Its towering price tag notwithstanding, so far nearly 200 collectors have anted up the $2,900 for a copy of Pat and Rosemarie Keough's Antarctica. The next 300 books will be available shortly, if production continues on schedule.
While the binders are working flat-out to complete the limited-edition run, the level of hand-craftsmanship applied naturally takes time, and simply can't be rushed.
Part of the book's success is due to the Keough's marketing strategy: there isn't one. Instead of selling the book for personal gain, proceeds are going to the Save the Albatross campaign spearheaded by BirdLife International in the U.K., a global partnership of avian conservation organizations.
That's helped the Keough's home-brewed p.r. effort gain the attention of editors at Forbes, Time, Millionaire, the Chicago Sun, Booktech, and other top publishers. Still more media contacts were leveraged, developed over the past 20 years through publication and promotion of the Keough's six other coffee-table photography books.
And what editors like, they write about. Antarctica's singularly unique story and manufacturing processes, stunning quality, steadfast durability, outstanding photos, and altruistic mission have gained widespread media coverage and, as such, reached the deep-pocketed collectors and civic-minded philanthropists the Keoughs want to reach.
They wanted to pair the most accurate reproduction capabilities contemporary technology offers, with the quality and craftsmanship only available through natural materials and hand-binding traditions that date back to the Renaissance.
They wanted to make a statement. They ended up creating an award-winning classic no well-heeled collector or lover of books should be without.
Rich Levin is editor-in-chief of Booktech magazine. He can be reached at RLevin@NAPCO.com