- Gordon Witteveen: The Way I See It - http://turfnet.com/gordon -

Tooting my own horn (just a little bit)…

[1]As one grows older in retirement the phone stops to ring, emails come less frequently and the truth sinks in that one is becoming less relevant. It is inevitable with the passing of time. And then a pleasant surprise comes along in the mail. A few days ago from Wiley Publishing came a sales report that 660 copies of our book Practical Golf Course Maintenance had been sold during a six month period from March 1 – August 30 of this year… and that is remarkable.

Practical Golf Course Maintenance first came off the presses in the fall of 1998. My co-author, GCSAA past president Michael Bavier, and I met at Sleeping Bear Press, the original publisher in Michigan. Each of us bought 500 copies to get the ball rolling. We sold them quickly to our friends in Illinois and Ontario and TurfNet land. Then we ordered more.  Meanwhile, Sleeping Bear Press promoted the book extensively, and it received a number of positive  reviews in trade journals.  That boosted sales. Sleeping Bear was bought out by Wiley Publishing and that meant more sales.

Next we took the book on the road. While we preached The Magic of Greenkeeping seminar, we always had a few boxes of autographed books around to sell to our students. The seminar was presented not only all over the United States and Canada, but also Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Europe, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico. It was in Mexico that I met an excellent translator that resulted in a Spanish edition.

I expected sales to drop but they continued, albeit at a slower pace. In total close to 17,000 copies are now in circulation…

A few years later, we updated the book to a second edition and sales continued strong. We even shipped some to China and Korea. By that time the electronic age had arrived and the book became available on the internet. I expected sales to drop but they continued, albeit at a slower pace. In total close to 17,000 copies are now in circulation. I wonder how that compares with other turf books such as those by Dr. Jim Beard or Dr. Mike Hurdzan.

Should you still want a copy for your personal library, your green chairman, your staff or a friend, it would make a great Christmas present. It is available direct from Wiley.com [1], or you can buy directly from the authors. I can ship autographed copies from Canada at $55 plus shipping costs. Simply contact me by email: gordon.witteveen@sympatico.ca [2].