This series features interviews with independent photobook publishers. This month’s interview is with the founders of the South London publishing house Jane & Jeremy, Jane Wilson and Jeremy Kunze.
DTP: How would you describe Jane & Jeremy to someone who has never seen your books?
J&J: We are an independent publishing house that designs and makes around two to three titles per year. Our books are the same format, 200mm x 145mm and we publish photographers whose work we admire—both established and new upcoming photographers.
DTP: What series of events led you to start your own publishing house?
J&J: Jane worked at Zwemmers and Claire de Rouen, both great photography bookshops, and Jeremy worked as a designer. We first started publishing our own work in 2005. In those early years there weren’t very many independent publishers around, just mainly the big ones. People liked what we did so it kind of went from there.
DTP: How do you find photographers that you want to work with and how do you determine what might make a good photobook?
J&J: Depends, really. Sometimes we approach them, it could mean setting up a meeting or it might be a “bumping into each other” type of thing. We also get a lot of work sent to us, which we always try to reply to, and sometimes they might appeal to us. It’s very important that the work resonates with us. In terms of what makes a good photo book: If we find it interesting then I’m sure other people will too.
DTP: Have there been any books that have been particularly rewarding to produce or that you felt a special kinship with?
J&J: All of the books we have published have different stories behind them so no real special kinship over the other really.
DTP: What are some forthcoming titles are you particularly excited about?
J&J: We have just recently published a book titled The Woman Who Never Existed by Anja Niemi. This will be launched in London in May, which we’re looking forward to. We also have a couple of other titles that we hope to publish this year—can’t mention any names just yet as we don’t want to jinx it, but always excited about making a new book.
DTP: What was one of the most challenging books that you have published and why?
J&J: All have been quite challenging. There is a lot of care and hard work (a real lot of hard work) that has gone in to making each book but that’s really what makes it enjoyable.
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?
J&J: Agreed, which I think is fine. There will always be some bad ones out there and there will always be good ones too. I think one bit of advice is when a photographer wants to approach an independent publisher like ourselves it’s important to do a bit of research on the publisher. Look at the books the publisher is making, try and find out a bit more about the publisher (even knowing the person’s name who you are emailing is good and it shows you have at least taken an interest in the work they do).
Visit the Jane & Jeremy website to learn more about their books.