America 24/7: A Nation Tells Its Story Through a Digital Lens

* Result Is America 24/7, a Book that Takes Readers on a Visual Journey

Across All 50 States - to be published nationwide on Monday, October

27th 2003

* From Creators of New York Times #1 Best-Seller, A Day In The Life of


* 25,000 Citizens across the Nation - from 36 Pulitzer Prize-winners to

Soccer Moms and Kids - Participate in Largest Collaborative Photography

Project Ever

* America 24/7 Makes Publishing History Allowing Hundreds of Thousands of

Book-buyers to Personalize Book Cover Jacket with Their Own Photo

Oct 22, 2003, 01:00 ET from DK Publishing

    NEW YORK, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- DK Publishing and 24/7 Media LLC
 announce the release of the much-anticipated America 24/7, a 304-page,
 hard-cover book featuring more than 1,200 photographs submitted by 25,000
 Americans.  During the week of May 12-18, 2003, America 24/7 invited everyone
 in America with a digital camera to submit photographs that depict their
 lives, families, and community -- and what it means to be American.  In one
 week, Pulitzer prize-winning, professional, student, and amateur photographers
 across the nation shot more than one million pictures.  This extraordinary
 collaboration produced an honest, upbeat look at America -- a visual time
 capsule produced by citizens from every walk of life.
     Starting Monday, America 24/7 is available at book retailers across the
 country.  The book retails for $50.00.
     In addition to breath-taking photographs, America 24/7 features essays
 from some of America's leading writers and thinkers, including Pulitzer Prize
 winner Robert Olen Butler, National Book Award winner Charles Johnson, Time
 and PBS essayist Roger Rosenblatt, National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shibab
 Nye, and best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver.
     Organized into six chapters covering home, work, play, belief, community,
 and American scenes, the images in America 24/7 offer a fascinating insight
 into American life at a crucial point in the nation's history.  "Hard at Work"
 runs the gamut from a worker changing a light bulb atop a silvered gargoyle on
 New York's Chrysler Building to a 77-year-old 'dress-fluffer' at Disney's
 Fairy Tale Fantasy wedding venue in Orlando, Florida.  Images of "America at
 Play" range from Inuit children playing stickball in western Alaska to
 grandmothers out for a strenuous morning row in Oakland, California.  "Our
 Town" includes pictures of a seeing-eye Shetland pony and a three-year-old
 girl in a sheep-riding contest.  "Reason to Believe" captures the broad range
 of American belief contrasting, for example, the Willow Creek mega-church,
 which serves 17,500 Illinois Christians each weekend, with a fiery right of
 passage for an 11-year-old Apache girl.  "Sea to Shining Sea" contrasts man
 and nature, setting tornadoes ripping through Texas against a Virginia garbage
 dump and the painted mesas of Arizona.
     America 24/7 was produced and directed by Rick Smolan and David Elliot
 Cohen, creators of more than 25 high-profile book projects, including the New
 York Times #1 best-seller, A Day in the Life of America, which sold an
 unprecedented 1.3 million copies.  Bookstores around the globe have sold more
 than five million copies of books created by Smolan and Cohen, and their
 projects have been widely credited for creating the first mass market for
 coffee table books.
     "Never has the country been documented so thoroughly by so many talented
 photographers," commented David Elliot Cohen, project director.  "We hope and
 believe that America 24/7 will become an important historical document that
 future generations will use to understand America at the onset of the new
     "America 24/7 is not a book for tourists nor was it created by a PR firm
 to sell America to the world," says project director Rick Smolan.  "It's a
 family album, and we expect these photographs to inspire, amuse and, on
 occasion, disturb the reader.  As an honest mirror of everyday American life,
 this is as it should be."
     Your Picture On The Cover
     America 24/7 is the first book to offer book buyers a high quality
 customized wrap-around dust jacket featuring their own photograph on the
 cover.  Personalized covers allow readers to put themselves, their children,
 their momentous occasions, or even pets on the cover of a best-selling
 coffee-table book.  A personalized photo credit and caption will be
 individually printed on the jacket's front flap.  The ability to mass
 personalize a best-selling book has never been possible or even attempted
 before, and it is one reason that America 24/7 is viewed as the biggest gift
 book of the 2003 holiday season.
     Here's how it works.  Each copy of America 24/7 contains simple
 instructions for submitting a digital photograph to  About seven days later, the customer will
 receive a glossy high-quality dust jacket identical to the America 24/7 jacket
 sold in stores, but with their own full-color cover image with caption and
 photo credit.  Customers pay only shipping and handling costs ($5.99).
     First in a Series
     In September 2004, DK Publishing will release 50 additional books in the
 America 24/7 series -- one for each state.  All 50 titles will be released
 nationwide on the same day, another trade publishing first.  "Once people own
 a copy of America 24/7 we're certain they'll want a second book focused
 100 percent on their own state," says Smolan; "The photographers outdid
 themselves and state books such as Texas 24/7, Florida 24/7, and Alaska 24/7
 will showcase the people and places that make each of America's 50 states
     Technology Makes Historic Project Possible
     "The speed and scale of this project are unprecedented," said Smolan.
 "The typical wire service processes around 1,500 images a day.  But the
 technology developed for America 24/7 allowed us to collect and edit hundreds
 of thousands of images in a single week."  As the largest collaborative "100
 percent digital" photographic project in history, America 24/7 was produced in
 record-breaking time -- weeks vs. months.  Digital photography enabled the
 project's organizers to simultaneously solicit and receive photographs from
 thousands of communities across America via the Internet.  Digital technology,
 from cameras to software to the Internet, enabled Americans to tell their own
 stories in a way that's never been possible before.
     "Digital photography levels the playing field, enabling students and
 soccer moms to have their photos reviewed side by side with images shot by
 America's top professional photographers," says Smolan.  "The digital
 photography revolution allowed us to invite Americans to tell their own
 stories of American life -- stories unprocessed by Hollywood, Madison Avenue
 or the government.  It is this participatory aspect of America 24/7 that sets
 it apart from Smolan and Cohen's previous photographic projects.  "We have
 spent the past 20 years traveling around the world, documenting different
 cultures," said Cohen.  "Our team was in the Soviet Union during glasnost,
 China during the Tiananmen Square uprising, and Vietnam when the trade embargo
 was lifted.  We've always used an elite team of photojournalists, but this
 time around, the power of digital photography and the Internet, allowed us to
 invite amateurs and pros to create a democracy of images."
     Partners and Sponsors Provided Essential Tools
     Corporate partners for America 24/7 provided essential tools and services
 required to complete this ambitious project on a short deadline.  Smolan and
 Cohen brought together the very best technology and services for each step in
 the process.
     Adobe Systems provided essential software tools such as Photoshop,
 InDesign, Acrobat, Photoshop Album, Photoshop Elements, Illustrator and other
 tools that streamlined the creation of the America 24/7 books.
     Olympus America provided their C-5050 digital camera to each of the 1,000
 professional photographers working on America 24/7.
     Lexar Media provided digital memory cards used by the 1,000 professional
     Snapfish, the leading online photo service, developed technology that
 allowed amateurs across the nation to submit work to the project.
     JetBlue Airways, winner of Conde Nast's Readers Choice Award for Best
 Airlines 2002, provided editors and staff with transportation to and from
 project headquarters in San Francisco.
     WebWare provided a Digital Asset Management system capable of storing and
 retrieving the hundreds of thousands of images submitted to the America 24/7
     Google enabled the project organizers to publicize the project across the
     Digital Pond designed and produced all of America 24/7's public displays
 including photographs, work flow diagrams, logos and signage for all project
     Additional support was provided by: FileMaker, Apple, Camera Bits, CNET
 Networks, Inc. LaCie, Now Software, Preclick, Outpost Digital, Xerox,
 Microsoft, WoodWing Software, net-linx Publishing Solutions, and Radical
     Book Specs
     * First printing: 500,000 copies      * ISBN 0-7894-9975-4 (U.S)
     * 304 pages including 1,160           * National one-day laydown on Oct.
       full-color photographs                27, 2003
     * 10 3/8" x 13" (330 x 236 mm),       * Distribution in US, UK, and Canada
       vertical                              by DK Publishing
     * US, $50, Hardcover; Canada $75,
     About DK Publishing
     DK Publishing is the visionary book publisher renowned for pioneering a
 distinctive, highly visual style in its books for adults and children.
 Founded with the aim of developing innovative reference books, DK has since
 established a worldwide reputation for publishing high-quality nonfiction
 books in which words and pictures are closely integrated to present
 information with unrivalled clarity.  Visit us on the web at  DK
 Publishing is part of Pearson plc.
     About 24/7 Media, LLC
     Headed by former Time, Life and National Geographic photojournalist Rick
 Smolan and best selling editor/author David Elliot Cohen, 24/7 Media, LLC is a
 leader in publishing photographic events.  Smolan and Cohen are the creators
 of more than 25 high-profile book projects, including the New York Times #1
 best-seller, A Day in the Life of America, which sold an unprecedented
 1.3 million copies.

SOURCE DK Publishing