NANFA-L-- Fishes of ______ books

Fritz Rohde (
Mon, 28 Mar 2005 14:13:04 -0500

It has been interesting and,-in-times amusing, reading the posts
regarding Fishes of _____ books, in particularly one for GA. As one who
has co-authored one book and currently working on another one, I feel
that I can comment on what is involved,-in-least from what we have done.

First, there is little to no money involved. Thus, little incentive,
expect personal and professional pride, to really push hard to get these
books done. We received nothing on the "Fishes of the Carolinas, etc."
prior to its publication. We paid all of the costs to collect and
photograph fishes, write text, etc. It wasn't until the book got
published in softcover did we start to "recoup" our expenses. On
average, our annual royalties come to about $35 per person (4 of us).

Second, it takes alot of time to do these books. With few exceptions,
this work is done on our personal time - nights, weekends, holidays.
Some try to do the definitive work - e.g. fishes of VA, TN, MS, second
AL and this really does take time - up to 20 yrs as someone mentioned.
Others take a shorter route (first AL book), one that we are taking with
the upcoming SC book. Usual introductory chapters, good keys, good
photos, good dot maps, and a brief summary of biological knowledge. As
far as I know, the new Fishes of middle Savannah River was an outgrowth
of Marcy et al's work-in-the Savannah River site. Sure, it would have
been nice if they would have expanded it to include the rest of GA and
SC, but they knew that others were working on these states' books and
demonstrated professional courtesy in not doing so.

So, please be patient and understanding.

Fritz Rohde
North Carolina Division of MARINE Fisheries
Wilmington, NC

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