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BobinKy
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Reged: 04/27/07

Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5404879 - 09/05/12 01:14 PM

The Casual Sky Observer's Guide arrived today from Amazon.com USA. I have long awaited this book, as I enjoy binocular observing. I am also collecting several binocular guides to use with my grandchildren when they get older.

Well. . . page 156 in the copy I received from Amazon.com USA is somewhere between the quality reported by Carl Kohlchak (the good) and the quality reported by Stellarfire (the not-so-good). The page in my copy is definitely not as good as illustrated above by Carl, and not near the quality on Rony's website. Actually, the page in my copy is closer to that illustrated by Stellarfire (the not-so-good).

The pages are not thin and shiny, but thick and dull. It appears I may have received one of the print-on-demand copies warned by Stellarfire. However, I could not find anything indicating that the copy is a print-on-demand--either in the book, on the cover, or on the Amazon.com USA website.

My remedy will be to return the copy to Amazon.com USA and order a copy direct from Springer. I hope the Springer copy will be better.


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5404985 - 09/05/12 02:18 PM

Quote:

My remedy will be to return the copy to Amazon.com USA and order a copy direct from Springer. I hope the Springer copy will be better.





Too bad that you made a negative experience too. Hopefully your Springer copy will be better.

Apparently the quality control needs to be improved. Tell Springer about your unpleasing experience, they depend upon our feedbacks for improving the quality control with their suppliers.

At that price, the buyer should expect and get a flawlessly printed copy of Rony's great work.

In view of Rony's attractive eyepiece sketches with their very subtle details, I wish Springer would have chosen the proven offset printing process, instead doing it by POD through several of their suppliers.

Stephan


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drollere
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Reged: 02/02/10

Loc: sebastopol, california
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5406388 - 09/06/12 11:28 AM

i don't own and don't plan to buy this book, but i want to salute rony's effort to serve the novice/occasional niche in the astronomy literature.

my first comment is that springer has been aggressively pursuing the opportunities opened by the use of modern book production technology in order to exploit niche interest markets by niche "experts" in specific fields.

"aggressive" explains a lot of lapses, including the print quality of different supply chain printers -- and the editorial failure (and failure among readers here) to notice the misprint "observed with observed with" in the caption of the figure reproduced twice in the posts above. profit motive means cutting corners at several points in the production process.

the second point is that springer books have hasty or misleading lapses in the content as well, which results from a combination of editorial indifference or overwork (the caption lapse) and author confusion.

thus rony says that supernovae are "inappropriately" named as "new stars" when in fact the term originates with kepler and his observation of a "nova stella" in the celestial sphere that aristotle said was immutable. the paragraph "mutliple stars" opens this way:

Multiple Stars

Many stars appear to have an optical companion when observed in binoculars or telescopes. Some stars just happen to lie in the same line of sight without being physically related. Other optical double or triple stars are truly bound by gravity.


the term optical is technical, and refers only to stars not bound by gravity; using the term to describe bound systems is incorrect. the term double is used to describe paired bound stars; the correct term is binary, a second error. the paragraph caption multiple star is an incorrect substitution for the correct term "double star", which applies to all visual star groupings -- optical or physical, binary or multiple, up to a small star cluster. three errors in three sentences is a poor average, and it suggests that the author can wander without warning into false information. in the age of wikipedia, this is just something every reader needs to be aware of.

my last comment is that wide field binocular astronomy is (in my opinion) the best way to understand our place within the galaxy, the basic landmarks of galaxy structure (spiral arms, star forming regions, etc.), galactic distances, and so on. in that respect i think rony's book is a huge advance over the crossen/tirion "binocular astronomy", a book i admire a lot. rony has clearly made a focused effort to present the galaxy whole, and all the separate observing targets as located in the whole and as markers of the distance and direction of galactic and intergalactic structure. if you are not aware of these basic astronomical facts, then that is sufficient reason to own this book.


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BobinKy
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Reged: 04/27/07

Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: drollere]
      #5406405 - 09/06/12 11:39 AM

Quote:

. . . wide field binocular astronomy is (in my opinion) the best way to understand our place within the galaxy, the basic landmarks of galaxy structure (spiral arms, star forming regions, etc.), galactic distances, and so on. In that respect i think rony's book is a huge advance over the crossen/tirion "binocular astronomy", a book i admire a lot. rony has clearly made a focused effort to present the galaxy whole, and all the separate observing targets as located in the whole and as markers of the distance and direction of galactic and intergalactic structure. if you are not aware of these basic astronomical facts, then that is sufficient reason to own this book.

...drollere




I agree that Rony's book is quite unique for the reasons you mentioned. And when you consider the advantage of his binocular sketches compared to nonbinocular photographic images found in many observing guides--his book becomes a gem that is one of a kind.


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rodelaet
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Reged: 04/28/06

Loc: 50°56' N - 4°58' E (Belgium)
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5406952 - 09/06/12 05:34 PM

Bruce and Bob,

I know that I am not without fault. English is not my mother tongue, but the third language that I speak. Sometimes, things get lost in translation. I used the term 'multiple' in the sense of 'more than one'. The term 'optical' has confusingly been used as a synonym for 'visual' or even 'apparent'. I plead guilty.

I appreciate the kind words that you write about the objectives that I tried to accomplish with this book. You clearly got the message. And that is what really counts for me.

Clear skies,


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Ragaisis
sage
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Reged: 05/16/08

Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5490169 - 10/26/12 12:47 PM

After reading this thread I decided that it would be better to order this directly from Springer. I did so back on 9/6.

I'm still waiting for it.

I have the PayPal transaction number and the Springer order number. Unfortunately, Springer isn't timely about returning my e-mail inquiries. The only response that I received is that they will forward my question to their U.S. offices.

So I'll keep trying. Not much else I can do at the moment. I know that they're good people. I have a hunch that i just keep falling through the cracks.

Chris


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DavidNealMinnick
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Reged: 03/06/06

Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Ragaisis]
      #5491031 - 10/26/12 11:25 PM

My recent experience with Springer was in slo-mo as well, but, not quite as lengthy as yours, at about a month. I've grown so accustomed to instant gratification, that, even if this computer reacts 0.5 seconds slower than usual, my blood pressure ticks up a notch...

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Ragaisis
sage
*****

Reged: 05/16/08

Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: DavidNealMinnick]
      #5506770 - 11/06/12 12:02 PM

While I don't need instant gratification, I would like to see a semblance of customer service. A 24 hour response time just to receive a "we got your request and will get back to you shortly" notice would be great. And fulfilling an order in a timely manner is just good business.

I've still heard nothing from the U.S. Springer office.

I absolutely LOVE Rony's sketches. It's what I hope to aspire to some day. But given Springer's lack of responsiveness, I'm having a hard time supporting them in this endeavor. It's been 2 months since I've ordered and approaching 2 weeks since I sent in the "what's the status?" inquiry. I'm ready to cancel my order and just forget about it.

Of course, that would imply that they would acknowledge an order cancelation.

Chris


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Ragaisis
sage
*****

Reged: 05/16/08

Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Ragaisis]
      #5547434 - 11/30/12 03:53 PM

After several calls and finally getting a hold of a Springer office in the U.S. that admitted that they did publish the book, I got information that ALL copies of this are "Print on Demand" so you get luck of the draw when it comes to the final quality. Some are just better than others.

They told me that they'd be happy to refund my order and I accepted that offer.

Of course, it's 2 weeks later and the PayPal account hasn't been credited yet.

If only I could run my own business transactions this way. ;-) Live and learn, I guess.


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Ragaisis]
      #5547471 - 11/30/12 04:24 PM

Quote:

After several calls and finally getting a hold of a Springer office in the U.S. that admitted that they did publish the book, I got information that ALL copies of this are "Print on Demand" so you get luck of the draw when it comes to the final quality. Some are just better than others.

They told me that they'd be happy to refund my order and I accepted that offer.

Of course, it's 2 weeks later and the PayPal account hasn't been credited yet.

If only I could run my own business transactions this way. ;-) Live and learn, I guess.





Too bad. I made similar bad experiences with Springer. Apparently, big-business Springer is too busy and does not care any longer about such boring things like quality control. My first POD-copy from Amazon was simply a nightmare, the second POD-copy from Printforce Netherlands was acceptable. Price is always the same, but is is pure lottery what Springer's sub-contractors will deliver to you...

Ronny's fine book deserves another publisher/distributor.

Stephan


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Ragaisis]
      #5632631 - 01/20/13 04:29 AM

Anyone else who purchased this POD-publication? It would be interesting to read more experiences on the delivered printing quality (good/bad).

Stephan


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Ragaisis
sage
*****

Reged: 05/16/08

Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5638493 - 01/23/13 09:22 AM

When talking with Springer, I was told that ALL copies of this title are POD. It doesn't make a difference who you order them from. You get "luck of the draw" on how it comes out. You can always send it back and hope to get a better quality one.

And, as an update, I've now sent a registered letter to Springer's accounting department to at least acknowledge that I have a problem since they've ignored all email attempts and my phone conversations have gone nowhere. It has a detailed list of all my contact attempts, as well as a print out of the PayPal order confirmation to show that I paid. I sent this earlier via email - at Springer's request - but never heard a peep from them after that.

I have a hunch that I'm just out the $40 and will never buy another Springer publication. Which is sad. I've enjoyed their books for the past 35 years. I'm not self-centered enough to think that my personal business means a thing to the company. I won't make or break them based on my decision. It won't influence them in any way or even cause a single employee there more than a minute of thought. It's just a personal decision. And maybe the universe's way of telling me that I have enough astronomy books and I don't need any more from this publisher. ;-)

Chris


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Ragaisis]
      #5638529 - 01/23/13 09:52 AM

I made similar bad experiences with Springer's customer service. And even worse, big-business Springer is not willing to ensure an acceptable quality control on their POD-publications. I was burnt on several occasions with unacceptable printing quality and had to return those Springer publications to Amazon or directly to Springer, at my cost. Springer's POD-politics leaves a lot to be desired, simply too much hassles and unexpected follow-up expenses.

Stephan


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Ragaisis
sage
*****

Reged: 05/16/08

Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide (Springer 2012) new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5642748 - 01/25/13 02:55 PM

Out of curiosity I checked to see what the Better Business Bureau had on Springer. They're currently given a rating of "F" by the BBB for number of complaints and no resolutions.

It sounds to me like the right way to approach purchasing a Springer publication is to order it from a 3rd party and let that entity take the risk of dealing with Springer.


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Ragaisis
sage
*****

Reged: 05/16/08

Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Re: The Casual Sky Observer's Guide - SUCCESS! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5656381 - 02/01/13 01:34 PM

As an update, after email, phone calls, and a registered letter where everything was ignored, I contacted the Better Business Bureau and Springer responded in fairly short order.

They're sending me the book! I'm excited. Since I wanted this one from the beginning, I'm happy with just that. I do appreciate it, Springer.

However, they've also given me a coupon for $50 toward anything they have in their store - printed or ebook.

Anybody have ideas on what might be a good purchase? I'm solely a visual guy with a small refractor in a white zone that I get to take to darker skies a few times a year.

Chris


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