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(Fwd) a message from Don Glut
>This is where I need the help of those of you who liked the original
>book and would like to see this "encyclopedia" continue as an open
>ended series of books. I need you to write to the publisher and
>politely say that the supplements would be supported, and would
>neither denigrate nor hurt sales of the original book. Please
>explain why, in your opinion, this series should go on and why this
>project is a viable one. Write to: Mr. Robert M. Franklin, Publisher,
>McFarland & Company, Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640.
Folks, let's put away are differences, get out our stamps and
envelopes, and send in our support. I've been dreaming of a
renewable reference since I got my first Glut dictionary at the
tender young age of ten. Even if you are totally indifferent, please
consider writing in on behalf of the rest of us. It won't hurt, and
you'll rack up a ton of karma points for your next life. I promise.
Thanks in advance,
P.S. Do Franklin and company have an E-mail address? I'll bet we
could get one heck of an E-mail campaign going.
P.P.S. For those who are intested, my letter is reproduced
Dear Mr. Franklin:
I am writing to you regarding Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia, by Donald F. Glut,
which your company recently released. First, I would like to congratulate all
on a job well done. Dinosaurs is by far the most up to date and complete
work on dinosaurs ever published. The field of vertebrate paleontology has
need of such a book for some time.
I have received word from Mr. Glut of his desire to produce an ongoing series
supplemental volumes to update Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia. I must tell you
I have the greatest possible enthusiasm for such a venture. The most serious
plaguing all dinosaur references to date is their tendency to get outdated so
New discoveries and theories are changing the face of paleontology so quickly
the time a book hits the shelves, it will already be at least partially
obsolete. In the past,
the only recourse paleontologists have had is to wait several years until a new
comes out, aware that the new edition itself will be out of date by the time
they receive it.
I am sure that you are aware of the series of dinosaur encyclopedias that Mr.
Glut has been
producing since the 1970's. They are perfect examples of the phenomenon I'm
each new encyclopedia was quickly outdated and replaced with the next edition,
of equal or
greater cost, which was in turn replaced, ad nauseum.
The plan to produce supplemental volumes for Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia is
alternative I've yet encountered. To produce an entirely new edition of
Dinosaurs every few
years would be impractical. The field of dinosaur paleontology has reached a
competent reference work on the Dinosauria can no longer be contained in a
Dinosaurs: The Encyclopedia is already at the upper limit for size and cost,
if it is to be useful
for more than a handful of the most serious (and well-funded) professionals.
New species are
being discovered and described at such a furious pace that if a second edition
of Dinosaurs was
to be published in five years, it would have to be at least half again as large
to accomodate all of
the relevant information. The time has come to view dinosaur encyclopedias not
books about dinosaurs, but as true encyclopedias. Not even the most annoying
salesman would suggest that the buyer obtain an entirely new set every few
years; similarly, I
would view an attempt to produce a completely new edition of Dinosaurs: The
Mr. Glut mentioned that there has been some concern that supplemental volumes
with sales of the original by implying that it is out of date or full of
errors. On the contrary, the
people who will be purchasing these books are smart enough to differentiate
supplement and a list of errata. In my opinion, the proposed supplements would
the value and marketability of the original. Rather than succumbing to
extinction like all of its
forefathers, this dinosaur encyclopedia could remain a useful reference for
years to come.
Please do everything in your power to see that subsequent volumes of Dinosaurs:
Encyclopedia are approved and published. Thank you for your consideration.