What You Need to Know About Publishing Today
A seminar by Mary Virginia Swanson with special guest Rania Matar

9:30am – 1pm
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown
400 Dallas Street, Houston, TX 77002

Registration Fee: $75

Discounted Registration Fee: $50
(For FotoFest Meeting Place Registrants, FotoFest Exhibiting Artists, Students and Houston Center for Photography members)

 Please contact Sarah Craig, FotoFest Workshops Coordinator, at or 713-223-5522 ext. 13 to receive the discounted registration.  


A FotoFest 2012 Educational Seminar

With the increasing interest in photobooks, many artists and arts professionals strive to achieve publication of their work.  A book acknowledges personal accomplishment and recognition. But what are the hurdles one must overcome to get published? And what do you do with the book once you’ve published it?

In this seminar, Mary Virginia Swanson helps artists understand the similarities and differences between having your book produced by a large (trade) publisher, a “small press” or by self-publication.

She will examine issues relating to contracts, fundraising, marketing, and distribution of photobooks, as well as the role of limited edition publications. Exhibitions and artist talks will be discussed as they benefit and support book publishing.

As part of the seminar, artist/author Rania Matar will talk about her experience publishing books with two different presses, signing with Quantuck Lane Press (a division of W.W. Norton) for her first monograph Ordinary Lives (2009). Umbrage Editions will publish her forthcoming title: A Girl and Her Room (Spring 2012), as well as manage the accompanying traveling exhibition. 

About the Presenters:

Mary Virginia Swanson is a nationally known author, educator and consultant who helps artists with their creative career development. Her informative seminars and lectures on marketing opportunities are highly praised by artists and professionals in the field because of their success in promoting artists’ careers. Ms. Swanson has coordinated marketing workshops all over the US and at industry events such as Review Santa Fe, Review LA, FotoFest (Houston) and Lens Culture FotoFest Paris, PhotoNOLA, Palm Springs Photo Festival and Photolucida, among others.

Swanson maintains a popular blog about opportunities for photographers called Marketing Photos and coauthored Publish Your Photography Book with Darius Himes (Princeton Architectural Press, Spring 2011).   

She counts artists/authors Renate Aller, Dave Anderson, Susan Burnstine, Arthur Drooker, Candace Plummer Gaudiani, Jessica Hines, Judith Fox, Loli Kantor, Shai Kremer, Janelle Lynch, Fred Lyon, Laurie Lambrecht, Heather McClintock, Lydia Panas, Sean Perry, Lisa M. Robinson, Ken Rosenthal, Jamey Stillings, Vicki Topaz, David Taylor and Lorena Gulillen Vaschetti are just a few of the artists she is proud to have worked with on their publishing projects.

Swanson’s websites are and


Rania Matar
was born and raised in Lebanon, moving to the United States in 1984. Her work focuses on women and girls both in the Middle East and the US. She has won numerous awards and her images are in the permanent collections of museums worldwide. A Girl and Her Room was a Top 50 Winner at Photolucida’s Critical Mass in 2009 and 2010, won the 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography and received a 2011 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowship.  A Girl and Her Room is her second book, published by Umbrage Editions with essays by Anne Tucker and Susan Minot. Matar’s first book Ordinary Lives was published in 2009.  She teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.


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