NEW YORK, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Last autumn's New York Times best-seller America 24/7 depicted a nation telling its own story. Harnessing the talents of thousands of local photographers across all 50 states and more than 3000 professionals -- including 36 Pulitzer Prize winners -- America 24/7 was a publishing event that invited Americans of every stripe to contribute their digital photographs via the internet. But that was only the beginning of the project's "audience participation." After raves by Oprah Winfrey on her "Favorite Things" program, more than 40,000 book buyers accepted the project's invitation to place their own photos of children, parents, partners, pets, and major life events on customized wraparound dust jackets. An important milestone in publishing history, an astonishing 1 out of 5 book buyers uploaded digital photos and created their own custom covers. On the heels of this impressive achievement, DK Publishing and the innovative team of Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen are poised to break even more publishing records. Today, DK is debuting the America 24/7 State Book series. Fifty lush, oversize hardcover books, one for each of the 50 states (Alaska 24/7, Maine 24/7, Virginia 24/7, etc.) -- the largest simultaneous publishing venture ever launched by a trade book publisher. Initial printing for the series is an astounding 800,000 copies. Project directors Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen, the creators of the best-selling "Day in the Life" books, explain the underlying concept, "We posed a series of questions to Americans in every state: tell us -- in pictures -- who you are, what you care about, who you love, where you work, and what you do every day. America answered with more than a million photographs that enabled us to create a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse of life across every state. These books are a powerful, intimate and historic record of daily life in every American state." David Elliot Cohen added, "We believe these books portray a more accurate and more human portrait of American life than Americans -- or the rest of the world -- are used to seeing on the evening news." Each State Tells Its Own Story The America 24/7 State Book series showcases the most compelling photographs taken by amateur and professional photographers from across the 50 states, publishing in total the work of more than 3,000 photographers nationwide. Reviewed and selected by a team of editors from some of the nation's most respected periodicals, the photographs in each state book offer an intimate, often funny, and sometimes surprising portrait of life in each location. Each book features an essay about the state by a locally renowned writer and includes the following five sections that portray Americans in every aspect of our daily lives: "Hearth & Home," "Hard at Work," "America at Play," "Reason to Believe," and "Our Town." While the themes are consistent across the books, each of the America 24/7 State Books tells a unique story, presented by people who live there and know it best. Readers Can Honor Their Loved Ones, Pets, Important Celebrations and Most Treasured Moments by Putting Their Own Photograph on the Cover of Any State Book As with America 24/7, which was selected as one of Oprah's "Favorite Things" of the 2003 holiday season, each of the 50 state books can be personalized with a customized book cover. It takes less than five minutes from start to finish. Readers simply upload a digital photograph (either a new one or an old photograph that's been scanned and turned into a digital file) to www.america24-7.com. Readers can then position and crop their photograph and write a caption and credit that appears on the customized jacket. Within a few weeks, an affordable ($7.95 plus $2.95 shipping and handling) one-of-a-kind book cover featuring the reader's own image will arrive, ready to be wrapped around any America 24/7 State Book. An America 24/7 State Book, with or without a custom cover, makes a terrific gift for birthdays, holidays, housewarmings, weddings, and baby showers. "Even those who didn't get a chance to submit photographs for inclusion in the books published by DK can participate by putting their own photographs on the cover of their America 24/7 State Book," says Rick Smolan. "Last year, 50,000 readers who bought America 24/7 created their own customized cover featuring images of special people, places, and memories. We've seen many people order one, then 10 more once they see how impressive these covers are." Readers Have the Option to Buy Several - Or All - of the America 24/7 State Books "Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? Where do you vacation? Where do your relatives live? Where would you like to live someday?" These are the affiliations which will motivate readers to buy more than one America 24/7 State Book," says Bill Barry, President of DK's U.S. operations. "We're all curious to see which state books are most successful relative to their population." About the Authors Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen are the original creators of the Day in the Life(R) series and have been responsible for the most successful photography books in history including The New York Times bestsellers A Day in the Life of America, A Day in the Life of the Soviet Union, Christmas in America and America 24/7. Smolan and Cohen's groundbreaking, imaginative projects combine storytelling with state-of-the-art technology and have appeared numerous times on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Fortune, and U.S. News & World Report. 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 the Penguin Group (USA), a division of Pearson plc.
SOURCE DK Publishing