Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm a Pentaxian, that's why I write this blog.

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Hi Pentaxian friends.


I received an email about a week ago, that was questioning my blog’s integrity. The email was critical about the use of my blog to sell my books. I mused over that email for several days and nights. I have to admit that I was and still am hurt.



This morning, I decided to get it out of my system and wrote this article. Yes, there is a lot to gain from having a successful Internet site. One only has to look at sites like Photo-net, DPReview, The Online Photographer, Steve’s Digicam, and many other sites, to realize that a presence on the internet can be lucrative. Those sites provide a living for the site’s creator and in some cases, for a staff of writers, photographers, technicians, etc. I do envy these entrepreneurs, but I know that I will never achieve this level of financial success with my blog site. For one thing, I can only write so much about Pentax cameras and equipment. I have a limited audience.

I chose to write about Pentax because I have used their equipment since I was a young man. It's a matter of loyalty. It is for a similar reason that I wrote my first book about the Pentax K10D. Books on Canon and Nikon cameras were easily available at any bookstore and on the Internet. Magazines were noisy with Canon and Nikon editorials, but very few articles were written about Pentax equipment. That’s when I decided to write my own book. With a budget of “zero”, I knew I was not going to be published. I printed the books myself, sold them on EBay and eventually on my own website. The K100D book followed and then the K20D book. I had a reasonable amount of success, but not enough to quit my day job… not even close. With the book market being dominated by Amazon and the giants of the publishing world, I finally realized that I couldn’t continue to print the books. I was spending my evenings and weekends making books. My time was never included in the margin of profit, and my time is my life.

I recently subsided to the idea of printing books and now offer them in “PDF” format so that they can be useful to Pentax users at a cost that is less than the price of most magazines or a meal at McDonalds. I spend about one to three hours every night writing this blog, and if you noticed, I make it a point of writing everyday. I don’t do it for the money. I do it because I love photography, because I like making friends all over the world, because I learn as much, if not more, from comments and emails I get, than the information I gladly share with all my readers. I do it because I am passionate about Pentax…in a word, I’m a Pentaxian.

I designed the AF Adjustment Charts, and they are free for the download. Even when giving them free, I had some hate mail about the design. I do not apologize for highlighting my books on the blog site. The miniscule amount I get from that, allows me to buy some glass occasionally. I have no “Google Ads” on my site and am not planning to have them either. I am not sponsored and do not have banners for B&H, Adorama and other photographic equipment vendors. More power to the marketing savvy of people that can profit from them. Maybe, just maybe, something lucrative will come out of this in the end. Maybe some publisher will make me an offer…not! Maybe someday, I can quit my day job, but I don't think it's going to be anytime soon. Amazon...you can buy my site, give me a salary, and I'll work for you the rest of my life!

Success can be measured in many ways. My success with this “Blogging” endeavor is not in dollars and cents, but in personal satisfaction. Several thousands of readers come this way daily and if someone can benefit from my articles, I’m good with that.

For the person that sent me the email, and you know who you are, I would be heading for the poor house if I were to count on my blog site for a living. I do it because I love photography, and this blog is my sounding board.

I do receive some good emails as well, here's some:

Good Afternoon, Some 18 months ago I bought a K10D and then, quite fortuitously, I had the happy happenstance to stumble across your book on ebay. That excellent publication has been most useful and has helped to make owning the K10 a much greater pleasure and I thank you for the book. That the book does lie flat when open is a pleasure.

Dear Mr. Bourque: My name is Barbara, and I have been a proud owner of a Pentax K10D since Nov. 2007. I have followed your blog and Pentax forum postings with great interest during the past year. Your knowledge and talent are amazing!

Happy New Year from cold cold Montreal. I'm a regular reader of your updates and want to thank you for the information and links you provide.

I think your book, and I just bought it, and your blog rock!!! thanks for creating this for us Pentax, users, and sentimentals.

Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yvon Bourque
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