What is an artists' book, exactly?
Please refer to Printed Matter's excellent definition of an artists' book.
Who designs your books?
All Sming Sming Books titles are designed in close collaboration and conversation with the artist/author and Vivian Sming—artist, writer, editor, multiple-hat-wearer, and the sole proprietor of Sming Sming.
Your books don't look the same—what's up with that?
Sming Sming Books prioritizes the artist/author's ideas to inform the book's design and print decisions. As such, we don't use standard fonts, sizes, or templates.
Where are your books printed?
All books are printed in the US. Each book uses a different printing method depending on the artist/author's ideas and work (see above). We believe in developing close working relationships with printers in-person and strive to print locally in the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles whenever possible. See our About page to find a list of local printers we recommend working with.
How do you select the artists you publish?
There is no concrete set of criteria for selecting the artists/authors we work with. One of the goals of Sming Sming Books is to create as many different artists' books as possible—ranging in works that provide wonder and joy to criticality and depth. We tend to look for artworks or projects that exist in a form that is challenging to represent on paper—for instance, artists working with conceptual or time-based practices, or in mediums such as sculpture, video, performance, installation, and sound.
I'm an artist and want to make a book! Will you work with me?
Sming Sming Books work with artists a number of different ways:
We offer book design, editorial, and production services on a sliding scale. If you have an artists' book, exhibition catalogue, or monograph in mind and would like to work with us, please contact us with your project details, ideal budget, and timeline.
On extremely rare occasion will we accept submissions for publication. We do not accept submissions of books with design layouts in place. Sming Sming Books designs and develops books in close conversation and collaboration. If you would like to have your work considered for publication, please contact us and indicate how your work fits with our mission and approach.
If you are looking for information about how to make your own book, Sming Sming Books hosts free Office Hours to answer questions about self-publishing. Each session is forty-five minutes long. Space is limited to artists and writers who are interested in creating and producing their own book, zine, or journal. Questions can be about generating ideas, design, layout, materials, printing, and production. We do not answer questions regarding finding a publisher, funding, or distribution because we do not have the answers! This is meant to be an opportunity to workshop your ideas into book form.
Can I find your books in bookstores?
Yes! You can find our list of stockists here. Not every location will have every Sming Sming Books title, so it's best to check in with the store to see what is currently available.
How about in libraries?