Category Archives: Publishing

Negotiations with the publisher

A friend just asked me for some advice on how to deal with an imminent book publishing contract. With book number three of mine and Tamsin Pickeral’s, I guess I qualify to offer a little advice, although really I never feel like I’m the one who can help with matters like this. “Ask a lawyer” or “Ask someone really professional” are things that spring to mind. However, I felt it only fair to offer what my experiences were, and by doing this I managed to impress myself enough into wanting to blog about it.

I don’t think, after all, that there are any wrong answers, because every publisher, photographer, project will be unique.

Here goes.

My overall advice is to seek as much advice as possible. It’s hard when you have not done it before, as you (probably) have little leverage with which to negotiate. Remember, once your’e locked in, you’re locked in. It is therefore essential you do your number-crunching and really ask for what you need and deserve for the project – you don’t need to be ridiculous, but be sure you won’t end up paying for some of the project yourself!

You can negotiate in different ways. You can ask for more money, with less rights, or less money, and retain the rights, and consider international rights, where it will be published, what about future editions, international sales, digital versions of the book (Kindle etc), iPads, iPods, Apps…I mean, it’s ENDLESS. I would advise a lawyer or some kind of online support to run their eyes over the contract. You may have missed something really obvious. Fine print is there for a reason and it is important to read it and to understand what it means to you in reality. Will you be allowed to post your material on Facebook? Will you be allowed to sell it down the line?

It’s so intricate. Just be sure you know your rights, think about what the best outcome is for you (it may not be a financial one) and then root for that. Write your dream contract and try to negotiate with the publishers so everyone is happy. It’s wrong to negotiate too vehemently, because it’s a competitive world out there and you don’t want to miss out, but at the same time, a little bit of back/forth can be good, to show you have paid attention to detail, are interested in the project, and I guess have a total commitment to them. The way you negotiate will demonstrate to them what type of professional you are, and so MY advice is always be fair, always stand up for yourself and always back up your requests with well-researched findings. WHY do you need an extra thousand dollars…WHY do you need extra time for the project?

I have good relationships with publishers I have worked for, due to common courtesy, hard work, commitment and communication, and I believe it is for that reason that I may be considered for future projects.  The quality of ones work speaks for itself, but if you are too difficult to work with, why would a publisher return to you in future if you’re only going to be difficult?

Featured – The National

Very proud to see this feature in the arts&life section of The National. We did have a wonderful adventure on the farm at Al Asayl, playing with ponies and photographing dawn til dusk. Kelly Eide was a magnificent workshop companion and I very much  hope we’ll work together again. As someone who has designed my own career through instinct and passion, it is one of the many delights when you find someone with similar outlook with whom you can create something like this workshop.

We had Hugo and Ravi from The National down for the day, and we hope we showed these two unhorsed lads a good time.

TheNational arts&life feature "A horse's perspective" - April 2013

TheNational arts&life feature “A horse’s perspective” – April 2013


Below are two of my (so far) favourite images I have created from the workshop. More will follow.

alasayl2_1147 AlAsayl_3219

Related Images:

Book signing at Waterstones, Cirencester

It’s now official. We have two books launched in various countries and it’s all beginning to seem a little more real. Here we are, with various hounds making their debut appearances in Waterstones, Cirencester, to mark the long awaited launch of The Spirit of the Dog and The Majesty of the Horse. Included in the appearances were two incredibly rare Sloughis who showed up to say hello (Seren, the brindle, is in the book).

Apparently it was their best selling author event so far this year…

Both books are available at Amazon and Waterstones and other independent book sellers in the UK, as well as in the USA, Australia and Germany and France (German edition called “Pferde”, French edition called “Cheval” by Flammarion). &

Concierge Magazine

Images I shot at the Ajman Stud here in the UAE, whilst being followed by a TV crew, were snapped up for use in the latest edition of Concierge magazine, which I have yet to see in hard copy. The digital version looks great though and the triumphant moment was last night at the finale of the Arabian Horse Show here in Dubai, when Spartacus (featured in the magazine) triumphantly pranced around the arena looking more beautiful than I remember. I feel honoured to be included in the magazine and to be able to spend time with these truly remarkable horses.