How I Published my First Photo Book

Himanshu Khagta
3 min readMay 18, 2018

So, next week I am going to Spiti with cartons full of my first photo book — “Life in Spiti — A Winter in a Himalayan Desert.” You can buy it from

I’v been getting a lot of questions on how the book was made and who published it. So here are few paragraphs about my book making process.

Sorting and Selecting

After spending six months in Spiti, I came back with thousands of photographs in multiple hard drives. I never had the luxury and enough battery to look at them in Spiti. The laptop was used only to transfer and back up the pictures.

Charging the laptop was a challenge. There was a massive power failure of 45 days due to heavy snowfall and to charge the laptop we had walk all the way to Hotel Sakya Abode and turn on the generator. It used to be so cold that the laptop would not charge the battery. To bring it to the optimal charging temperate, I would run multiple applications on it while I transferred the pictures to multiple hard drives.

So when I got back after six month, it took me days to go through the pictures and select the best ones. At the end of my careful selection, I had about 2500 pictures.

Trimming Down the Selection

This is when I thought of creating a book. It would be the best way to share my winter experience. So, I spent months further narrowing down the selection to about 250 pictures.

Putting them in the right order

Now the biggest challenge was to put them in the right order. I tried doing it on the computer at first but it was not working for me. So I bought a colour printer and printed business card sized pictures of my final selection. It took me another few months to get the right order.

Creating the First Draft

After some research, I chose Adobe Indesign to create the first draft. Then I spent another few days learning the basics of the software on youtube and another few months in putting it all together. Now the first draft was ready and I had to find a Printing Press.

Finding the Printing Press

After going through many samples from different printers, I selected Thomson Press for the job. Founded in 1967 and currently part of The India Today group, they have been printing books of many reputed publishers like Penguin, Macmillan, Harper Collins, Pearson, Oxford University Press etc.

After visiting their facility and meeting the team, I gave the order. It took another few weeks to get the final proofs ready after many rounds of corrections and after few more weeks I had cartons full of 1000 copies.


An online store was set up — for Domestic and International orders. You can also get a copy from Cafe 1947 in Manali and in any of the Sakya Abode properties in Kaza, Spiti.

The Future

There are two more books ready to be printed from the money generated from the sale of this book.

I request you all to get your copy and support Life in Spiti and Life in Shimla projects.
So, get your copy now!

Life in Spiti

Amazon India

Kaza, Spiti
Sakya Abode
Mr. Tsering Bodh
+91 94182 08987

Delhi NCR
South City 1, Sector 30
Gurugram (Gurgaon), Haryana
Mr. Rajit Kadian
+91 98998 84388

Originally published at on May 18, 2018.