To kick off the conversation they said that they have:
contacted fellow bloggers and asked them to post about the most prescient innovations they've seen in the photobook and publishing industries. We'll add links to those blogs within this post as they go live, so over the next few days you'll be able to see the "research" for our final post developing in real time.
A list of those who have participated in this crowd sourcing has been added to the post and there is a twitter hash tag. So we have a conversation that is pertinent to altfotonet because the future of photobooks, not withstanding the continued existence of printed photobooks, will increasingly be a digital one viewed on yet to be invented platforms.
This an industry-in-transition. Presumably, the barriers to quality on-demand publishing will continue to fall over the next decade, and we will be more able to produce high quality DIY books. The current design templates of Blurb, and similar Printing On Demand service publishers, are just the beginning of this online technology. We now have photobook festivals
The next step at altfotonet is to build on the three/four exhibitions each year by bringing them together into an annual online publication that can then be downloaded onto a computer or television screen; and/or the ordered as printed book for those who love printed books.
This step, which has been taken by the haphazart Flickr group, is attractive because it is affordable and available to anyone who wants to purchase. If you make a traditional book that's just images on each page, then your content will easily translate to the computer screen.
My guess is that we will see more and more artist photographers jumping into the band waggon of self-publishing and exploring innovative and alternative way to fund their projects. The main problem is the distribution of these books since most bookshops do not carry artists' books and most specialized shops do not carry print-on-demand books.