Despite our daily blasts of messages promoting different things, it doesn’t surprise us that many people are still confused about what we do, or how we do it, when is this ‘nonsense’ going to end, if we are a secret society, etc etc.
We also have to apologize if you are receiving the same message more than once, from different people.
It means several things. One is that we are passionate folks who kinda sing the same tune. It also means we are needy and kiasu to some extent.
We have often asked ourselves, ” Why do some much just for ourselves?”
One of the yardsticks for us is your ‘participation’.
Honestly, it would be quite easy for us to sell some titles in bulk to a few organizations and then declare to the world that we are out of print.
But trust me when I say that it doesn’t give us as much satisfaction, when compared to our books being shared by many different people.
We also think that it is important that you know how we operate, and how we treat the people who work with us.
Seriously, we think we are an ethical organization that is not profit driven. And we are not rich.
To begin with, each of the photographer who publishes with us OWNS and RETAINS his full copyright. His only commitment to the team is to license 15 images to be reproduced as part of the series, and the run is limited to 500 copies.
The photographer also agrees to let the group have the first right of refusal for a group exhibition.
In addition, one of the images from the series is also selected for reproduction into three limited edition prints which we sell to finance the project.
Apart from that, each photographer is free to do anything to the 15 images. Needless to say, he owns his own rights to the outtakes from the project as well.
In return for letting us publishing his works, each photographer only gets 10 copies of his printed books, two each of the other books published in the series, some publicity, a book launch, and some referrals. If he wants additional copies of his own books, he has to wait until the window opens, and he pays the cost of the printing.
You may think that our agreement is not a big deal. Wait till you hear the horrible contracts we receive each day from other publishers.
How we fund this project has also been of interest to different people and we have nothing to hide.
The initial financing of the project came from three good friends who gave us about $1500 each. A few of the Platform founders also pledged some amount but to date, we have found no need to activate that portion yet.
Each of our limited print sells for $1200. If all three prints from one photographer are sold, the printing cost of that particular book would have been 90% covered.
The sale of our books contributes substantially to our coffers too. The advance sale of complete sets at $500 each also yielded substantial amount.
We are always proud to say that we pay our printing partner, Grenadier Press, on time, every time.
Our other cost comes from area of print making, in which we are lucky to receive sponsorship of materials from Cathay Photo, our long-time partner.
We are blessed to get year-round venue sponsorship from the National Museum of Singapore.
Apart from the photographer, the ‘regular staff’ in each book includes the four founders of the project – Darren, Ernest, Leonard and myself; Yu-Mei, our super duper copyeditor; Flee Circus, our wonderful portraitist; Jonathan, the crazy creative director/designer.
On launch day, we usually count on good friends like Sebastian, Ox and Wei Xiang to man the cashier.
Our stocks sit in whatever extra holes we can find in homes, offices, storage spaces.
Nobody gets paid, not even for coffee. Or petrol.
If this sounds like a mix of complaints and boasting, it is probably a bit of both.
But if we don’t believe in it, and enjoy most of it, we won’t be sending you all the updates.
Have a great day ahead and do think of us yeah?