The project I'm trying to fund is a first printing of my photobook, Walking City: Boston Street Photographs. I'll be self-publishing the book with Blurb.com, and with all of the photography and book-design already complete, I just need your help to fund enough printed copies so that I can offer the book for sale at a reasonable retail price.
As photographer David Gibson has observed, a book format is the best way for street photographers to showcase their work. There is something about holding a physical collection of printed photographs, carefully selected and sequenced, that cannot be matched by any viewing of the images on a phone, tablet, or computer screen.
Boston in Black and White
Unlike New York, London, or Paris, Boston isn't a widely-recognized setting for street photography, even though there are many talented street photographers who live and work in the area. With this in mind, I wanted to do something to bring attention to Boston as a setting for street photography projects, and I believed that such a book would find an audience because the theme would be pretty fresh on the art book market.
I've spent most of 2018 shooting photographs in Boston. From the thousands of photos I started with, I have selected and sequenced more than one hundred black-and-white images for a projected 112-page book.
I decided to do a monochrome book for a couple of reasons. First, Boston is usually shot in color. From autumn foliage to the brownstones of Beacon Hill and the Back Bay, Boston lends itself to color photography. However, a consequence of this is that Boston tends to be photographed the same way over and over again. I wanted to upend this trend and offer an uncommon and more evocative vision of Boston and its residents. Second, and relatedly, I wanted to do a photographic project in the tradition of Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, Helen Levitt, and Robert Frank--to shoot Boston the way these masters shot Paris, New York, and (in Frank's case) the whole of the United States. That meant monochrome and an understated style.
Costs and Timeline
At this point, the photos have been taken, edited, and curated, and the layout of the book, including cover design, is complete. All that remains to be done is the first printing--and that's where you come in!
In order to offer the book to readers at a reasonable price, I need to have at least one hundred copies of the book printed so that I can take advantage of a bulk rate. I could sell it on a print-on-demand basis, but in that case the retail price of a hardcover book with a dust jacket would have to be set around $80 in order to cover costs. With your help in meeting my crowdfunding goal, I could price the book at $45 and hopefully reach a wider audience.
The printer has given me a bulk order price of $35.40 per copy for an order of 100 copies or more. If I order 100 copies, that comes to $3540 for printing. After printing, the next cost is warehousing. I've been quoted a cost of $1.50 per book for twelve months of storage, so that comes to $300. Rounding up to provide a slight cushion in the event that unforeseen costs arise, I've set the funding goal at $4000.
If I exceed my funding goal, I will order an initial printing of more than 100 copies, depending on available funds.
Once the project is funded, it will take approximately 4-6 weeks to request, receive, and approve an examination copy, print the bulk order, and be ready to ship. So I'm looking at a February 2019 release date for the book.
Once the book is released, readers will be able to purchase it directly from Blurb.com or through Amazon. Supporters who contribute at least $50 to the Kickstarter campaign will get a copy of the book and--at higher contribution levels--other goodies!
Risks and challenges
It's possible, but unlikely, that the release of the book could be delayed slightly if I discover any printing errors in the examination copy that I'll get from the printer. Such a delay would be a matter of days or weeks, not months.
It's also possible, but again unlikely, that the printer (Blurb.com) could experience delays on their end. It's an established book printer, though, so I do not foresee any issues on this score.
There are no risks associated with the shooting of the photos or the design of the book; these tasks have already been completed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)