Published 06/12/17

Books - the maximum profit for photographers

With new digital printing making anything from one-off books to limited editions and short press runs practical, photographers worried about possible VAT changes can future-proof their profit margins by becoming their own publishers.


Books carry zero VAT, so if there's a change in two years to bring thousands more small businesses into VAT registration, you can avoid a sudden 20% cut being taken from your prices to the public by switching from reprints, wall art, digital file delivery or traditional albums to digitally printed books.

Norfolk print lab 2MProfessional, with the only Canon Dream Labo 5000 system in the UK, makes books worthy of any library coffee-table to a resolution six times finer than regular offset litho and a colour gamut which exceeds CMYK press inks. These highly detailed books, with an archival life to last many generations, make investment in high megapixel capture pay off.

Where almost everything else photographers can sell is VAT rated - including files only', cards, calendars, posters, videos - books are zero VAT. But if you are covering an event and providing a book, you should keep the charge for the photography separate to avoid the whole deal becoming VATable.

Here's an impressive list of the sales potential for books from Graham Hinton, 2MProfessional Sales and Marketing Director

''The applications are endless'', he says, ''but include wildlife, landscape and commercial photography compilations, school and college yearbooks, travelogues, music festivals and fan clubs, artists and Illustrators portfolios, cars and motorcycles, sports clubs, stars and celebrity events, aircraft, boats and many more.
''The target market are fans, fan clubs, club members, associations and appreciation societies. In addition event organisers are producing limited edition ''books of the event'' that are either presented to major stakeholders, sponsors, team management and participants as gifts of appreciation or sold to those that have a keen interest in those events.

2MP website

Because books are zero rated, whether softback magazine-style or hardback lay-flat volumes, schools and charities can sell on at a profit without complicated accounting - a benefit the photographer can sell to them.

These limited edition books are typically retailing at £150 - £600 each with a good profit margin.

Fully bound, hardback, photo-rich books can be created in a variety of sizes and layouts from A6 to A3 landscape and various square formats in between. Various binding options allow for coffee table, flat spread & true lay-flat options with seamless double page spreads that provide stunning panoramic images.

Although the chancellor decided not to lower the VAT registration threshold in November, there was a heavy hint that it was a two-year reprieve. Photo books from 2MProfessional are VAT-free when you order them and VAT-free when you sell them and offer a great opportunity to maximise vital earnings at a time of rising prices and pressure on businesses.

1st Published 6 December 2017 15:26 Posted by Ben Jones
last update 11/10/2018 11:21:19

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