Photography books from Marathon Press...poor quality?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by steve_c.|5, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Just wondering if anyone here has ordered photography books from Marathon Press? I recently got an e-mail promotion from them with a number of photography-related books at a discount price, so I ordered a couple: "Location Portraiture of Families and Executives" by Van Frazier, and "Family Portraits for the 21st Century" by Toni Sorenson Brown. They were on sale for $10 each, and I figured I might get some ideas or see something I didn't already know.
    The softcover books arrived today. I was disappointed by the poor quality paper in the pages (reminds me of thick newspaper material) and almost all grayscale photos. What's worse is the poor quality of the example photos, and the very dated material. Also present was the late 80's/early 90's clothing and hairstyles and the complete lack of reference to modern photo equipment. These books were originally written in the early 90's, and are not contemporary works. You can't tell from the cover shots, and there were no reviews online to find about them.
    Some of the written material seems to be well-written, but there is very little about technique and much more about dated portrait studio business practices. I think I'll send these back, I'm just not happy. I was expecting something more on par with a Bill Hurter or Bambi Cantrell publication. Wrong!
  2. Update: No returns are granted on sale items (big surprise) and the person I spoke to first said the books had been heavily discounted. When I stated my problem with the quality of the material, she admitted that they were old books they were clearing out. I told her that selling items this way is poor business practice (not stating date of publication or a detailed description of the material), and that I would not be buying any of their other publications because of this.
  3. This is why I use the library. Even if the book is terrible at least it was free.
  4. True, if you've got a well-stocked library! Mine, not so much...
  5. Your comment broght back fond memories of local seminars I attented in the late 80's early 90's. Marathon Press was always there promoting books, postcards, things like that to help your business grow. Also at these seminars were gifted photographers like Monty Zucker, and Hasselblad often sponsered these events. You always walked out of those sessions feeling great! You learned alot, got to talk shop to several hundred people, including the featured artists like Monty.

    Anyway I was sad to hear Marathon hasn't updated to the digital age, or should I say it seems as though they haven't grown. I used their post cards. They charged about $300 for 1000 postcards with your images on the cards and we handed them out at bridal fairs. Worked pretty good back then.

    Anyway, maybe talk to them again, tell them how unhappy you are, perhaps they will send a free book or 2. They were sure nice to photographers 20 years ago! Maybe times have changed.
  6. Well, Bob, I was under the impression they were a helpful resource for photographers, and perhaps they sell some good materials, but in the case of these books, it was misleading and disappointing. And the fact that they knew the books were outdated and would not refund the price says a lot.
  7. Well Steve, you've taken advantage of taking a shot at them on the information superhighway.....since they were so inexpensive, I would say that would be the first clue that they were likely dated. I think they are better known for their marketing seminars and resources rather than book sales. I know that Jeff & Kathleen Hawkins have endorsed them quite a bit. Their site info is here:

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