book I want to be sure image quality is high. I have learned that Amazon prints at whichever print facility is closest to where the order is placed. That means, to me, the quality from book to book could be different. So I’m looking at printers as well now.

polar opposites bearded seal
Arctic bearded seal — ©Lauri Novak

Submissions to open calls

Part of the reason I’ve been sitting on this longer than expected is I’ve submitted Polar Opposites to a couple of book awards. If selected, they each have their criteria for what I’d receive but it would mean they would print the book, help with editing, proofing and getting the book marketed.

It’s a waiting game though as one won’t be announced until September 2024 and it looks like the other won’t be announced until February 2025. I’m torn about waiting because I’m getting impatient and would like to move forward with the project.

The book still needs to be proofed and edited by a professional. I’ll look for someone to do that in the next month or two.

polar opposites leopard seal
Antarctic leopard seal — ©Lauri Novak

Big ideas

My grand plan/idea is to have a book launch and signing that includes a gallery exhibition with images from the book. There are several options for a location to host this in and around where I live.

Of course, typical social media channels will be used to market the book. I also want to choose a polar-related organization to receive a portion of the profits. Yes, I know the profits won’t be that much, but I’d still like to give back.

Beyond polar enthusiasts, I believe this book would be of interest to photographers, travel and conservation enthusiasts.

I still have work to do. Any tips, suggestions or helpful information you might have to share? I’d love to hear about your experience.

You’ll find many of the images from the book in this gallery.

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