When I first began my research on guns a decade ago, my interest was very focused. It was limited to understanding why individuals choose to carry concealed weapons. To answer that question, I felt I needed to establish the changing legal framework that made concealed carry easier for ordinary Americans. I thought that was the primary context within which people made the choice to carry. So, I began sketching out the rise of shall issue permitting systems.
As I dug into the issue more, however, I came to see that these legal changes – as important as they are – were just part of a broader cultural shift toward defensive gun ownership. I borrowed the term “Gun Culture 2.0” from Michael Bane to describe this broader change.
My focus expanded to include things like changes in gun advertising, the civilian gun training industry, and technological developments in guns, gear, ammunition, and clothing that facilitate concealed carry. All of this and more will be part of my future books on gun culture.
Presenting my work at the 2019 National Firearms Law Seminar also helped me see that I could best tell the story of Gun Culture 2.0 by focusing on my own experience of quite unexpectedly becoming a gun owner.
As the focus of my research project changed, all of the thousands of words I had written about the history of concealed carry laws didn’t have a place. Not wanting to see all of that work go to waste, I decided to share it as a stand-alone mini-book, Concealed Carry Revolution. Think of it as an appetizer to satisfy people while they wait for my larger book on American gun culture.
And now, to quote Paul Harvey, for the rest of the story. . .
I finished the manuscript of Concealed Carry Revolution in early January 2021 and sent it to a company a friend recommended to have it published as a print book and also an e-book available in Amazon’s Kindle store. After much back and forth with the company over getting the book properly formatted (it didn’t seem the layout people in India or the Philippines were very familiar with what a book is supposed to “look” like), the printed edition finally appeared in late April. Although it took a lot more work on my part than I would have hoped, the book looked good.
The company said the e-book would follow in about a week. Then a couple of weeks. Then a few weeks. Then months. It never appeared.
In July, the company ended up refunding what I paid them to produce the book, but at the same time, they canceled the ISBN, meaning the book was immediately out-of-print. The paperback remained in Amazon for a while because sales were good enough that Amazon was keeping some in inventory, but once those sold, the book would no longer exist.
At the same time time, I spent a good bit of time in the summer promoting the book on a variety of radio shows and podcasts. Fearing that listeners would look for it online, I needed to get a new version of the book produced and distributed in Amazon (and elsewhere, but especially Amazon) right away.
Again following the recommendation of a friend, I found another company to publish an “updated edition” of the book, for twice the cost of the first company. Maybe you get what you pay for, I told myself.
I revised the text to add the five states that had instituted permitless carry between January and June 2021 and also added a brief mention of the Corlett (now Bruen) SCOTUS case at the end. Again, the process of putting together the updated printed edition went pretty well, and by mid-August it was available in Amazon, with the Kindle edition to follow shortly thereafter.
Five weeks later and there is a Kindle edition available, but the photos illustrations do not appear. What a disappointment. If the current publisher doesn’t get the photos into the current Kindle edition, I will try to do so myself. If you have any experience in this arena, let me know!
Needless to say, what I thought would be an easy way to get some important ideas out into the world, give some publicity to my project, and make a little money to fund my ongoing research ended up being a tortured journey.
As of today, printed copies of the Updated Edition and an imperfect Kindle edition are available, but an even better way to get a copy of the book is to make a small donation in support of my work through my “Buy Me a Coffee” page (like Patreon). Those who sign up as $60 annual members will receive a free signed copy of the book and $5 monthly supporters will receive a free electronic copy as a “Thank You!”
If you happen to get a copy of the book from a bookstore, I would appreciate your review (honest, if necessary) on Amazon.com, Goodreads, or your favorite book review site. For the printed edition, please only review the Updated Edition because only that ISBN will exist going forward, even if the original edition occasionally comes back into inventory on Amazon.
As always, I am grateful for your interest in and support of my work in telling the story of American gun culture.