This is the second time I’ve posted a preview but there’s a difference. Hues of my Vision already exists. In my review of Ara’s first book, Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash, I spoke of the wonderful photographs that fill his blog and said I agreed with his decision to not complicate that book or compromise the photos with an attempt to include them. I half expected and wholeheartedly hoped that a photo book would some day appear. Here it is. Sooner than I hoped and at less cost with higher quality than expected.
The traditional method of publishing photo books is expensive. High quality offset printing is really only feasible in quantity which means considerable up front costs. Print on demand books require no up front outlay but have justifiably higher per unit costs. Plus, the digital printing techniques that allow print on demand publishing, while quite good, are not yet the equal of offset printing. Ara has turned to crowd funding as a way to get the cost and quality advantages of offset printing without emptying his not unlimited bank account. In essence what he is doing is using Kickstarter to handle advance orders. If 1000 or more orders are placed during the campaign, backers get an offset printed book for $40 including tax and shipping. Presumably, if the campaign fails, Ara will resort to making the book available through a print on demand facility and folks who really want the book will pay $90 plus tax and shipping for a digitally printed version.
The Kickstarter campaign is here.
Update 13-May-2015: With only eight days remaining in the Kickstarter campaign and a little less than a quarter of the necessary money pledged, the project seems set to fail. That’s a big disappointment all around but is certainly bad news for those of us who were excited about getting a hard copy of the book for $40. Even with a few days left, Ara has decided to go ahead with the backup plan and make a print on demand version available. As expected, the cost is above $90 although electronic versions are also available for much less. Ordering information is here.
It has been just over a year and a half since I posted that first preview. In it I expressed confidence that a book by Andrew Forsthoefel, possibly called Walking to Listen, “…will exist and that it will be worth reading”. I must admit that, while my confidence in its worth remains high, my confidence in its eventual existence has slipped. I still read Andrew’s blog and know that he is still traveling, though not always walking, and he is still listening. I also know that he has struggled with the book. A recent post indicated that he may be ready to dive in and see it through. I hope so.