This series features interviews with independent photobook publishers. This month’s interview is with Tony Cederteg, founder of the publishing house Libraryman.
DTP: How would you describe Libraryman to someone who has never seen your books?
TC: A personal and somewhat insular endeavor, with a simplicity to publish beautiful books without influence from financial aid or prevailing trends. An imprint focusing on small details and caring for high quality and its following risk taking.
DTP: What series of events led you to start your own publishing house?
TC: Impatience, motivation and the initiative of photography series that no one had yet seen in book form. To possess the ability of controlling and collaborating on a specific matter that you sincerely believe in, in all of its aspects.
DTP: How do you find photographers that you want to work with and how do you determine what might make a good photo book?
TC: In all conceivable ways. An artist’s work primarily, but equally as important are their words and personality—no unpleasant professional is worthy of your time and effort on something you base on joy and good relations.
DTP: Have there been any books that have been particularly rewarding to produce or that you felt a special kinship with?
TC: All are equally, and yet so separately, rewarding in their own circumstance, but knowing that the artist is pleased with the final result is the greatest of all achievements, as well as the title’s significance in Libraryman’s archive and catalogue.
DTP: What are some forthcoming titles are you particularly excited about?
TC: There are three forthcoming titles in which we are very excited for, Gunnar Smoliansky’s Träd, Gerry Johansson’s Tyre Choice and Giasco Bertoli’s yet to be named publication—as well as newly announced poster series that will be continued.
DTP: What was one of the most challenging books that you have published and why?
TC: Throughout the years we have, like many others one can only assume, stumbled upon greed, megalomania or just simply different opinions that have made it impossible for us to proceed with a project.
DTP: It seems that an increasing number of photographers, at all stages of their careers, are looking to publish a book. What should photographers think about before they embark on the book process?
TC: In the process of finding the right publisher for a project, add weight on the importance of basic values, i.e. will my vision as an artist be preserved? Artists tend to turn to current mainstream operators, understandingly for the purpose of reaching out to the masses, yet where quality is often secondary, and where photographers are exchangeable commodity. The current state of the photo book industry occasionally feels like a déjà vu like what the record industry used to be, where publishers are hoping for one bestseller among their countless releases, instead of embracing each step of the way and shield their investments on a personal level. One must protect its fellows.
Visit the Libraryman website to learn more about their books.