Over half the way through 2021! Seems even incarceration in your own home for months on end does not make the time pass any slower. Hunting the Hippotrages is still set to be delivered to the printers in July with delivery to subscribers set for September/October, but heart problems – no I do not think I am to blame – of the senior member of the book design team has meant that we are falling a little behind schedule and, although I have corrected Part Two of the book, I am still waiting for the remaining Parts Three and Four and return of the corrected Parts One and Two for final checking.
Having said that, I am very happy with the work of the design team that I have seen to date. The style is different to the Buffalo Book in that a lot more of the photos have been blended into the text but I really like the way this has been done as it makes the photographs seem so much more an integral part of the various stories than previously.
I have also chosen the printer, Annie Ho Printing of Singapore. Annie used to work for Tien Wah – which did an excellent job of printing seven of my earlier books – but ceased trading much to my and many other publishers’ disappointment. As a result, I thought I would be obliged to use South African printers, which have traditionally been much more expensive in the past than those from Singapore. Finding Annie, whose contact details were forwarded to me by Wayne Grant, one of the contributors to the book and himself a published author, was a stroke of good fortune and, as her costs are significantly lower than South African ones and I have been able to make other cost savings, I can announce that I have been able to drop the price from $295.00, by over 20% or a whopping $60.00 to $235.00, excluding shipping.
There are still just over a hundred of the 449 copies still available for subscription but anyone who is thinking about subscribing should please do so now in order not to miss out after the latest round of advertising, which usually sees a sharp rise in subscriptions.
Not much other news as hunting, along with most other things, seems to still be in a state of recovery, although I hear of more and more people returning to the African hunting fields. Our immediate family – all seven of us – are booked to spend a week in the Kalahari in 2022 at CVS’s hunting lodge, kindly organised by Scruff Vermaak, also a book contributor and whose Dad, Coenraad, provided some outstanding leopard photographs, to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
It will be good to return to a massive African hunting concession, some 250 000 hectares (550 000 acres) in extent, where Africa’s Big Six – both kinds of rhinoceros are present – roam freely and whose conservation is paid for by the fairest of fair chase hunting. Scruff Vermaak’s excellent gemsbok contribution is based on a hunt which took place here and I am so looking forward to seeing the places he wrote so eloquently about.