Advice Needed

I’ve another blog. It goes by the name Only One Shoe. The concept revolves around very short stories written about photographs I take of found items.

The rules for what gets photographed are simple-If I come across something that seems out of place or uniquely situated, I take photographs. I am not allowed to re-position the object or manipulate the surroundings in any way. I take several images, hoping to capture as much of the area around the object as possible, pick the best one, then write something (hopefully) clever about how the object ended up where I found it.

It has been suggested to me in the past that this would make a swell book. I rejected the idea at first, thinking that: My photography is far to amateurish for publishing- and I would need close to 150 to 200 images and stories to reach book length. It seemed daunting.

I’ve come to realize that I actually really like the idea and am gearing myself up to pursue it more aggressively. The blog has sort of languished over the last year, and I think part of the reason I’ve been hesitant to add to the collection is I want to save the ideas and images and include them in the book.

What I need is some feedback about the idea, the blog, the images, the stories. If you’re feeling up to the effort, take a look, then tell me what you think about what is already up there. If this is not something you as a reader would be interested in seeing in print, odds are others feel similarly. On the other hand, if you think this would be a stellar book, I could use the boost.

Thanks in advance, friends.


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About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

8 responses to “Advice Needed”

  1. jmh says :

    It’s an interesting concept. What you need is an emotional hook, a way to engage others. Like Post Secret…would you be open to having others send you photos of their found objects? That could keep the blog active and build buzz for a book.

    Crowdfunding is another option, once you have people talking about it. The downside of photography books is they’re expensive to produce. But if you’re passionate enough to make this your life for a while and really build some excitement around it, it could be the next big thing.

    Just think of the strange found objects people might see in other parts of the world!

    • fenster says :

      I’ve thought about the idea of asking for others to send photos, and a relative really likes that idea as well. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with it (likely as I haven’t tried it), but should give it a try. I am the worst at marketing myself, and beyond pushing Only One Shoe on social media, I’m less than confident in my ability to push it. Time to learn some new skills. Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. I really, and I mean really appreciate it.

      • jmh says :

        No problem. You could also just use others’ photos on social media. It would help make it an active page, feed,etc.

        Marketing is tricky, and there’s always new stuff to learn. I did it professionally for ten years, but I still hired a publicity team for my books. It’s daunting, but it can also be a lot of fun.

  2. Liesbet says :

    I do like the idea. Very creative and original. I agree with Holli that inviting others could be a great way to keep everything “live” and exciting and to attract more readers, to your blog or via social media. I’m checking your other blog out later this week!

    • fenster says :

      Thanks for the comment. Do you think having a robust blog would help the book or does it matter? I’m still thinking of how to pitch this to an agent or publisher.

      • Liesbet says :

        In this day and age, I definitely think a blog like “Only One Shoe” would help sell the book you have in mind, yeah. It would all be part of the marketing plan and giving readers a little peak into the end result. Holli, I’m sure, would know much more about this. 🙂 I think the challenge is: what do you reveal and share on the blog? Some teasers? The first few lines of the stories? A blurred version of the photo to keep a sense of mystery and intrigue? I also think that what you have so far would help pitching the idea, since you have examples already. To get to 150-200 images, you will have to go and search far and wide for “subjects”, I guess. Although, just a stroll through a poorer town will reveal quite a lot of weird finds. 🙂

        I totally recognize the feeling of not wanting to share your good stuff publicly (yet), because of having other plans for it. I have a book idea that involves a whole series of photographs that I never shared with anyone, never sent to magazines or never published online, in combination with short poems. Not sure whether this idea ever materializes, but until I know, all that stuff feels off limits to share.

        I checked out your other blog and I totally like the concept. Writing around prompts is fun and challenging and then to do it around things you find is so much more creative, “real” and worldly. I would definitely put an “about me” page on that blog. I love how you are not repetitive in the kind of stories you write and content-wise. I do wonder, however, if you go through with the book idea whether a certain format for all the stories would be better or not, say a maximum – or exact – word count. It seems like that might be easier to plan to book, layout and pages, but it takes away the freedom of creating the story as it comes to you. Just thinking out loud…

        You could share your request for advice and blog link on the IWSG Facebook page to get more feedback, of course…

        All the best with your creativity and great ideas!!

  3. theunshackledthoughtsofadreamer says :

    Only One Shoe is amazing with its unique pictures with interesting stories. I think creating a book based on the same idea is wonderful and that you should go for it!

    • fenster says :

      Thanks for the input and kind words. I’m getting excited about the concept, and hearing that others dig it as well is only more fuel for the fire.

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