Dr. Rob Dillon, Coordinator

Friday, April 19, 2019

FWGNA Volumes 1 - 4 Now Available!

Extra, extra [1]!  Read all about it!  We are delighted to announce that the first formal publications of the Freshwater Gastropods of North America Project are now available for purchase from all the usual online outlets, as well from the publisher at a substantial discount.
Buy all four from the author's profile page
Volume 1, by Dillon, Ashton, Reeves, Smith, Stewart and Watson, reports the results of the largest-scale inventory of freshwater snails ever conducted in the United States. We have reviewed and synthesized macrobenthic collections taken by ten natural resource agencies, malacological holdings at eight museums, and our own original collections from hundreds of sites, covering all freshwater gastropod habitat in Atlantic drainage systems from Georgia to the New York line. For each of the 70 species and subspecies we provide:
  • A dichotomous key for identification.
  • Full-color figures.
  • Range maps at county scale.
  • Notes on habitat, ecology, life history, and reproductive biology.
  • Systematic and taxonomic updates to modern standards.
We propose a new, objective system of conservation status ranking [2], and a new species of pleurocerid snail is described in the appendix [3].

Volumes 2, 3, and 4 are collections of essays, originally appearing in the present blog 2003 – 2019, now edited and rearranged thematically.  Volume 2 collects 29 essays on the systematics and evolution of the freshwater pulmonates of North America, Volume 3 comprises 37 essays on the systematics and evolution of the prosobranchs, and Volume 4 collects 38 essays reviewing ecological and biogeographical themes.  These volumes are intended to support and augment the scientific results reported in Volume 1.

The retail prices for the four individual volumes are $39.95, $34.95, $35.45, and $35.45, respectively.  Although not unreasonable for 250-page glossy color paperbacks in this day and age, I don’t mind telling you that the method by which those retail prices were determined irritated me considerably.  The figures were essentially dictated by amazon.com as the lowest possible sticker-price that would yield $1.00 for the FWGNA [4].  All the rest of the sale either goes to my publisher (Bookbaby) or to Amazon for its marketing services.

So then immediately after the volumes hit the market a couple days ago, Amazon began advertising cut-rate prices.  For Volume 1 today, the amazon.com site is listing “10 used from $34.66” and “21 new from $32.61.”  I do not understand this phenomenon at all.

Here’s the bottom line.  I would encourage you all to cut out the online retailing giants, and purchase FWGNA Volumes 1 – 4 directly from the publisher’s website.  The FWGNA Project [5] will receive a substantially larger fraction of the sale. 

And as an inducement, I have arranged with Bookbaby to sell the entire four-volume set for the discount price of $99.95.  That’s a savings of $45.85 to you, and everybody wins, except Jeff Bezos.

Follow this simple three-step process:
  • Go to my Author Profile Page [here].
  • Add all four titles as listed at the bottom of that page to your shopping cart.
  • Apply the coupon code FWGNA4 to each volume.
The system should discount your package price from $145.80 to $99.95.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, each of the four volumes features a fairly extensive acknowledgement section.  But in addition to those lengthy lists of explicit appreciations, I do want to thank the entire readership of the FWGNA Blog for your support and help over the 20-year gestation of this project.  I have received quite a few helpful comments and suggestions from you all over the history of this forum, sometimes by direct email, other times anonymously commented.  I prefer the former, but appreciate have always appreciated all input, regardless of provenance.


[1] No, this is not an “Extra extra.”  As I understand it, an “Extra” was a second run of a daily newspaper, printed to update the readership on some breaking news.  And an “Extra extra” was a third printing.  So, blog posts aren’t printed.  And even if the present text should ultimately appear in print, which is, after all, one of the primary messages being conveyed in the blog post above, it cannot possibly be extra in any sense.  This is the first run of the blog for April of 2019.  I’m sorry, I just like the sound of “Extra, extra.”

[2] For more on the objective system of incidence ranking piloted by the FWGNA project, see:
[3] For more about my newly-described species of pleurocerid snail, see last month’s post:
  • Pleurocera shenandoa n.sp. [11Mar19]
[4] And no, this is not $1.00 profit.  The set-up costs for these books were a couple thousand dollars each.  There is no way that the FWGNA will ever make any actual profit [5], but profit has never been the point.

[5] And perhaps you remember, the FWGNA Project is a sole proprietorship of Rob Dillon.  So I admit that the distinction between the FWGNA and Rob Dillon is a fine one.  But important.  For more, see: