Paragon Press could masquerade as a giant multinational corporation with a staff of editors and designers and a nationwide marketing and distribution network. But the truth is, it is a one-man company operated by me, Dave Dahms. I do the photography, writing, product design, financing, sales, and shipping. You might be saying to yourself "photographing is fun, but the rest of that sounds like lots of work" and you would be correct.

The positive aspects of being your own publisher are:

The negative aspects of being your own publisher are:

Should you (the customer) be skeptical of self-published books? I think they can be better than the mass-produced ones. I have been to each place and seen each animal whose photo appears in my books, usually many times. In the course of getting these photos, I have witnessed a lot of inspiring scenery and animal behavior. Compare this to a book made from stock photos by a graphic designer in a cubicle in a distant office, who gets information off the slide mounts for the four-word captions.

I started photographing wildlife as a hobby as early as 1982, not with grand aspirations, but simply because I enjoyed it. My first photo was published in 1987 and several hundred more since then. It feels great when a magazine or calendar with your photograph in it shows up in your mailbox along with a check. It is an implicit positive appraisal of the quality of your photos when someone will actually pay for them. But as a practical matter, the typical $50 to $150 payment for one-time use of a free-lance nature photo doesn't go very far.

That is why I decided to take the big plunge and become my own publisher. I'm not out to conquer the world or get rich from this endeavor. I am doing this because I enjoy it. I hope my passion for animals and nature and photography shows through in my photos.