Book Proposal: Why We Stay: Midwest Farmers

Why We Stay: Midwest Farmers is the next in a series of photo folklore projects by Why We Stay.  The project will capture 100 photo portraits and additional landscapes of farmers (on all scales) working in the most fertile agricultural zone in the world using the established  techniques developed by the Why We Stay team.

Nate and Chris will travel to the Midwest and capture portraits, biographic data, the answers to five set questions about what keeps farmers in the Midwest, as well as a brief audio interview.  They will use their current demographic data capture tools specific to all Why We Stay projects. 

Sample Pages Based On Currently Published Projects (clickable):

Online Profile 

Online profiles will be generated for each subject captured- these online portraits pair answers to our five project questions with a clip of the audio interview.  In this way, our funding partners can use the images and profiles generated for their own interactive web pages, for rich media solutions or future media content. A sample profile with audio and interview data is below:

What is your favorite location, place, building, or spot in Royalton? Why? Behind my house. I live right on the river so I go down there a lot, to sit and fish. You live right on the river, were you impacted by Irene? Yeah, I lost my house. Went right through my house. Did you think about not rebuilding? No, that was a once in a lifetime deal I hope. What do you want people to know about your town? I love it. It's like walking around in a brochure all the time. It's beautiful. The people here are awesome. Should have seen the people when I had the flood. 100 something people over there. They were just stopping and running over and helping. It was awesome. What Royalton resident made a positive difference in your life? There's been a bunch actually. Just a real bunch of nice people, good friends. And you play music? Yeah. I play harmonica in a band, Snakes of Ireland. We just do all charity work ... (Harmonica) is also an instrument that you just pick up and get a couple of basic things and you try them down the road and it's better than a cell phone. What is wish for your life? What is a wish for your town? I just hope it sustains itself with the economy and more youngsters will move back in.  ...finding jobs for them, making it so they can live here. That's the big thing. That's what I hope for South Royalton. I think people are here to grow up here. When they move, they move for an adventure. I'm noticing that more and more want to move back, for just Vermont and the town. I've seen more kids moving back. Youngsters, kids 30 years old or so. 

What is your favorite location, place, building, or spot in Royalton? Why?
Behind my house. I live right on the river so I go down there a lot, to sit and fish.

You live right on the river, were you impacted by Irene?
Yeah, I lost my house. Went right through my house.

Did you think about not rebuilding?
No, that was a once in a lifetime deal I hope.

What do you want people to know about your town?
I love it. It's like walking around in a brochure all the time. It's beautiful. The people here are awesome. Should have seen the people when I had the flood. 100 something people over there. They were just stopping and running over and helping. It was awesome.

What Royalton resident made a positive difference in your life?
There's been a bunch actually. Just a real bunch of nice people, good friends.

And you play music?
Yeah. I play harmonica in a band, Snakes of Ireland. We just do all charity work ... (Harmonica) is also an instrument that you just pick up and get a couple of basic things and you try them down the road and it's better than a cell phone.

What is wish for your life? What is a wish for your town?
I just hope it sustains itself with the economy and more youngsters will move back in.

 ...finding jobs for them, making it so they can live here. That's the big thing. That's what I hope for South Royalton.

I think people are here to grow up here. When they move, they move for an adventure. I'm noticing that more and more want to move back, for just Vermont and the town. I've seen more kids moving back. Youngsters, kids 30 years old or so. 

Printing & Production

How & When:
The project scope will include the creation of the book, travel costs, editing, layout, design, links to rich media online profiles for each portrait and the first printing of 200 books delivered to our publishing and funding partner.  The estimated total production cost is $15,000.  Nate and Chris will sign the first 200 books as part of a "limited edition" release with additional inventory ordered as required and no financial obligation to order more (see below). The photos will be captured in the summer of 2014 and the book will be delivered by the end of September, 2014.

Summary: 
Why We Stay: Midwest Farmers includes:

  • Custom softbound 80-90 page photo essay book featuring at least 100 portraits and interview quotes
  • Website featuring all portraits along with audio interviews conducted with each person
  • 200 signed and completed books shipped to the location of choice
  • Publishing and title credits for the funding partner (Title page and logo placement)
  • Budget required: $15,000 donation to the non-profit Cornish Colony Arts Council which manages the Why We Stay and supports local arts education programs in rural areas like Vermont.

Printing Beyond the 200 Included Books Made Easy:
While we include 200 books in our project budget, Why We Stay offers a simple book ordering solution that is totally scalable and makes it easy to order additional copies. The complete title will be held as a print-ready digital file with our Vermont printing partners SPCC.  Additional books can be ordered from the printer at any time without any involvement from Why We Stay. A 14 day turnaround is standard and the books are 100% created in the USA (Vermont)--which we have found to be a selling point.

For this project, the only additional costs to the wholesale prices listed below would be $3.  SPCC would collect an additional $3 per individual book ordered on behalf of the authors.  So add $3 to each book price below. SPCC also handles fulfillment and can quote actual stocking and drop shipping prices in addition to the prices below, should those services be required.

Sample Wholesale Costs: For an 84 page book of black & white and color photos (20 color pages) in 8.5 x 11--including laminated cover--the prices are below.  Actual quotes may vary based on changes to page numbers and color vs. black and white. Suggested retail is $39.99 for all current books.

Per Piece Price:                                                    

200  -  $21.49  Ea. + $3 commission

300  -  $16.66 Ea. + $3 commission

400  -  $14.27 Ea. + $3 commissio

500  -  $12.77  Ea. + $3 commissio

1000  -  $10.11  Ea. + $3 commissio

1500  -   $9.09 Ea. + $3 commissio 

2000  -  $8.58 Ea. + $3 commissio