If you are an old timer, so to speak, you may remember back in 2002 when we published the book, A California Gold Rush History. The edition was limited to 4,000 copies and in time sold out. Today each is a collectors’ item.
Creating this was one of the most stimulating projects I have ever done. Dwight Manley, in charge of the California Gold Marketing Group that was selling the S.S. Central America treasure, underwrote the book, giving me an unlimited budget for research and travel. I sent several helpers off to different libraries and museums and, along the way, gather illustrations and other information that had never been published in a single book before.
The book, which weighs about 11 pounds, was even featured in a fictional crime scenario in a book, where someone was whacked with a copy!
Not so long ago I received a letter from J.R., a Pennsylvania reader, who wrote to say:
“Just wanted you to know that my New Year’s resolution this year was to take your California Gold Rush History/S.S. Central America 1055-page book that I bought several years ago and actually sit down and read it! Well, beginning New Year’s Day I did just that — read every word including the Appendices, Index and all the footnotes. Thank you for not having made them end notes! Believe it or not it took me exactly 49 days of consecutive reading to complete it. I suppose that makes me a 49’er too, in a way!
“The book was great and I have no criticism of it in any way, although one suggestion would be that where it was stated that certain of the privately made ingots were auctioned by Sotheby’s, it would have been interesting to have had the sale prices listed as I wondered what each one realized. However, as is true of all your books (of which I have many), it was first class!”
Of course, the best “pay” that I or any author can ever receive is getting letters like this!