Trinity University Press is reissuing nine books by Donald Culross Peattie on January 14th to reintroduce the forgotten mid-20th-century naturalist and author, who was once a household name during his prime. Among Peattie’s classic books to be reissued are A Gathering of Birds, An Almanac for Moderns, The Road of a Naturalist, and A Natural History of North American Trees. “It's an ambitious task to take on a large chuck of backlist like this, but we feel that his was an important voice that vanished too soon,” said Burgin Streetman, marketing manager of Trinity University Press. The first printing for A Natural History of North American Trees will be 4,000 copies. Print runs for the remaining eight titles vary, with all being published simultaneously in e-book format as well as print, and Flowering Earth being published solely as an e-book.
The project was inspired after multiple Trinity University Press authors touted Peattie as a point of reference or an example of personal inspiration. “We decided to make a commitment of the type that university presses can: to facilitate a complete rediscovery of an important thought leader who had been forgotten, but whose voice stands the test of time and should find a new audience today.”
Bolstered by the support of Peattie's grandson and book publisher in his own right, Dave Peattie (Whereabouts Press), Trinity embraced the task of resurging the once well-known author’s career. “It is among the most difficult challenges in publishing: re-launching a career. We decided to make a bold step and release all nine books together, both in print and e-book formats. We have no doubt that new generations of fans will discover this man who belongs among the ranks of Audubon, Thoreau, and many others,” said Burgin, adding, “Great nature writers today like Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan, and Barry Lopez all know and admire Peattie, so now is the time for a wider readership to know him as well.”
To aid in the resurrection of Peattie’s career, Trinity, along with their Perseus/PGW sales reps, will team up with booksellers and launch a multifaceted marketing campaign in February-April through traditional print and online publicity, including a grassroots promotion through nature and environmental organizations.