I had originally envisioned this as a print book, which I still hope it will be someday, but there are several reasons why this hasn't happened yet, even though I have accomplished my original goal of compiling all of the published information about host plants and natural history of North American leafminers into identification keys:
- Although my literature review is complete, I keep discovering and describing new species of leafminers, as well as making new discoveries about already described species. As a result I am constantly updating and revising my book manuscript, and if I published the book anytime soon it would already be out of date by the time it was published.
- At this point my entomology work is done entirely in my spare time, which means that I get almost no writing done during the growing season—when I'm not at work, I'm too busy collecting, raising, and photographing leafminers!—and then at the end of the season it takes me weeks to sort through all the photos I've taken. On top of that, I have been prioritizing properly documenting my new discoveries in scientific journals over keeping the manuscript up-to-date and writing the several introductory chapters that will be needed before the book can be finished.
- I have amassed so much information that I'm worried that it won't fit in a book, once the hundreds (thousands?) of illustrations are included—or if it does, then the book would likely be prohibitively expensive to publish, let alone for anyone to purchase. The text of the identification keys alone is about 1000 pages!