The last few weeks I have been working on my usual night time hours, where there is silence and darkness outside and around me. I have spent the entire day working on printing up my own set of color proof on my Canon Pro-1, using a semi-gloss paper that I find very pleasing to my eye. This is all in preparation for tomorrow, where I will eventually be passing the PDF files to my printer.
I had previously announced that I was printing 100 pages, but the numbers have risen up to 112. It is primarily due a change in layout. In my initial design for 3.AM, I allowed for text to appear alongside the image, so that one could read something about the image more readily. This is not the same as in my first 2 books, where I placed the image descriptions at the back of the book. I decided in the end to follow the same format as my original books, so now the descriptions are at the back, taking up 7 pages.
I have also included several more models than in my campaign. Now I have a total of 41 models, making this the most ambitious book of the 3. And after printing out the proofs, it makes me feel very happy to see the images become alive and real, tangible in the form that it can be picked up, framed, or torn in half if one so desires. The image can now co-exist in another reality or dimension within the world we live.
Some people have asked me where they can pre-order the book. Unfortunately, I have not set up a site for pre-order at this time, apart from the Indiegogo campaign, which is now closed. The best time to get the book will be once I have the books physically printed, which should be within the next few weeks. It takes about 3 weeks for the entire process of files to actual delivery.
And as for the date of the book launch, it will be on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014, coming up very soon.
For me, receiving a postcard from a friend was one of the most exciting things to receive in the mail. If you think of it, an enormous amount of effort was required on the part of the sender to make it happen. You would first need to find a souvenir shop (okay, not so hard), that had postcards, and hopefully they had decent ones that didn’t look too tacky (usually, harder). Subsequently, you would need to buy stamps, write something of some significance on it, and then mail. But probably the most interesting thing is that you had to write something that could be shown to anyone to read. After all, it was sort going into the public domain. Post office staff could read it at their leisure. Now, now we have blogs and facebook to do all that without having to go through the trouble of buying a tangible item and then physically sending it. Quite honestly, I too myself haven’t purchased nor sent a Postcard in ages, but I did collect them in my university years, saving the really beautiful ones in a cardboard box that has now gone missing. Usually, those were the one that I purchased from museums or galleries. I would usually buy 2 of the same design, keeping one for myself and send the other to my friends.
One of my favourite postcards was the one shown above, which I just happened to find online. You can probably see where I got my early inspiration from. The male human body was in-grained from an early age.
So getting back to my 3.AM Asian Male postcards, I decided for slightly larger size, measuring 8.25 x 5.5 inches. They’re printed on a glossy 260gsm paper. Not too thick; not too thin.
So if you’re like me, they make a great item to collect. Right now, I have selected 4 of my favorite images from my 3.AM book: 1) Nono, 2) Ricky, 3) Monika and 4) Milkboy.
For those that contributed by purchasing a pre-order copy, you’ll be getting a few as part of the campaign. I’ll have these available for online purchase shortly. I’m going to see if any shop here in Hong Kong will carry these; however it might be a bit too much for the shops here. I remember one vendor that carried my 2.AM book and placed all the way in the back of the shop on the bottom tier. Grrrrr. Not surprisingly, they didn’t sell any copies.
I thought I would post a few images that are in my archives. Here are 3 photographs of Wei, which were taken back in 2006. With hardly a body to speak of but the willingness and spirit to let me photograph him during his budding youth, I was pleased to have him in front of the camera. The photograph of him that made it into the Asian Male – 1.AM book was the one below.
Today I started to work on the postcard design that are a part of The Asian Male 3.AM campaign. They will be simple, measuring 8.25 x 5.5″ (21 x 14cm) and printed on 300gsm woodfree card. I am going to send the above design for a test, to see if the printing and color look good. I won’t be going for glossy postcards, as I feel these images are best suited for matte finish. They may even be good enough to frame.
Below is a mockup of how they should look like. These photographs gives you an idea of the size, a bit larger than your average sized postcard, which in most cases are around 4 x 6″. These will have a substantial feel to them.
So to anyone that pre-ordered a copy of the book, you will be getting 3 postcards as part of the campaign.
So the final count-down is on with 3 days left for the campaign. That’s a lot of time to make that contribution/purchase. On the Indiegogo site, it shows up on the 2nd tier under the Photography section and in the Final Countdown. So far the numbers are at US$8,270.00, which is pretty good I say. With that amount, I can print 1,000 copies as opposed to my original 1,500, which was what I was originally aiming for. What it does mean that is the cost per book increases on my side. And hence, the retail book will now be at US$65, versus my original price of US$50.
A few people have been asking me when the book will be physically printed. At the stage right now, the last draft of the written content for the text (about 8,000 words) was sent to my sub-editor and proofer last week. He says it will be ready by next week. The text for the foreword, introduction and preface has already been read over by him and all is fine. There still remains the Acknowledgements and Process, Inside and Outside Jacket, which too has been written. If it all goes well without too much modification, then I should have everything ready within 2 weeks (as of this writing). By then, hopefully, the funds from Indiegogo would have arrived (they say it takes several weeks). This is the first time for me crowd-funding so the process is still new.
Printers in Hong Kong are plentiful. In fact, there is a small printing company next to door in the studio. And for that I have to finalize who I will be going with, as there are several that I have approached for quotations. The most expensive is the one that I have worked with several times already, as they know what I would require press check on all the images. They were also the ones that printed my second book, which I liked, although I found the finish to the artwork rather too shiny/glossy now after looking at it now. My taste is slowly changing. With the printers, it should take about a week for them to do the job, which to me is blazingly fast!
Again here it the link to the campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-asian-male-3-am/x/6764531