Archive for September, 2009

A Sensible Law

September 22nd, 2009
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

French MPs propose a health warning to be put on photoshopped images of models in a campaign against eating disorders. Pictures would have to carry the message “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of the person.”

As someone who believes we have far too many laws already, I think that’s a good idea.


Frankfurt Appointments

September 16th, 2009

I’m booking myself appointments at the Frankfurt Book Fair. I don’t bother with my old pals, because I’ll run into them anyway. I will check with the contacts I already have to see if they’ve got a few spare minutes so we can catch up.

But what I’ll concentrate on is the publishers we don’t already have relationships with; in other words, I’m cold calling.

And a more fatiguing, depressive, unwelcoming task is hard to imagine. There must be some, I suppose.

At least I’m not getting rejected on the phone. I’m emailing these people, and I’m selecting publishers who specialise in illustrated books and who therefore presumably need a good supply of images.

THEN I get rejected. No comprende.

Of course, I get a slew of appointments out of it. Most people are polite and happy to fix a meeting. That’s great. Many simply don’t respond. Fair enough. Some reply and they’re all booked up. Fair enough. Some reply saying they’re the wrong person. Fair enough.

But I am constantly surprised by the steady minority of business people who are shocked and appalled by an unsolicited approach. How dare I contact such important people and suggest they soil their hands by shaking mine? What possible reason would a publisher of illustrated books have for meeting someone from a picture library? What temerity!

These aren’t casual rejections. They’ve often done a little bit of research so they can mention a competitor, or refer to a field in which we have little expertise (increasingly rare nowadays). There is a basic intent to wound.

I don’t know if it makes us less important and them more so. It can’t be that, because it doesn’t work.

Human nature I guess, hitting blindly out at someone unknown, on a par with my impotent raging at voicemail and bank security questions.


A Third of a Million

September 3rd, 2009

fotoLibra passed the third of a million images online mark this morning.

fotoLibra’s Gwyn Headley is speaking at a seminar at the Frankfurt Book Fair titled “From Gutenberg to Google: The Use of Imagery in Publishing.” It will be held on Friday October 16 at 10:00 in the Workshop-Raum.

fotoLibra’s unique feature for book publishers is its Picture Call — publishers can send a list of images they are looking for and fotoLibra’s 17,000 photographers in 160 countries go out and take them, with no obligation on the publisher.