Ilex Instant: a new publishing platform for photography books

We hear it just about every day: the publishing world has changed. Sales of dead-tree publications are down; access to free content and self-publishing services is on the up. For both publishers and wanna-bee authors, this is both a good and a bad thing: it's a rickety market for publishers, but with wonderful opportunities for revolutionary thinking; authors no longer have to channel themselves through the strictly controlled layers of publishing houses, but how do they get their work noticed?

Ilex, one of the leading photo publishers in the world, believes it has the answer to this conundrum, combining the freedom of e-book publishing with the solidity of traditional publishing in the form of Associate Publisher Adam Juniper's brainchild: Ilex Instant.

You take your e-book idea to Ilex and they give it the traditional editorial treatment with an editor and a designer. When it's ready, it's released into the big scary world of sales, but with the advantages of looking great, reading well, and having the weight of a well-respected publisher behind it. Ilex's name is known the world over, but its books are sold under many other different brands too, including Pixiq's (for example The Complete Guide to Digital Photography and Creative Portrait Photography). They're also known as innovators, being the folks behind The Photographer's i Magazine (which, of course, can be bought from the site in PDF so it's no longer tied to tablets).

As the sales roll in, the profits are split between you and Ilex. You never know, it might be a stepping stone to seeing your name on the cover of a printed book, too.

Adam told me: 'Now we'll be a "hybrid publisher", not just producing the books we think photographers need but letting photographers lead the way, and paying them to do it.'

It's still early days for Ilex Instant; the first exclusive material is a little way off yet. However, you can access much of Ilex's catalogue of books on a chapter-by-chapter basis that, usually, costs little more than a cup of coffee. But as a special treat for Pixiq readers, Ilex is offering you a free e-book. Browse the site, choose your book, and then enter the code PIXIQMAR2013 at the checkout. If you register in the social section of Ilex's site before the end of March, you can be in the running to win an iPad Mini, too.

Ilex Instant, definitely worth a look.