Photobook Subscription Service Takes "Hassle" Out of Collecting

Screen shot. Courtesy of Charcoal Book Club

Charcoal Book Club launched a few years ago as a subscription service and takes the hassle (or fun) out of building a photobook collection. The company's value prop lies in its ability to provide signed, first edition photobooks (plus a "collectible print") to subscribers at a standard rate. The average retail cost of each monthly selection varies from $40 to nearly $100 apiece, meaning subscribers will, on the whole, save money per book when plotted out over the course of twelve months.

To guild the lily, Charcoal turns to artists and photographers to select each month’s offerings. Past curators have included Tokyo-based vintage photography retailer Super Labo, South African portrait photographer Zanele Muholi, and others. Charcoal sources books from over 250 publishers, ensuring subscribers will grow their collection quickly and with a minimum of personal investment. Don’t like what arrives in the mail? Already own the book of the month? Books can be swapped for those of similar value. Monthly packages start at $58.

This month's pick is Centralia by Indian transmedia artist, photographer and activist Poulomi Basu.