The short of it...
For those that already know about the Humans of Nelson project, I'll save you some time and get right down to the details. For those that want the longer story, keep scrolling down the page.
- I've hired a local team of experts to help me create the HON book. Anne Degrace is my book consultant and Steven Cretney, from Forest Design, is designing the book. These guys are book rock-stars.
- It'll be a fancy hardcover book - 7x9.5 inches and 232 pages. It'll feature the best HON photos so far as well as some new portraits and stories that will be exclusive to the book.
- To self-publish and to make the book affordable, I need to put in a bulk order with the printer. It will cost me about $22,000 to order 2000 books.
- With this Kickstarter campaign, you can pre-order the book, which will help me decide the right amount of books to get printed, and give me some of the cash up front to make it all happen.
- There are a few different rewards on the right of this page to choose from, but the most popular will be to order 1 book or 5 books (for the price of 4).
- It'll be cheaper to pick up the book(s) in town, but shipping is an option too.
- The books will be shipped to Nelson at the end of October and we're planning a release party / book signing at the beginning of November (more details to follow on that).
I really feel the Humans of Nelson work has been a community project from the beginning --- from the brave subjects willing to share their faces and stories with me, to the followers and supporters online (hi Facebook fans!). Together we celebrate our shared love for both this amazing place in the Kootenays and for the people fortunate enough to find themselves in it.
Thank you SO much for your support. I'm truly blessed.
P.S. Wanna help? It's pretty easy and I think you know what I'm going to say:
1. Look at the rewards on the right and make a pledge.
2. If you enjoy this project and want to see this book succeed - don't hold back. Tell your friends, share this page on facebook, shout it off the roof-tops. Your friends may not listen to me - but they'll definitely listen to you.
You rock. Thank you! :)
The long of it...
"Excuse me, may I take your photo?"
Those words terrify me. They also terrify (most of) the people that hear them.
I've forced myself to say them (to complete strangers) on my lunch breaks from my day-job since October last year. But when I do dig deep to find the courage to ask that question, to say those 7 words...........I open myself up to a thrill I never thought possible.
Before I discovered the insanely popular Humans of New York, and started the spin-off in charming Nelson, British Columba, I had lost my passion for photography. I had fancy gear, a portfolio and a few happy clients. But my heart wasn't in it anymore.
Many times I thought of selling my gear and moving on. Last summer my Nikon dSLR fell from my hands and smashed to pieces. I debated whether I should replace it or not. Maybe it was a sign to move on from photography.
But I had a little spark in me that saw this as an opportunity to change my artistic "focus" (pun intended). So I bought a retro looking Olympus camera that I was attracted to - and that I was hoping I would carry everywhere with me and perhaps would help me find a renewed passion.
One day my buddy Cliff (hi Cliff!) sends me a link to the Humans of New York website/facebook page.
I was hooked.
Then I was excited.
I googled "Humans of Nelson BC" to see if anyone had started a spin-off site in this amazing place I call home.
It looked like I was the first prospector and I just knew in my heart that this project was for me.
Then I grabbed my camera and hit the streets.
My heart was pounding with excitement and fear. The photographer for HONY (Brandon Stanton) made it look so easy.
It wasn't (and still isn't) easy.
The first person I asked to shoot said "no". (Not a good start)
But the second person said "yes!"
That was all the validation I needed. I shot 4 more people that first outing. I still didn't have the guts to do the mini-interviews with them yet. But I was just so happy I had started.
I kept shooting as often as I could. And I tried to post a new portrait/story to the facebook page every night.
I thought I would have time to practice and become proficient with this new style of photography and storytelling before anyone would take notice.
But within days the page had hundreds of followers. After a month, it had a thousand.
The audience helped motivate me to keep going and to get better and better at both the photography and telling people's stories.
I get the luxury of watching what the creator of the Humans of New York project does - and follow in his footsteps (or not).
Last year he published the Humans of New York book. It was a New York Times best seller.
I own the HONY book, and so I know this project translates well to print. And lots of the Humans of Nelson followers have asked for this book - almost from the start.
After shooting for 10 months, I feel very confident I have a large enough collection to produce a really good book of the best portraits and stories.
I knew I wanted to self-publish - because I have a pretty good idea that the HON followers will support it.
But I also knew I was going to need to hire some professional help to guide me along the process (hi Anne!) and to do the design (hi Steven!).
Anne Degrace, my book consultant, is incredible. She's a writer, an illustrator, a librarian and co-published the Nelson BC photo book. Without her help and support there is no way this book would be anything except a "good idea" in my head.
Steven Cretney from Forest Design, is the first person Anne recommended to design the book. And once we met, I had no need to talk to anyone else. Steven got excited about the project and has been able to execute on my vision from the first day.
I've never made a book before. These guys have made plenty. I am 100% confident in this team to do an amazing job in translating the success of HON from screen to print.
- 232 pages on 100lb photo quality paper (the good stuff)
- Over 100 portraits (colour and black & white) and stories
THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
It starts on Aug 8 and runs for 14 days.
The goal is raise at least $10,000 even though I am hoping to order 2000 books for $22,000. I will be paying whatever I need to make up the difference.
As per Kickstarter rules, if we don't raise $10,000 by the deadline --- I GET NONE OF THE MONEY.
Will the project get cancelled? No, but the size of the order will get drastically reduced, and the retail price of the book may go up to ensure I don't lose money.
I'm hoping you can do two things to support me and this project:
1. Make a pledge, and
2. Tell your friends and family about this project - on facebook and online - but also at the coffee-shop and after yoga class.
Especially let the people that you know that don't live here anymore but keep Nelson close to their hearts. It's those ex-pats that have really tuned into this project and use it to stay connected with this awesome community.
THE PLEDGES AND REWARDS
I tried to keep the rewards as simple as possible.
First thing, EVERYONE that pledges will get their name or their business name in the acknowledgments section of the book.
And EVERYONE that orders a book will get a signed copy. If there comes a day when I have 2000 copies of this book to sign, I will be one happy and incredibly sore man.
If you order a book or books, it'll be cheapest if you can pick them up in Nelson. We're planning a book launch / signing for early November and when we get more details about that, we'll be sure to let you know.
The books will be available with enough time for you to ship them off as x-mas gifts. (hint-hint!)
If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the comment tab above. I'll be sure to answer your question right away.
I'm going to say this again:
I really feel the Humans of Nelson work has been a community project from the beginning --- from the brave subjects willing to share their faces and stories with me, to the followers and supporters on facebook and around the community that help celebrate our shared humanity and our shared love for the people of this wonderful place in the Kootenays.
Thanks again for all your support. You're amazing.
- Ryan and Team
Risks and challenges
Are there risks to this project? Sure. But I'm not too worried about them. One risk is we're not able to reach the $10,000 goal - in which case we get $0 dollars. I'll still pay my team and order the bare minimum of books (500). I'll do my best to get the books on the shelves at local bookstores and that'll be that.
And there might be scheduling and delivery risks with the publisher. Anne has worked with Friesen's before and we've let them know what our order should look like and it seems like we're all on the same page. But - ya know - things happen. We'll see.
If anything changes - I'll let you know.
But don't lose sleep over it - that's my job. (And Anne's......right Anne?!)
:)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (14 days)