AsukaBook- How About This Business Model?

I was just researching the book publishing sites out there after speaking to fellow Nat Geo Adventure Photographer Andrew Kornylak. Andrew loves AsukaBook. I went to their site and, of course you have to register first, to get information. But what stuck me as odd was the check box to certify that you are a professional. Then the follow up email they send mentions waiting two days for approval to use their services. Who limits access to their customers? Who waits for anything anymore in the digital age?

Here's their explanation:

An email approving your registration request or requesting further information will be sent to you within 2 business days.

As mentioned on the Registration page, AsukaBook products are available to professional photographers and designers creating books for resale or promotions. To protect the integrity and confidentiality of our registered customers, we do not disclose our prices to the general public, as well as ordering capability. For this reason, verifying professional status is imperative. We may request further information from you such as business web site, membership of professional photography associations, and/or sample images. Your cooperation with this process is most obliged.

It made me recall conversations with my Kodak Pro Rep years ago in which I used to kid them that they needed to limit to whom they sold "pro" film. Those guys taking "pro" film and cross processing it were giving Kodak a bad name.

Which gets me to thinking that maybe there's room for a flickr style site that limits who can upload. Maybe a little exclusivity (or censorship?) would go a long way. Just a thought.

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