New York, NY - DK Publishing, the visionary publisher of distinctive, highly visual books for adults and children, has signed an unprecedented 53-book deal with the America 24/7 project, the largest collaborative photo project in U.S. history. The deal was brokered by agent Carol Mann; DK has world rights to the project.
The first book in the series, titled America 24/7, will be published in November 2003. This 320-page, large-format hardcover book will showcase the best photographs from the nationwide photo shoot and create a digital time capsule of life in America as documented by up to a million or more participants from across the United States. A true multimedia event, the publication of America 24/7 will coincide with extensive network television coverage, a DVD documentary, traveling exhibitions of photographs and a compelling website that will allow photographers across the U.S. to submit and publish their work.
In addition, DK will publish 52 subsequent hardcover books based upon the project in September 2004 - one for each state plus one book on Washington, D.C. and one book on New York City - all to be published on the same day. This unprecedented schedule marks the largest number of titles ever published simultaneously by a trade book publisher. As with the national volume, the publication of the state books will be accompanied by television specials, DVDs, exhibits, and websites.
"It is a herculean project, but I am thrilled that DK is the publisher" said DK Publisher Christopher Davis. "Not only does the concept of America 24/7 fit well with our core publishing philosophy of using words and pictures to tell a story, it gives us the chance to be a player in two major publishing events."
Davis added: "Of course it is a big production challenge, both to deliver America 24/7 in such a short timescale this year, and then the 52 subsequent titles - at least a million books! - for publication on the same day in September 2004, but with our long experience as a global publisher printing 50 million books a year in multiple languages, it is not a challenge from which we shrink. In fact, we relish it. This is the kind of publishing opportunity that generates excitement throughout a company and fuels both the creative and the commercial adrenaline."
Created by Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen, the innovative team behind the 1986 blockbuster A Day in the Life of America (the best-selling photography book ever published), America 24/7 will utilize digital photographs taken by professional photojournalists and novices alike. "In the seventeen years since we published A Day in the Life of America, everything has changed," says Cohen. "The ubiquity of digital photography, combined with affordable bandwidth and massive digital storage will allow America 24/7 to instantly receive and edit photographs from shooters using state-of-the-art Olympus digital cameras all across the country. It creates a democracy of imagery unlike anything we dreamed of in 1986."
"The America 24/7 series is designed to be a landmark in documentary photography and the watershed event of the new digital photography age," commented project director Rick Smolan, a former Time and National Geographic photojournalist who originated the Day in the Life series. "We are putting out a call to discover the best digital photojournalists in America, plus new photographic talent."
In addition to the 1,000+ top photojournalists being hired by the America 24/7 team, amateur photographers from anywhere in the country will also be invited to submit their own digital photographs of American life via the project's website (america24-7.com). Ultimately, the project expects to receive submissions from up to a million or more participants across the United States to create a vivid panorama of modern American life and the myriad experiences that take place across the nation within a week.
"This amazing project is going to reveal the heart and soul of the American experience," said Chuck Lang, Senior Vice President for Publishing in DK's New York office. "America 24/7 represents grassroots storytelling combined with the wonder of modern technology. DK is thrilled to publish the books that will capture this landmark event."
DK Publishing is the world's premier illustrated reference publisher, recognized for publishing high-quality nonfiction books in which words and pictures are closely integrated to present information with unrivalled clarity. DK publishes books on a full list of subjects for readers of all ages, including art, business, childcare, food, gardening, health, history, home, languages, parenting, pets, reference, sex, sports, and travel. Since the company's founding in the UK in 1974, DK has published more than 4000 titles. DK is a member of The Penguin Group, part of the international media company Pearson plc.
Cathy Melnicki, DK Publishing, 212-213-4800,
Gina Privitere, America 24/7, 415-713-1589,
David Carriere, America 24/7, 415-331-6300 3#,