I have been pretty quiet about what is going on with regards to the second edition of my book The Drentsche Patrijshond for the North American fancier, after all, the book has been sold out now for over two years now. I paid the big bucks a while back and put together an elaborate survey via Survey Monkey and that survey was sent to everyone who purchased a copy of the book. Thankfully, I received some good feedback. Interestingly, what I received is very much what I had expected – I had accurately assessed what people would like, and what the book needed to be more complete. That was a huge win!
Here is where it got sticky. The original fully edited manuscript was lost. Neither my publisher nor I had it. But we did have the PDF file of the pre-production book, which still predated the last round of house cleaning for the production run. So, I cracked the PDF and unleashed a storm of formatting errors – the result of my designer using a host of proprietary fonts. The resulting file did in fact look much like a train of dumpsters flipped into a ditch and set alight. It was a total disaster. I had to put it away it was so bad. Still from time to time I’d open it and try to make corrections. Some efforts were hours long, others just enough to open the file stare fear in the eye and close it. One day I was fooling around and had an epiphany regarding the pattern of auto-formatting the file crack job created. From that point, the clean up job become mission possible. Tedious, mind numbing the task was. Much, like picking grains of rice from a sack of lentils, the task was hours and hours of careful combing – but I did it. I managed to create a clean manuscript.
Still, there was the task of restoring the final print edit. This too was an unenviable task. Some of the edits were subtle, some quite significant. The result of my publisher’s efforts really put a level of polish on the project I was not capable of producing. So, I would set time aside and have a pre-production book as well as a book from the production run set page for page just off to the side, with my trusty laptop and power supply at hand and went word for word. Sentence by sentence. Paragraph by paragraph. Page by page. Chapter by chapter to restore the edits and make adjustments in a few places. This task took longer than I had anticipated, but the work passed smoothly and helped to breathe new life into my desire to see the project through.
With that wind under my wings, I began writing about all the things I wished I had been able to have in the book when it was sent to print, the same things my feedback told me that others wanted. To date I have written 21,000 words and still have more to write. Because the way my creative process works, I make the process a bit more difficult on myself than it really needs to be. It just is what it is, I stopped fighting it a long time ago – but I do still curse it from time to time. These past few weeks I have begun shaping what I have produced into a cohesive piece, so that one idea flows or builds to the next. I thought I had it, then realized I had boxed myself in and so I had to redo the whole thing. Cutting and pasting within a lengthy Word document is tedious. Scrolling up and down, down and up. Finding text and moving it to the right place, highlight text for future editing, and so on. Then identifying what is it that I am missing.
That is right, with 21K written, I most likely still need to write the better part of 10,000 or more words to cover what I have wedged in my headbone. That might be terrifying to many of you, but for me, it’s really not a big deal. My greatest limiting factor with regards to production is my ‘exquisite’ keyboard skill. Putting words to paper, so the speak, comes easy to me and now that I know what I want to write about, it’ll be for me to ‘buckle down’ and throw words at those thoughts until the idea is covered. Like this update, a thought I had last night. And this morning after breakfast, just tap it out in forty-five minutes or so…
In many ways I am glad I wasn’t able to include this new material in the original book. I really wasn’t ready to write about it. I wanted to, but I lacked the confidence needed to write definitively about the topic I wanted to write on. As I was in the process of learning and transition. In the years before and between when I was writing for the first Drent book project and now I have read thousands of research quality and fully cited pages, on canine behavior. Taken online courses, watched hundreds of hours of pro-trainers work with dogs and of course work hands on with a few pros as well. Of particular importance, is to note, more research has been done on the behavior of domesticated dogs in the past fifteen years than the preceding 150 years combined. This research has changed how and what I do with my dogs and after training dogs for a little over forty years has completely changed the way I train dogs.
It is my hope to produce a guide to help my reader to not have to do what I did, it took to long and for my reader it does not have to. You will be gifted with what I have learned regardless of medium, written in my direct conversational story telling style. So when will it be ready? That my friend is a great question. I do plan to make regular updates with regard to the ‘second edition’ from here on out. That alone will help keep me accountable with the whole production effort, as I plan to do it all myself this time and self-publish under my own label. Until next time, take care.
When something is in limited quantity and that quantity has been sold out. There will nearly always be a profiteer in the wings... For those not wanting to wait for the Second Edition to come out, most likely mid-2021, you can always order a copy from Blurb HERE and it'll save you a good $899.90 or so depending on the shipping option you select. Even more If I happen to have any on hand from a bulk Blurb order (as of this writing I have 2 copies on hand).
Well...besides some criminal activity like: steal one from a current owner. You'll need to head on over to my web store and order a Print On Demand copy. Sure, they are a bit spendy but honestly it's cheaper than I could sell the book on Amazon due to all of their fees and be able to break even! Let that settle for a quick moment. Craig uses Blurb, and he also doesn't do anything half-way, so all of the "settings" are on maximum quality. We used the service to create the first two proof-books, and speaking from experience the quality of the binding, paper, and printing is as every bit as good in all ways as the print run I had done (which was freaking top notch).
Wow! So far the responses from Drent owners who have gotten a hold of the book have been just as I had hoped for... See what folks have had to say: HERE
There is reason for some excitement around here, the first batch of books, a whole shipping box worth has begun to find their new homes. The first book review comes from the owner of "Ducky" one of our Booker's sons, who we have never met, and she writes: "Brian O'Connor: Just read your book cover to cover! I love it! Footsie has definitely become Princeton's favorite game". If I don't say so, this is a wonderful way to start a long weekend.
From 11/23. Booker and I received an invitation to hunt a special place. It's been since 2006 when I had the opportunity to hunt a dog over a super-cover of quail. This one already numbers in the hundreds, Booker made 40 or 50 points , I really lost count; single, and coveys. He also did a great job of finding our downed birds.
So it has been a long time coming.
Nearly eight years in the making, The Drentsche Patrijshond for the North American fancier is no ordinary breed book. It is a treasure trove of information gleaned from some of the most influential Drent experts in the world and the only guide on the breed to be written in English. Written in an easy-to-read conversational tone, it covers all aspects of the Drent that are of particular interest to North Americans and is illustrated with stunning, full-color photos of Drents at work and at play.
The cheapest place to get one is right here at the Two Gun Store
Also the book is available on Amazon, but it costs more, because they charge more...
and since it seems my "thank you" page isn't exactly working the way I had planned, let me say it here and now. You're on point with us! Thank you for your support.
It seems this multi-year odyssey is about to close, and a new chapter about to begin. The book has completed its first production run, and is now being shipped from Manitoba. So as long as customs doesn't hold things up, I am set to receive the books as promised. My excitement has me n pins and needles, of course I have my pre-production unit, but having the entire production run in front of me, will be another thing altogether. I have thanked a number of people within the pages of the book itself, but still, some bear mentioning again, because without their support, this project would have died on the vine. My sister, helped with editing and arrangement, no easy task if you saw what I sent her. Next comes Craig my publisher, and Rob my designer. Craig has given much of his time, photography, and has helped keep me motivated. Rob, took all of my ideas, brought them to life, and somehow managed to make them all better than I had imagined. Rob en Tiny Key, for always being there, offering advise, educating, guiding. Ali for her passion and a number of other Dutch Drent fans who helped me to learn. Next come the North American Drent fanciers, and DPCNA Club members, who really solidified to me this project was needed. A special thanks to those who supported me via Kickstarter, your financial contributions kept this book moving forward, and the reason it is in hardback format, and printed to the highest standards. Lastly, but not least, of course my wife Nikki who let me spend so much time in front of the computer.
Thank you, one and all
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Fifty some years later this is what you get.