Do make most of synergy between different types of guide, between short
and long term benefit
Do think about producing a set of small set of local, cheap ‘short-term
benefit’ colour guides based on your long-term-benefit one . The potential
synergy is massive – having prepared all your illustrations, corrected all
your names and so on, why not in effect publicise the bigger project by
producing short term ones almost as advertisements. Make posters for schools;
postcards, with the book title on the back; small attractive books for sale
to tourists; mini-guides to difficult or important groups; all capitalising
on the same set of information and materials
In other Words, DO try and diversify rather than compromise in your guide
production plans. Do both, separately, rather than one product which satisfies
no one thoroughly. Here are some more examples:
Cross-subsidy function: Maybe one more commercial, short-term benefit
output could subsidise another more worthy, long-term benefit one.
Skill-Bridging: Short abbreviated, cheaper Training or school guides with
fewer species, but showing the important principles of plant identification,
or introducing users to the commoner plants, might be used to capture the
interest enough to encourage some users to grow into, and ultimately buy
or become a full user of your full technical field guide.
Scale-tailoring: Make trail or local park guides from a master guide.
Season-tailoring. In some highly seasonal
vegetation, where there are many visitors all-year round, you may consider
two sets of local guides – e.g. a dry season guide to trees based on
bark and flowers; and a wet-season one based on leaves.
Parallel hard and electronic versions. If you have used a database to
keep track of details of your species, or you have developed an digital
picture library, consider using this database to make a web- or CD-based
interactive key. In a few years time, by the time the book is out of print,
the computer version may even be a common solution for forest use. Meanwhile,
a web-site of your field guide can only increase your catchment of interested
plant identifiers, and increase awareness of the plants or forest of your