Asante sana to all campaign backers! The Search for the Big 6 | An African Safari Videobook's wild journey continues. Videobooks, Videopages, and VGeo Prints are all available at www.Video4Books.com/store/.
We reached our goal! The project is fully-funded and ninety videobooks are sold.
Opens doors to telling a story with more photos, more videos and interactions. - Wired Magazine
Technology applied to innovative book publishing.
- CS Monitor
The book reading experience has remained static for centuries. Make book reading much richer by augmenting it with videos. - HP Labs
If the book was invented today, it wouldn't be linear, it wouldn't be static, it would be dynamic.
- PC Magazine
Jambo! The Search for the Big 6 is a book about Africa's Big 5 animals plus one. In an African safari, a tour guide takes you to places to spot the usual Big 5 animals. They are the royal Lion, the elusive Leopard, the enormous Elephant, the unpredictable Cape Buffalo, and the endangered Rhinoceros. Added to this list of five hardest to catch animals in this book is big animal #6: the Great White Shark.
The Search for the Big 6 is the first ever commercial book of its kind. Starting off as a photography book on Big 6 animals, a video player is embedded inside the book to make it a videobook. The video player, called the Videopage, contains short high-def action movies capturing the behaviors of these animals in the wild.
This is how our African safari goes. First stop is the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Witness the annual migration of thousands of wildebeests and zebras to cross the Mara River. On the other side of the river are lions, leopard, cheetahs, hyenas, crocs, and vultures waiting for their next meal. Feasting on the fertile savanna are elephants, cape buffaloes, black rhinos, giraffes, and hippos. Next stop is Chobe National Park in Botswana, where baboons are faster, giraffes are taller, and elephants are bigger. Be amazed by the antics of an African elephant family. These playful animals are nimble and can float on rivers they share with crocodiles and hippos. Last stop is Walker Bay in South Africa. Conquer your fear and see face-to-face great white sharks. The ocean is vast and teeming with life. Be in awe as massive right whales lob-tail and breach the ocean surface.
Feedback from Viewers
The project began in November 2013, after returning from an African safari with thousands of photographs and hours of video footage taken. Massive amount of images were worked through to produce the best manuscript of the photography book by year end. It garnered rave reviews from peers. The book has been copy-edited and re-designed to fit a square page format. The latest version is ready for printing.
For the video portion, five short movies have been post-produced so far. The reactions from viewers online have been incredible. They playback perfectly on the Videopage. Three more short movies are in the works to complete the project.
Latest Version for Printing
The Search for the Big 6 Videobook shown on the main video above was recently re-designed. The latest version ready for printing is shown on the video below. Any advertisements will be appended. On every page, the layout of the photos was greatly improved as well as the readability of the text. The language was proofread by a kindergarten teacher to ensure appropriateness for children ages 3 and up. The book is to be printed on an 8 inch by 8 inch format with archival-quality paper and image-wrapped hardcover. The Videopage will be embedded on the inside cover. The post-produced video content will fascinate, not just kids, but adults alike.
What are the stretch goals?
Currently an initial bulk production of 50 videobooks for $3000 is the goal. If we double this amount, then a production lot of 150 can be made. Furthermore, tripling the goal (fingers crossed!) will allow production of extra inventory to bring to children's expos, summer fairs, and even retail stores.
- $3000 - Initial bulk order
- $6000 - Production lot
- $9000 - Commercial production
VGeo is a made-up word. The V stands for Victoria, the name of my daughter born 3 months early. Geo is Greek for earth. Coming from the heart, I'd like to say that VGeo is how my child sees the world: i.e. not so clearly as in a picture, but vividly as in a painting.
In technical terms, VGeo images are digital painting representations of actual photographs of animals. Sophisticated knowledge of artistry and painstaking Photoshop techniques are used to produce these amazing one-of-a-kind images. They are available as poster prints of size 30 inches by 20 inches at the $15 reward level. They are also offered as ready-to-hang aluminum metal prints of size 16 inches by 16 inches.
VGeo Print Menu
Risks and challenges
At the start of this campaign, the project is 85% complete. What does this mean?
First, the photography portion of the book is done and ready for printing. The initial order and production lot of hardcover books are to be made in the USA. The contracted print lab is located in Brooklyn, New York and has a reputation for exceeding expectations in product quality and customer satisfaction. The campaign period was deliberately chosen to align with the 40-day production schedule. This is to ensure timely delivery of books in May 2014.
Second, the videography portion of the book is more than halfway complete. Only 3 remaining of the total 8 short movies are to be made, and those are already in-progress. Video4Books can post-produce a high-quality, fully-reviewed movie on a weekly basis. Using the extra funds obtained from the previous campaign on Videopage (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1263448739/videopage), brand new electronics for the initial lot have been purchased. This Videobook project is the natural evolution of the Videopage project.
During the campaign, when the goal is exceeded, the purchase of electronics for the larger production will be triggered. The electronics supplier's capacity has been confirmed to be 1000 units per month. Video4Books' assembly throughput is expected to be 200 videobooks every month, though not confirmed. That is the plan to minimize production and delivery delays for the bigger orders.
Video4Books is very confident that it can ship the initial bulk order (1st goal) and the production lot order (2nd goal) of Videobooks to our backers within a month after the campaign period. The VGeo poster and/or aluminum printing and shipping are contracted out to a printing business located in Anaheim, California; hence those are expected to be non-issues as well.
The real challenge is marketing to reach the 3rd stretch goal and beyond. If lucky to reach it, then it validates proof-of-concept that The Search for the Big 6 Videobook is a commercially viable product. Video4Books have secondary suppliers in mind to ramp up production. Another challenge is the production of the e-book version. Video4Books is new to the electronic book publishing industry. Online research and discussions with publishers are resources at-hand. Video4Books is giving itself an extra month to deliver this version in June. These are challenges that Video4Books is more than happy to tackle.
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