America 24/7 is the collaborative work of an enterprising publisher (DK), the bestselling team that produced the Day in the Life... series (Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen) and the most massive photographic shoot ever (25,000 Americans across the country sent in more than one million digital images taken the week of May 12—18). The resulting $50 gift book features about 1,200 of those images, and the rest will be used next year when 50 state-by-state 24/7 titles will be published simultaneously. America 24/7 got a big boost when it was featured November 24 on Oprah's "Favorite Things" program, one of her highest-rated shows. It re-airs right before Christmas. DK is hoping that the Oprah double shot will boost the book onto the New York Times nonfiction chart and others as well; as of this writing (November 25, 3 p.m.), it's #17 on Amazon—a 1,200% jump—and is appearing on some of the national chains' top 40 lists for the week ending November 22. The first printing for the book was 400,000, and even before Oprah, DK got lots of media promotion for the title, including CBS Sunday Morning, The Today Show (with two waves of Today Show advertising in six markets ), plus ad spots on the History Channel and A&E. A Wall Street Journal article on October 29 about the huge project cast some doubts on the potential salability of higher-priced gift books, pointing to other illustrated titles published last year that met with mixed success. DK also expects to boost sales with an innovative program that allows consumers to personalize the book's jacket; details can be found on www.america24-7.com/customercover.
Volume 250 Issue 48 12/01/2003