A photo book project that started as a celebration of West Virginia's 150th birthday took the authors and the Buckhannon Upshur Camera Club by surprise when it gained more interest than anticipated.
The book, "A West Virginia Sesquicentennial Celebration," was self-published by the Buckhannon Upshur Camera Club and has been a labor of love for two members who selected the photos and wrote the stories for the book. The motive was never to make a profit, but co-authors Alan Tucker and John Simons said at a camera club meeting that the book has brought in about $2,000. Sales are still anticipated to continue.
"The level of interest has been amazing," Tucker said. "We have even had four orders from Europe. Several people are buying multiple copies to send to family and friends out of state. The best comment I have heard so far is 'This is really special.' It doesn't get any better than that."
John Simons, left, and Alan Tucker, co-authors of “A West Virginia Sesquicentennial Celebration,” are pictured at the West Virginia Strawberry Festival photography exhibit, sponsored by the Buckhannon Upshur Camera Club.
The camera club voted to buy something special with the funds generated from the book sales. Members plan to send a free copy of the book to local soldiers who are stationed an ocean away from home.
Whether local to West Virginia or not, the 250 images displayed in this publication represent the state's beauty with photos frpm all 55 counties included. The book features many seasons, events, people and scenery that showcase the Mountain State. More than 1,000 images were submitted by many West Virginia photographers, including professionals, amateurs and general hobbyists.
"We couldn't be more thrilled with the final product," Tucker said. "What started as a small club effort for folks in our club has turned out to be a very wonderful celebration and commemoration of our great state. We think, and as so many people have told us, it will make a nice keepsake for family and friends."
Simons and Tucker said it was difficult to choose from the many wonderful photographs that were submitted. Simons said he would have liked to included another 100-200 photos, had there been more space available.
The book is on sale for a small fee of $10.60, which includes tax, at CreateSpace, a website designed for self-publication. The vast majority of that price is cost associated with the book's publication, leaving only a minimal profit margin for the club.