Humans of New York: Seen Commuting via MTA


Dead tired as I’m writing this. All the adrenaline and appointments from the previous week, and excitement for the coming week, have really been doing a number on my sleeping habits. But I just want to give you guys a final, behind-the-scenes wrap up of what’s happened with the HONY book.

When I decided to make a book last year, nobody really wanted it. We pitched it to all the large publishers, but only two made offers. One publisher wanted to make an inexpensive paperback. And just one—St. Martin’s Press, a Macmillan imprint, believed in our vision of an artistic hardcover. All the other publishers said the same thing: “Photography books don’t sell.” And “This sounds like a regional book.”

And you know what? They were right. Photography books typically don’t put up big numbers. And Humans of New York does ‘sound’ like a regional book. But what they didn’t know was this— an amazing, international community of people had gathered around this blog. And week after week, you guys put up preorder numbers that were absolutely jaw dropping.

Just jaw dropping. The book goes on sale tomorrow. But you guys have already made it a success of the massive bestseller variety. Thank you for vindicating everything I’ve dreamed about. And it might be the lack of sleep, but I’m saying this with tears in my eyes, you guys have made every one of my dreams come true. And I can’t thank you enough.

Attached is the first photo I ever took of people. It was about four years ago, in Chicago. I remember how nervous I was to take the picture. And how excited I was when I got it. Who could have ever guessed where it would lead.


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