Things look good
Please know that I am greatly in favor of your success with your kiosk idea and your maps, as I regard both as lovely. As far as the pending demise of trout fishing in the South, I’m of the opinion you are a bit off. The growth and transformation of interest in trout fishing in the South since the 1970s is nothing short of astonishing. I will even go as far as to say that the next ten years will see interest multiple, which for you and me is good news (not so much for those anglers who recall having creeks to themselves…)
Regarding the in park sale of book and other items, dealing with those folks is like going into a Twilight Zone time warp. The last I heard from the think tank at the Sugarlands, the association was considering doing their own trout fishing guide to the park (they even inquired about getting rights to my first guide book to the Smokies). Right now I know of two other publishers who have writers under contract to write guide books to fishing park waters to go with the four such guide books that are already on the market.
In terms of volume, in-park sales of books are significant (especially in balancing out the cost of print runs), but for writers such as Jim, Ian and me, what little money we make is largely through direct sales at TU, FFF and other venues. Even with the brisk sales of books at these events I have had the last year or so, were I not trying to build the subscriber base for the Southern Trout, I doubt I would bother to hustle around like I am these days. As it is, I kill two birds with one stone and the days I am on the road Mrs. Kirk excuses me from household duties.
Personally, I feel we all have potentially bright future in providing services and information to southern trout market. If you measure getting rich exclusively in terms of $$$, then your expectations may not be reached. However, if you regard having a hellva good time making a comfortable living, then I believe we can all be quite optimistic.