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. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031022/NYW079-a http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031022/NYW079-b http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031022/NYW079-c http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031022/NYW079-d http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031022/NYW079-e http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031022/NYW079-f ) 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 millennium." "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 america24-7.com/customcover. 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 unique." 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 photographers. 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 project. Google enabled the project organizers to publicize the project across the Internet. Digital Pond designed and produced all of America 24/7's public displays including photographs, work flow diagrams, logos and signage for all project events. 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 Media. 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, Hardcover 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 www.dk.com. 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