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Oculus

let the speculation begin

A few days ago I noticed on Amazon that there had been a slug placed on their site for my new book Oculus. There wasn’t a cover image on the page and the title was somewhat wonky: “Ken Schles—Oculus.” The price was off by a few dollars also. How could they be listing it? It said it was unavailable and OUT OF PRINT. Jeeze. Already? I hadn’t even gotten my books past customs and it’s being listed as out of print on Amazon. Not only that, the description was obviously (to me) some sort of placeholder that was pure gibberish. Kind of like what you get in a spam email that is trying to pass as a real letter. I didn’t want people to see that, to get an impression about the book that way. I was able to upload an accurate cover image. As the author I could add reviews, but I’m not allowed to change the description. Which really bummed me. But they do have an email form you can use to contact them if you are a vendor/distributor. So I joined up and offered a correction. As “proof” that what I wrote was accurate I said, “I am the author. I wrote the press release. Change it please.” They were supposed to contact me within 24 hours—they didn’t. BUT…I looked at the entry again today, and happily, it was corrected. I also noticed now that someone is selling a used copy. $181.53. Woah. Already? Hey everyone. You can buy it new. Signed even. For less. From me. See below.

Why the speculation for my books? I guess people feel that they can. Here is a copy of Invisible City that is going for a vast sum [edit: the price was over $5.5k, but the link is no longer valid]. But I’m proud that for the first time in quite some time, I have a new book available that is affordable, besides being a gorgeous thing.

Yesterday I rented a van, and together with Julika Rudelius, a German film maker living in Brooklyn who shipped her books from the same printer along with mine, we hauled our stash from a warehouse in New Jersey back to our esteemed borough. It was a fun mad dash road trip. The books have arrived safely and look beautiful. I’ll start selling the book off Amazon’s site upon my return from Bursa and Groningen in a couple of weeks. The book is $65. I’m taking orders now and will send out the first books before I leave next Thursday October 13th. You can buy it new and I’ll sign it if you ask—buy it from me here. I hope you’ll do that, if only because as an artist who makes books, I rarely have the chance to make even a little bit of money directly from my own work. Support the arts. Ok. But support the artists who put it out there too. Personally, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. : -)

UPDATE (10/27/11): I guess someone bought the copy… Oculus is no longer selling at $181.00. Or maybe the book was withdrawn after I got my shipment and made the book available on my website and on Amazon for the real retail price. I’ll never know.

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About kenschles

Ken Schles is the author of Invisible City (1988; reprint 2015 and 2016), The Geometry of Innocence (2001), A New History of Photography: The World Outside and the Pictures In Our Heads (2007), Oculus (2011) and Night Walk (2015 and 2016). His work has been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Prize, exhibited by The Museum of Modern Art, noted by the New York Times Book Review, cited in histories of the medium (Parr/Badger, Auer & Auer, 10x10 American Photobooks) and issued by some of the foremost publishers of our time (Steidl, Hatje Cantz, Twelvetrees Press). They're considered “intellectual milestones in photography” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), “hellishly brilliant” (The New Yorker). Ken Schles’ work is included in private and public collections such as The Museum of Modern Art, The Rijksmuseum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museo d"Arte Contemporanea (MACRO) Testaccio Museum, and more than 100 other museum and library collections world-wide. 
 Ken Schles is a NYFA Fellow. http://www.kenschles.com

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