I have just tweaked the stage 2 details - i hope this will make you reconsider.
I hear what you are saying about proximity of other photographers - you will be able to sell 100 books each easily via your websites and audience. I have sold more than a thousand books via my website - true! - in total i have sold about 7 thousand books including website and self distribution / distribution sales - im just one dude and there are plenty more of me around - and plenty of books!
Regards recoupling - what about we organise a big launch get a bit of press and invite a bunch of people, have an event at which we could launch the book and make a bunch of sales (even sell some photography?) - we could split the book sales on the night between us all!
I imagine the book becoming a website and we could all sell our contributions to the book through it as photography.
If we do this book right - we will all make our money back very quickly (after all you only have to sell 40 books to break even) - then the rest is gravy!
Im hoping you will reconsider - but i will also respect your decision