Special Guest Post From My Book Publisher, Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

I’m honored to be Scott Kelby’s publisher and proud to publish Scott’s books under both the Peachpit Press and New Riders imprints. Today I have a piece of exciting and important news to share with you that hasn’t been made public yet, so you’re the first to know.

Drum roll, please…
The numbers are in, and for 2010, your friend and mine, Mr. Scott Kelby, has been recognized as the top-selling photography book author! This has been confirmed according to Nielsen BookScan, which is the industry standard for tracking the book industry’s sales.

Congratulations, Scott, so well deserved. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I can’t tell you how amazing it is to work with someone who has consistently written so many best-selling books that truly transform people’s lives. In my entire publishing career, I’ve not seen any single author make and beat so many industry records. You’re an inspiration to all of us. (And hats off to the incredibly talented team at Kelby Media, too. Simply a joy to work with all of you!)

Publishing Industry Insights:
For those of you who are interested in this kind of stuff, I’ll give you a little background. For many years, the photography book category on Nielsen BookScan had been limited largely to books about “traditional” photography. Sales of most of the top books didn’t come close to sales of the top books in the much larger computer book category (a neighboring category, because that’s where all Photoshop books and some Lightroom books reside, for example). Even when DSLRs started coming down in price and the number of amateur hobbyists and serious shooters hit critical mass, still no single general digital photography book seemed to lead the pack in any significant numbers.

Until 2006
That’s the year Scott’s wildly popular The Digital Photography Book was published. It was—and continues to be—an incredible success. In my business, we call that a “breakout” book. A “barnburner.” It sets the bar for the whole category. Scott set that bar while still holding the Number One position in the computer book category (six years in a row!). As Scott’s leadership in the photography category grew, he/we made a strategic decision to move away from more general computer books (a hard decision given how many best-sellers he was authoring in that space—remember The iPod Book?). Anyway, it turned out to be a brilliant decision. Scott puts tons of passion and hard work into his photography and Photoshop books, and he hits them all out of the ballpark. He’s helped millions of shooters all over the world improve their skills, grow their business, and get the shot.

But there’s more…
What’s really interesting about the 2010 results is that the number of actual copies of Scott’s books sold in the photography category alone exceeded the total number of books sold by any author in the computer book category. And if you add the number of books Scott sold both in the photography category AND in the computer category, he soars above any author in either category by more than 50%. Any way you slice it, Scott is making a lasting and meaningful impact on a whole lot of people’s lives and livelihoods.

Again, Scott, congratulations on being the #1 photography book author for 2010. Here’s to many more years of best-selling books, happy readers, and being #1!

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel
Publisher, Peachpit Press and New Riders

  1. Congrats indeed (and sorry Ken, it looks like my “stop in” right before bed landed me on the Monday post)…

    My library is quite literally half-filled with Kelby material…and the only reason it’s not larger is because I started giving them away on the monthly contest series (after a quick read myself of course)! :-)

  2. Nancy, in the future can we have the more popular Kelby books released in spiral bound at the same time as the traditional bound or at least announce the spiral bound release dates. As you an gather, the popularity of Scott’s books, means that they reside next to the computer open and not closed on the coffee table. The spiral bound is so much easier to use, and I don’t care to give it to an Office store to do it. If Kelby Training sold them exclusively I wouldn’t need to price shop over at Amazon.

    1. Hi William, We’ve gotten a few similar requests over the years, but never enough to make it economically feasible for such small quantities of four-color (unless you’re talking b/w docutech-type quality, which I don’t think you are). For folks affiliated with a company, school or organization, and ordering in a large enough quantity (several hundred or more), it can be workable. But hey, as four-color print-on-demand processes continually improve, things are changing rapidly. So we’re always keeping an eye out, and testing new formats. Curious to know what you think it would be worth to you? (And thanks for the feedback!)

  3. Congratulations to Nancy and Scott. I’ve done my part — by buying all of Scott’s books. Scott’s books have helped me become a better photographer and artist. Scott has a way of making learning fun and inspiring me to do my best work. So keep those new books coming and I’ll keep buying and doing better work.

  4. Congratulations Scott. Your writing style (simple, full of humor, and giving out tips as if you’re talking to a friend) can’t be beat. If I wanted to learn about a particular topic (let’s say someday you write a book specifically about sports photography, for example), and I see hundreds of books written by guys who have been shooting pro sports for their entire careers next to a book written by you, I’ll choose yours every time because I know it will be written in a way that greatly explains the subject while also being easy to understand and fun to read.

  5. Dear Mr. Scott Kelby,
    JUst because bought your first book about digital photography and got inspired by it, not too long ago… :)
    Now I have dreams of becoming a photographer in a few more years
    I even sent you an email about how I started photography; just a few months ago at skelby@photoshopuser.com
    But, no one replied
    I had a question: What college did you go to and what did you major in?
    Anyways, Love your books and they are always fun and exciting to read!
    Thanks :)

  6. Idea for a Wednesday Guest Post: Have Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel discuss what it takes to write a photography book these days. And the best way to contact publishers.

    Congratulations Scott!

    1. Great idea, C.T. I’d love to do that. But I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t mention that there’s no better mentor on how to write a photography book than Scott himself. I’d be glad to provide a “Publishing 101,” but when it comes to how to actually write something of real practical and inspirational value in this field, there’s no better teacher than Scott. I think most people would be astonished at how many first-time book authors Scott has helped be successful over the years.

  7. Congrats Scott
    You have definately made a dramatic influence on my life. Funny she mentioned 2006. In December of that year I saw a Ben Wilmore seminar in Arlington and joined NAPP. I was new to Photoshop then and relatively new to photography then. I have learned tons since then mostly from your books, NAPP, Kelby Training, one-day seminars, Photoshop World, Photoshop User TV, and PhotoshopUser Magazine.
    Thank you Scott Kelby for all you do for all of us, ;) especially me! ;)

  8. Nancy:

    Thanks for passing on this great news to us! Peachpit has an amazing line-up of authors, led by Scott. I’m sure this is a proud moment for you and the entire Peachpit team!!


    Congrats on this awesome accomplishment! I’m sure you are doing cartwheels with the news (ok, figuratively!), and it was a nice touch to have Nancy come on here and tell us the news. I know you aren’t one to toot your own horn, and that’s one of the things I admire about you.

    You’ve taught me so much over the last couple of years that I can’t thank you enough. Whether it’s your books (I’ve got a bunch!), blog, PSU TV, D-Town (remember that? :D), and now my NAPP membership, my photography and Photoshop knowledge has increased exponentially. Whenever I have anyone ask me a photography question I can’t answer, I immediately steer them to you and your books. So much information in such simple terms and illustrations, and sprinkled with a good dose of Kelby humor.

    Keep up the good work! ;)


  9. Big congrats Scott. I became a NAAP member as a result of a photo contest on Digital Image Cafe about 5 years ago I believe. When I found out that NAAP membership was my award, I was disappointed as I was hoping for software, or some other such thing. I remember thinking, “a membership to what? Oh brother, thanks for nothing.” Wellllllll, I must tell you, the more I delved into the membership and all it had to offer, I quickly changed my mind. As a result of the training from NAAP, your books, Kelby TV, on line training etc., my photography skills have increased exponentially, not to mention Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. I now sell work on line, through art galleries, direct, and have a portrait business. I love the membership and can’t imagine ever not being a member. It’d be like cutting off your supply of oxygen. Thanks for a valuable association and all it provides. Once again, congratulations on your success. Keep it up.

    Mike Petrizzo

  10. Great job, Scott! It’s easy to see why your books sell… THEY WORK!! Anyone who’s read one of them loves them, and anyone I suggest them to thanks me. You make Photoshop accessible to everybody, not just those who can understand “Adobe-Speak”.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  11. Thanks Nancy for the post and for spreading the news.
    Thanks, Scott, for your inclusive, practical, “tell it to a friend”, and “lets have fun” teaching and writing style. I first joined NAPP back in ’02 or ’03 (the digital dark ages) because I needed a lot of help learning Photoshop. When Scott’s books started coming out, my learning curve really accelerated. You made a huge difference for me in getting to the next level of being able to actually use PS and then LR.

    I consider NAPP and Kelby Training to be the best educational investments I’ve made since college (and that’s a loooong time ago)!

  12. Congrats Scott! I have the majority of the books you have released over the past several years and they along with the online training and live seminars have given me the tools to make a career change for the better. What is even better is that you have allowed others like Matt and RC to teach what they know as well. You guys without a doubt are a winning combination!

  13. I am not surprised by this accomplishment at all. I have read other digital photography books and then in 2009 for Christmas I asked for the Digital Photography Box Set. I didn’t really know what it was all about but I liked that there were three books and it would give me something to do for awhile. When I started reading them it was awesome. Everything is broken down into regular human terms and he tells you everything you need to know. I learned about Dtown Tv there and started watching that and then found all the other podcasts and started watching those. Ever since then I always look for books by everyone in Kelby Media because I know they are going to be great and that I will definitely get my monies worth. I have a lot of those books now and have never been disappointed. They are extremely helpful.

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