Yes, it’s been 18 months already! The exact duration of the book creation process. Indeed, between the moment when I started to create the first model on InDesign and the launch in bookstores, it has passed 18 months. A long time, to move from ‘Skate Art, 100 Best Skateboards by artists from all around the world’ (yes, pretty lame name), book of 240 pages to the beautiful book of 320 pages that we have today. A big evolution permit by the entire team of Editions Cercle d’Art (Camille, Sylvie, Olivier, Bernard, thank you again!).
In short, let’s go back to February 2018, the official release of the book in bookstore. Overnight, the book can be found on the shelves of small independent bookstores, large chains like Fnac or Decitre and nice surprise, contemporary art museums bookstores.
I very well remember entering the Decitre bookstore at the Confluence shopping mall. It was too big to be true so my skepticism first took over. Arrived in front of the Graphism / Illustration section, I scans the area very quickly in search of my book, with no success … But while leaving, I continue to look the books and I saw a rectangular green-blue block in the middle of other books about Street Art: Bingo, here it is!
Very big satisfaction, at that moment everything rolls, the book is in bookstore for real! This is confirmed by a lot of photos sent by friends or The Daily Board readers (thank you again Valerian for all your pics) in bookstores in Paris, Bordeaux, Chalon-sur-Saone (my hometown) and many others. But joy is immediately accompanied by stress. My publisher tells me that we must have paper and web issues in the month or the book will not be sold enough and will be quickly removed from bookstores.
The problem is that the publishing house doesn’t have a budget to work with a press relations agency and nobody to deal with it internally. On my side, I’m burnt from every night spent on the book, I already go a lot to the post office to deliver book orders and after my work, I have no times to send hundreds of emails and make phone calls.
I have no visibility on sales but I still feel a certain craze. My editor will undermine my morale a little 2 months later, telling me that we haven’t made that many sales and that there have been many return from booksellers. This is actually the real trigger that pushed me to leave the web agency in which I worked and to start my business to be able to make sure to never miss this kind of things!
In early July 2018, the American distributor sent all its salesmen to the 4 corners of the Americas and the book goes to bookstores in Canada and the United States. A news that reboost thoroughly and gives full meaning to the desire I had to make a book in English/French. The US distributor has also felt the book and ordered one of the largest orders that the publishing house has experienced.
26 juillet 2018, au-détour d’un mail où je lui demande où l’on peut trouver le livre aux Etats-Unis, la responsable des ventes du distributeur US m’annonce tout à fait naturellement des noms de grandes librairies : Barnes & Noble, Rizzoli, Arcana et BOOOOMM, le MOMA et le Metropolitan Museum of Art !
July 26, 2018, reading an email where I ask her where we can find the book in the United States, the sales manager of the US distributor announces quite naturally the names of major bookstores: Barnes & Noble, Rizzoli, Arcana and BOOOOMM, the MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art!
Consécration ultime, mon livre est dans les 2 plus grands musées de New York !!!
Le plus fou, c’est que bien qu’aujourd’hui, il n’est plus forcément dans toutes les librairies en France, j’ai la confirmation tous les 3/4 mois par des proches, qu’il y est toujours bien là-bas. Dernier retour en date, mes parents se sont rendu à New York en Avril 2019 et sont allé visité le MOMA.
Ultimate consecration, my book is in the 2 largest museums in New York !!!
The most crazy is that although today, it’s not necessarily in all bookstores in France, I have a confirmation every 3/4 months by relatives that it is still here over there. The last one was from my parents that traveled to New York in April 2019 and visited the MOMA.
Latest news, the book has now be sold to about 1000 copies and is also distribute by the American chain Urban Outfitters.
And to the question everyone is asking: did I make a lot of money with it? The answer is no. I would say that I almost managed to pay all the associated costs but that’s all. The return on investment will perhaps arrive with the next book.
By cons, I won a lot on other points! For example, the book allowed me to organize exhibitions on skate and art. It gives me, of course, a certain credibility on the subject, so to launch the brand TIGERCLAW Supplies, it is a definitly an advantage. And most importantly, what is really crazy is to see that the book makes sense for skate art lovers like me. Some people consider it as a real Bible, they don’t hesitate to consult regularly to find inspiration.
I was also told during my last exhibition in Bordeaux, that my book helps to give credibility to works made on skates. It pushes to put the expression ‘Skate Art’ as a movement of art and I think & I hope that it will really be the case in 5 years, in the same way as it is for the Street Art!