OK, it's early on Day 3 after the Jeremy Vine Show, and here is the current situation. I have had so many book orders that I have had to order a reprint and I'm depending on friends to help me fulfil the orders that I have. It seems amazing when I look back at the first post I made on this blog just over a month ago: http://agroupphotograph.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-first-post.html - at that time I had just added this blog to my website and I was finding it difficult to get anyone to engage with what I'd done. That is something I have become used to throughout my project: it has mostly been me working away on my own & struggling to get any response from anyone. The book was only on sale through the Museum shop alongside the exhibition in Belgium and from me via Amazon and via my website at www.groupphoto.co.uk/the-book. It was a good day if I managed to sell 2 books. I had a set-up that could deal with that - a small stock of packaging and me on my computer corresponding with people.
I was hoping for some interest as a result of going on the Jeremy Vine Show, but I was not prepared for the overwhelming response, both in terms of numbers but also in the heartfelt nature of what I have been reading in emails to me. It has been quite a revelation to find that what I have done means so much to all the thousands of people who have been in touch with me. And I am having to work out how to deal with this on an hour-by-hour basis.
So here's what's happening:
- I have now received enough packaging to send out all the books I've got, and I'm producing labels ready for a packing session with friends
- I'm trying to organise getting 500 copies of the book over from the Museum in Belgium up to Norfolk so that I can post them out.
- I am trying to think a way of handling all the correspondence and let everyone know what is going on - any suggestions welcome!
- I have ordered the reprint. The first print run took 3 weeks to do and being new to this I expected the reprint to be less because a lot of the origination work had been done. I have just found out from the book designer that the minimum print deadlines for such a big and quality book (to get it as good as it should be) is 14 days (paper in, printing, drying, assembling, cutting, finishing, transport, etc, etc). And there is the added problem that we are heading into Christmas, with printers having other jobs and holidays to be taken. I am hoping to hear today of a delivery date, but it is going to be after Christmas, and possibly at the beginning of the New Year.
I am extremely aware that people are hoping to receive their book orders as soon as possible.If anyone has ordered & can't wait, please let me know & I will sort out a refund. That said, I absolutely promise you that all orders will be fulfilled & I will do my very best to get them out to everyone as soon as possible.
This year I have been working all hours to get the exhibition and book ready. I took unpaid leave from my job to do so and have had no income all year. It is only through the generosity of my parents and the support of family and friends that I've been able to keep going. It has been incredibly moving to see how these family and friends are supporting me now to sort all of this out. And sort it out we will. I am very grateful for the supportive emails I've been getting from people who've ordered the book saying that they are prepared to wait.
The most important thing for me is to communicate what I have learned through doing this project. Every human being is unique and deserves a chance for a peaceful and fulfilled life. We live in troubled times and new approaches are needed to make a future in which the horrible things that happened to the men in the Group Photograph do not happen to all of us. A book isn't going to sort that out but I hope that enough people read it and act on what they read to make their own bit of difference to the World.