A LOT of people keep asking me how my book, "Bruce Springsteen In Focus 1980-2012" (http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Springsteen-Focus-1980-2012-Rothenberg/dp/1938501519) came about. From the first time I saw, and photographed Bruce, I kept a journal about the shows. Not only the songs he sang, but the people I went with, met, my feelings, etc. I honestly never intended to share this with anyone and I don't even think anyone knew I did this. I know I am not alone-most of the people I know do the same thing and many share on their Facebook pages.
I was approached by 2 publishers who were interested in publishing my book but they wanted me to hand everything over to them. I really didn't want another book telling the history of Bruce Springsteen and where he was born, etc. I wanted it to be my story-my journey-one that had me start as an amateur photographer and fan and then become a professional photographer where my entire living came from creating and documenting events. In April 2012, I was at an event where my husband Philip was the photographer. He spoke with a man who was a HUGE Bruce Springsteen fan and this man asked if I had any photos on my phone. I didn't, but pulled up my website and he ran off with my phone. I was a little nervous wondering where he went with my phone but he went to show it to his friend, Roseann Lentin who is the President/Owner of Turn The Page Publishing. When she asked me "so, when am I publishing your book?" I wasn't 100% sure she was serious. I said "we should talk."
We met in the city for lunch and I brought my "book" for her to see. My book consisted of a black loose leaf binder where I had some of my favorite images and the words I wrote after and during the shows. I cleaned it up a bit over the years (it used to be on all sorts of paper, even napkins and business cards!) She loved what she saw, and then started the process of the book. I also loved that her publishing company is based out of NJ and everything felt right!
People have asked me if it was difficult. The hardest thing was having not enough room to use all the images-I had just too many. Some just didn't fit the layout so they were omitted. Other than that, the hardest part was the title. I originally wanted it to be called "Born to Shoot" but it sounded too...I think you get the picture! A few other titles were tossed around and then my friend and fellow photographer, Julie Dermansky, came up with "In Focus." It was a perfect fit!
The number one question I am being asked these days by people, and not just photographers, is "How can I get my book published? Can you help me?" I love helping people, but loathe when people ask me the same questions over and over and don't listen to the answers and wonder why they aren't getting anywhere. So..I thought that not only putting it all in writing but showing the process I went thru will help. Lay out your book EXACTLY how you want it to be. Write what you want to say. Basically, FINISH your book so you have something to show publishers so they see your vision and understand what you want. Throwing 20 pages together is not enough, in my opinion and it won't help you. It doesn't have to be perfect-that is why there are designers and editors, but have it all done. You can even go to My Publisher or Blurb or Adorama to have it put into book form, but that isn't necessary. These pages here were all done via laser prints from Kinkos and put in a loose leaf binder.
I am now working on books #2 and #3-due out in Fall 2014 and Fall 2015. Both will be a far departure of what people have come to know me as a photographer-no concerts, no celebrities...NO people in both books. It's both a challenge and an adventure and I am looking forward to working on both.
I hope all your hopes and dreams come true in 2014