First Exposure: Paul Ernest’s Edibooks
by Shauna Harris
September 01, 2011 — Editability Solutions recently announced the launch of Edibooks, a brand new product exclusively for the professional digital photographer. Edibooks is a line of completely customizable and surprisingly affordable press-printed books, available for use as marketing tools or end products for clients. Unlike comparable products currently available to photographers, Edibooks offer a quick and easy way for professional photographers to showcase their work and target a specific client—without compromising quality or breaking the bank. Affordability and quality? Until recently, these two adjectives placed in close proximity to one another would be
considered an oxymoron, but that’s what makes Edibooks so unique.
The industry is littered with album companies, memory-book makers, marketing collateral designers and more. While they all offer their own unique products, the truth is that photographers have always been forced to decide between affordability and quality. No company seemed to provide both. Enter Edibooks, a blending of album and brochure; of product offering and marketing tool, which has quickly generated interest within the photographic industry.
“Edibooks rocks!” says Dallas-based fashion photographer Dixie Dixon. “I love the size, design capabilities and unique high-end presentation. They have been the perfect marketing piece for my fashion and commercial advertising clients!”
Edibooks can be used as a presentation piece when meeting with potential clients, a marketing tool to help you connect with vendors in your area, an additional piece in your package offerings or even as client gifts. The uses are endless and starting at just $17 per book, Edibooks has exhilarating potential.
Within just weeks of launching the new Edibooks line, several high-profile photographers from around the world had already signed on to make Edibooks a part of their business model. Photographers such as Kevin Jairaj, Bob and Dawn Davis and Scott and Adina Hayne are all attracted to the product’s range of uses, customizable designs and simple, online creation.
“Edibooks is the perfect solution for cost-effective vendor marketing as well as portfolio sharing,” says commercial photographer Kevin Jairaj. “In fact, I just sent a few off to some magazine editors and feedback has been incredible!”
With the introduction of Edibooks, Chicago's Bob and Dawn Davis are transitioning their studio’s marketing pieces into a customized promotional portfolio. The new piece details who they are and what their services include, and features some of their signature images. Dawn explains, “From the first time I held the Edibooks product in my hands, I knew exactly how I wanted to incorporate it into our business. They have a very unique appearance and I love the feel of them in my hands. Bob and I are excited to be working with Edibooks.”
Scott and Adina Hayne of Norfolk, VA, are excited about the potential for vendor partnering by way of Edibooks. “Edibooks are affordable, high-end in appearance and unique. [They’re] a perfect fit for what we’re looking to accomplish with the high-end venues, wedding coordinators and florists in our local area.”
Editability Solutions is a Dallas-based company, founded by professional photographer Paul Ernest. Prior to 2008, Ernest had spent 17 years working as and art director for a large advertising and brand development agency in Texas. Throughout his tenure as an art director, Ernest says he worked on hundreds of projects for some of the world’s most notable high-end and luxury resorts, casinos and five-star restaurants, along with several other brands, all known for providing the utmost in quality. The extravagant requests and demands from some of the clients Ernest worked with over the years ingrained in him a deep-rooted expectation for quality in every thing he involved himself with.
When Ernest decided to strike out on his own, leaving the ad industry altogether and committing to photography full time in 2008, he took with him almost two decades worth of knowledge, experience, creativity and the sophisticated expectations he’d become accustomed to.
As he explains, “I spent years perfecting the way the world viewed, connected with and qualified someone else’s products. And suddenly, it was my products, my services, my business. I wanted to be able to share my work with clients, partners and potential future customers. I wanted to be able to customize a portfolio for each of them as I saw fit. And I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do this. There wasn’t a product on the market that offered what I was looking for, with the quality I demanded. So, I created it.”
Ernest’s parent company, Editability Solutions, launched Edibooks in June 2011 with two unique collections: the original Matchbook line and the signature Alycia Alvarez line. The Matchbook line offers a simple and sleek look, designed to deliver a big impact in a small package. The book measures 5.75 x 9.75 inches and comes in four different cover options: Wood Natural; Wood Bronze; Ultra Smooth Red; and Ultra Smooth Black, and three different binding options: black; clear; or wood. Users can choose between a 12- or 24-page book and the company plans to eventually offer a variety of specialty paper options as well.
The Alycia Alvarez line, designed by its namesake—a newborn, family and senior photographer with a home base in both Dallas and Tampa, FL—offers a slightly larger version of the Edibook, measuring 7.6 x 9 inches. Alvarez’s line of Edibooks offers photographers a range of covers with a pattern or print, including the Iris, Baby Pink, Baby Blue, Teal Stone, Floral Parchment and Tapestry designs. There are also six unique binding options to choose from, allowing users to mix and match for a variety of combinations.
Once a book cover and binding option has been chosen, all that’s left to do is upload the images. This is really where the customization comes into play. Users can choose one of several ways of designing the inside: autofilling the pages using a folder of images; placing selected images into the provided page templates using drag-and-drop; or uploading their own page designs and then filling them with images. All of this is done online in a relatively short amount of time. If you start a book and need to walk away, the project is automatically stored and ready for you when you return.
The creator of Edibooks, Paul Ernest, is quick to explain that these are not meant to replace your client’s albums. Edibooks are, as their name implies, small, editable books. Because they are so customizable and affordable, you can create one Edibook for each market, for each segment within a market, or even for individuals.
Edibooks also offers results. As Ernest explains, “I had shot several weddings for an exceptional floral designer in town, so I decided to make an Edibook for them using my images. My initial thought was that this would be a great way to get to know each other and hopefully, the florist would start recommending my services to their clients. A few months later, when a bride called to say she had seen my work in the florist’s shop and wanted to book me for her million-dollar-plus wedding, I knew it had legs.”
Alycia Alvarez has her own unique reasons for teaming up with Edibooks to create her signature line. “These books can be added on to, which is a great feature for my return clients, specifically “Baby’s First Year” clients, who want to add new pages to their albums from each and every session of this year and years to come!”
Luke and David Edmonson of Dallas, TX find the quality hard to beat. “This is a wow factor—if you have ever handed one of these to a client, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen!”
Editability Solutions uploads all of your images at full resolution, and every page of your Edibook is printed on the highest quality HP Indigo digital presses, so there is no concern about losing image quality in the finished album. At this time, Edibooks are currently printed, assembled and shipped from a local Dallas imaging lab, but the team at Editability Solutions is already planning to make the Edibooks line available in labs nationwide over the next 12 months.
Editability Solutions has a lot of other big plans for the company over the next year—most notably, several new customizable product offerings for the professional photographer. The key to all their products, Ernest says, is that unique combination of customization, affordability and quality, which seems to be the company’s motto. Ernest is particularly excited about one new product design that is in the works, but he has sworn me to secrecy until the product launches later this year.
For more information on Editability Solutions and how you can start creating your own customized Edibooks, go to www.editabilitysolutions.com or call (877) 381-3348.
Shauna Harris is a freelance writer and wedding planner based in Wil-mington, NC. She is also the co-owner of GhostRighters, a marketing company focused on helping professional photographers communicate with their clients more effectively. The company provides writing and design expertise to the photographic community worldwide.
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