There are few books that can captivate quite like a coffee table book. These large-format books usually feature attractive photography, eye-popping illustrations, or some other visual element that demands to be appreciated on a big scale. As the name implies, these often heavy tomes are best-suited to a place on a coffee table, where guests can easily peruse the pages.

You may be interested in publishing a coffee table book but aren’t sure what it should be about. Well, the possibilities are endless!

Some may feature the photography or artwork of a particular artist. Many are theme-based, focusing on incredible photos of a particular animal, or geographical location. Another approach is to give the reader a glimpse into a different world. For instance, backstage theatrical photos, or profiles of night shift workers. Any visually-oriented concept could be a coffee table book.

Here’s How to Publish a Coffee Table Book

Anxious to be the author of a coffee table book, but not quite sure where to start? Here are some tips for beginners on how to publish a coffee table book.

Step #1: Brainstorm Concepts

To successfully publish a coffee table book, you have to start with a great idea. If you are an illustrator or photographer, you might want to feature your own work. Or maybe you have a particular interest that you would like to share through visual storytelling. For example, your gardening hobby might inspire you to create a book on community gardens that features photos of produce and flowers.

Step #2: Aggregate Visuals

If you already have a collection of artwork, you need to go through and select the best. If not, you will next need to create content, whether it means taking photos or creating illustrations. Not a photographer or artist yourself? Then you will need to hire one for the project. You can turn to a resource like the Professional Photographers of America to find someone great. An even better strategy is to identify people whose work you appreciate and contact them about fees and availability.

Step #3: Draft Text

Although the visuals are the most critical part of a coffee table book, the text is important too since it will provide context and depth for the reader. Think about how you want to layout your pictures to tell a story or develop a theme. You will want to write your text in conjunction with the layout, so that text and visuals all flow together well.

Step #4: Collaborate with Designer

Even though you may do the initial layout yourself, you will most likely want to work with a designer to ensure that you have designed the best possible layout for your coffee table book. A professional with expertise in this area can make suggestions, identify and solve potential problems, and provide valuable guidance.

It All Starts with Coffee Table Book Printing

Now that you know the basic steps for how to publish a coffee table book, you should also find out what some of your options are for getting it printed and distributed. If you need advice, Gatekeeper Press is happy to offer a free consultation where you can learn more about their services. Services include editing, cover design, illustration, and more.