We're The Phooks — an open online library and marketplace for self- and indiepublished photobooks and zines. The project has one goal — to create a meeting point of publishing community interests by helping all the interested sides.
How does The Phooks work? Everyone is welcomed to submit their photobooks for free. Accepted books are placed in the library for the lifetime. Publishers get access to the "Seller's Account" where they can manage their books, receive orders and payouts. Ordered books are shipped by publishers directly to clients.
What's on The Phooks side? We're working to make people aware of every published title. It includes social media content distribution, paid advertising, website SEO optimization, email marketing. Now we're starting to work on partnerships and PR projects.
Another huge part of our work is hidden behind the scenes and focused on customer experience to make sales happen. Design, user interface optimization, payment & transactions services, order execution process, customer support and many more.
What does The Phooks get? We charge only sales commissions when an order happens and we're committed to keeping fees low.
Here are the figures for now:
For products priced above $15:
5% from ordered products price + $3 fixed commission
For products priced below $15 like zines or small books:
5% from ordered products price + $1 fixed commission
What's on our plans? To keep growing fast and become more and bring more value. We're focused on helping artists and publishers become more visible around the globe and the next big step is to launch a periodical printed zine in the nearest future.
"The Book on Photobooks" which will represent artists and collectives — members of The Phooks library, their stories and, of course, books.
Help The Phooks to help the community. We work in a paradigm of doing things fast, focusing on the main things, avoiding complexity and unnecessary expenses. Your support and participation mean a lot for The Phooks, whether you're an artist, collector or both at the same time.
Don't forget to Submit Your Photobook and let your friends know about the opportunity.
Who Stands Behind? Max Zhiltsov, street and documentary photography enthusiast, self-publishing newbie, brand and marketing strategist.
The world around us is ever-changing, and our lives are diving further into a digital state. On average, we are presented with thousands of digital images every day, most of which are trying to sell us something. Sometimes our bodies and minds are hungry for material forms of being, and interactions with the world around us. Objects like the book, which not only release our mind from this 'never-ending ad' but also feed our minds with stories, thoughts, opinions and beliefs.
"People still have a huge desire for the book, for the printed object that they can hold."- Olivia Arthur for Magnum Photos
The book as an object has been a crucial part of our learning and history since Roman times, however, a new type of content has been emerging since the creation of the camera. Photobooks are perceived as inferior in content and thought, but the opposite is to be said about them. Photography books can come in a wide variety of shapes and content, from visual poetry and storytelling, to even showcase beauty and mystery within a single image.
Although the digital world can have a negative side, we can all agree that it has made things easier in regards to self-publishing work, such as Zines and Photobooks. With worldwide printing and shipping services, accessible prices and easy to follow guidelines, producing and launching printed material is easier than ever before. However, some artists invest all their time and energy and don’t have the resources to reach an audience who is willing to support their projects by buying their books. And the ones that are being sold are sold directly to photographers like us.
“Photobooks are having a golden era but the concern is that we are making them for each other”- Fred Ritchin Article for Magnum Photos
The Phooks was created for publishers to present and sell their books to a worldwide audience. We source content from all continents, allowing us to showcase unique and exciting books, which are often overlooked. Any photographer who has self-published a piece of work is welcome to add their books into our library and advertise it for free.
Every title has equal representation within our platform and it receives the same attention when showcasing to agencies, collectors and other outlets around the photography industry.
For the past few months, we have been working closely with creators to create a library we can be proud of and can share with collectors and photography outlets. We currently have over 50 pieces of work and are working to double that number in the next couple of months. We are working closely with different photography magazines and websites to showcase and review some of the titles we house, as well as The Phooks writing weekly blogs and reviews for individual books.
Our future will bring incredible opportunities. We want The Phooks to be a community, where artists and viewers can join together, share experiences, knowledge and passion.