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JCB
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5682097 - 02/15/13 06:12 PM

Quote:

One of the most helpful identification characteristics of the genuine Austria-printed edition is to know its exact weight. I just weighted it (including dust cover) on a precise digital balance, it says 1,627 grams (changes in air humidity may cause very slight differences from this reading, let's say up to about +/- 5 grams).




Mine weights 1210 grams, +/- 10 grams
The info at the beginning is the same…

Jean-Charles


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auriga
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5700751 - 02/25/13 11:02 PM

Hi, Craig,
As an author, I can sympathize with you. These are an author's lot: pseudo editions, pseudo printings, catty reviews, publishers who take a year to make a decision, wacky editors, everything.

But I hope that now things will go more smoothly for you,

All the best,
Bill


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Spaced
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: auriga]
      #5701574 - 02/26/13 12:27 PM

It appears I got lucky with my beautiful, red-pages-inside-covers, sewn-pages copy. I bought it last August through Amazon marketplace, from seller "valn8tor". The condition was accurately described as "Used-Good". A sticker on the title page reads, "Metropolitan Library System." I like the heavy-duty library dust cover!

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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: auriga]
      #5703652 - 02/27/13 02:48 PM

Quote:

As an author, I can sympathize with you. These are an author's lot: pseudo editions, pseudo printings, catty reviews, publishers who take a year to make a decision, wacky editors, everything.

But I hope that now things will go more smoothly for you.




Thanks for the encouragement, Bill. But the fact of the matter is that even from the first (1982-1983, and the article on the Milky Way that appeared in "Astronomy" magazine) I expected publishing would turn out to be a rose-garden--a garden with more thorns than roses.

I enjoy writing, and I write for a lot of reasons: I write to consolidate and extend my understanding of some subject (such as the structure of the Milky Way; or the history of Babylonian temple architecture). I write to capture and preserve my own experiences. I write to preserve aspects of more general history (such as that of the rural Midwestern culture in which I grew up--a culture that no longer exists). But publishing is well down the list of my motivations for writing, and there are a lot of manuscripts lying around the place here that I don't try to get published because the process of publishing is such a bother and there are so many other things I would rather spend my time on.

And from a purely practical point of view, I make a lot more money editing than I do publishing. But I like editing. It's a very creative thing to take another person's haltingly-expressed thought (English is not the first language of most of my clients) and put it into English prose that rings with clarity. And I like interacting this way with first-rate minds (and some second-rate minds--but every job has its drawbacks). And I learn a great deal from my clients' articles, dissertations, and books. One doctoral dissertation I edited was by a European journalist who had a great deal of insider information about the International Atomic Energy Agency's search for Saddam's Bomb during the 1990s--some information of which was so confidential that it had to be cut from the final draft of the dissertation!

I believe it was the English mystery writer Dorothy Sayers who said, "I hate the writing, but love the having written." I think she was in the wrong line of work. The whole process begins with an interest in some subject for its own sake. This is true even of creative writing: Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" and Jame Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist" are the result of their authors' nostalgia for their youths. To write to be A WRITER is simply to set yourself up for disappointment. If you write because you want to write about something specific, then you are immune to the shady publishers and book-sellers. T. E. Lawrence said that, "The only books worth reading are those which had to be written." His "Seven Pillars" is a prime example of that. Another example--one which we all know and read--is "Burnham's Celestial Handbook." Unfortunately Robert Burnham Jr couldn't keep in mind the fact that it is the journey itself (that is, the writing on a subject), not the arrival into print, that is the most enjoyable thing about the whole process for an author.

Craig Crossen


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Ryuno
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5923056 - 06/15/13 11:46 PM

I just bought Sky Vistas in the Kindle edition from Amazon for my Mac for about $80. All the photos are in black and white. Is that normal? I was expecting colour plates.
Very disappointing. Is this another Amazon scam? For an $80 e-book!

Best regards
Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (06/16/13 12:39 AM)


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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5923075 - 06/16/13 12:10 AM

Actually I wish they were all black&white personally but that's just me. The ones in the book are color and B&W. Regardless, enjoy what you got, it's an absolutely beautiful piece of work.

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Ryuno
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Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5923080 - 06/16/13 12:17 AM

Thanks, Daniel.

I just returned the book to Amazon for a refund.
Will try to find a real good quality paper copy in Vienna.
I am shocked about all the terrible things I read here about Amazon's practices. Until now my experiences were only positive.

I found your post with the photos of the actual book. Looks really beautiful. I found none of this in the Kindle edition. Only small black and white photos embedded in the text.

I am not paying $80 for this.

Interestingly, at www.springer.com, it says that the e-book version is not even ready yet. What is this dubious Amazon Kindle version then?

Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (06/16/13 12:48 AM)


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auriga
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Reged: 03/02/06

Re: Early Ersatz Copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5924275 - 06/16/13 07:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I checked my genuine copy of Sky Vistas:

It has the red endpapers at beginning and end of book.

The following info is found at the beginning:
Copyright 2004 Springer Verlag/Wien
Printed in Austria
ISBN 3-211-00851-9 Springer-Verlag Wien New York

Oddly, the ISBN on back cover and back side of dust jacket differs from above ISBN and says ISBN 3-211-00851-7





This is very observant of you. I checked the one remaining bound copy of those I received from Springer just after the original first printing and it has the same discrepancy in ISBN numbers in the front pages and on the back cover and back dust jacket as yours. I had never noticed this before.

Craig Crossen




Hello, Craig,
I just checked my cope of Sky Vistas, which I bought very soon after itr was published It is evidently an ersatz copy, probably the same as Castor's copy: 1056 grams, no dust covers, no red pages, no evidence of sewn binding, only semi-gloss paper, Rhemannn's pnotos are on dull paper not glossy paper, two different ISBN codes. So ersatz copies date from soon after publication.

This is disappointing given my long-term enthusiasm for the book dating from when it was almost unknown. Now that it has become intensely popular, my chances of getting an authentic copy have dwindled to zilch.

On the other hand, while I like books as artistic objects, what I love about Sky Vistas is the text, which is outstanding.

Congratulations on your new series in Sky & Tel, long over-due. I see they have a deep sky article by Steve Gottlieb, also overdue.


Regards,
Bill Meyers


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Crossen
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Re: Early Ersatz Copy new [Re: auriga]
      #5925530 - 06/17/13 01:20 PM

Quote:


I just checked my cope of Sky Vistas, which I bought very soon after it was published It is evidently an ersatz copy, probably the same as Castor's copy: 1056 grams, no dust covers, no red pages, no evidence of sewn binding, only semi-gloss paper, Rhemannn's photos are on dull paper not glossy paper, two different ISBN codes. So ersatz copies date from soon after publication.





Bill, does your copy explicitly say "Printed in Austria" on page iv?

Other information on page iv of the two authentic copies I have in hand is:

"Typesetting and Printing: Theiss GmbH, A-9431 St.Stefan
Printed on acid-free and chlorine-free bleached paper
SPIN: 10920541"

Theiss GmbH was the company that did the actual physical printing, and St Stefan is a town in Austria. Do the ersatz and POD copies of the book also have this in the front material?

Craig Crossen


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auriga
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/02/06

Re: Early Ersatz Copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5925578 - 06/17/13 01:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I just checked my cope of Sky Vistas, which I bought very soon after it was published It is evidently an ersatz copy, probably the same as Castor's copy: 1056 grams, no dust covers, no red pages, no evidence of sewn binding, only semi-gloss paper, Rhemannn's photos are on dull paper not glossy paper, two different ISBN codes. So ersatz copies date from soon after publication.





Bill, does your copy explicitly say "Printed in Austria" on page iv?

Other information on page iv of the two authentic copies I have in hand is:

"Typesetting and Printing: Theiss GmbH, A-9431 St.Stefan
Printed on acid-free and chlorine-free bleached paper
SPIN: 10920541"

Theiss GmbH was the company that did the actual physical printing, and St Stefan is a town in Austria. Do the ersatz and POD copies of the book also have this in the front material?

Craig Crossen




Hi, Craig,
It does say:

"Typesetting and Printing: Theiss GmbH, A-9431 St.Stefan
Printed on acid-free and chlorine-free bleached paper
SPIN: 10920541"

but it does not say "Printed in Austria."

Mine has 281 pages, not 303 pages.

This is like a detective story.

I would very much like to have an authentic 2003 edition but it appears to be unavailable anywhere, new or used.

Best,
Bill


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auriga
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/02/06

Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5926380 - 06/17/13 09:25 PM

Hi, again Craig,

Well, dredging into my library more deeply, I found, in an obscure corner, protected from damage and prying hands, an original copy of Sky Vistas, with the original dust jacket, red paper inside the front cover, very glossy paper, weight 1630 grams. It does say "Printed in Austria" on page iv. Each of these characteristics itself is sufficient to set it apart from my ersatz copy.

I am really pleased to have found it. I had not recalled having two copies, but I had recalled a dust jacket, so I kept looking until I found this one, hidden safely away, a real collector's item and coffee table book.

The ersatz copy I can use for continuing consultation; I am glad at least that it is easily available if supplies of the original edition have indeed run out.

It is a shame though that the ersatz copies are not of better quality.

Best regards,
Bill


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CounterWeight
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: auriga]
      #5926701 - 06/18/13 12:37 AM

I have a good number of the Springer-Verlag pubs in other topics - they are top quality. oddly they have different colophon, one is a horsehead silhouette and the other a double inverted version. Great paper and printing, signature sewn bindings, and more importantly $cha-ching$ ! (for those that remember what a cash register is)

Edited by CounterWeight (06/18/13 12:38 AM)


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Spaced
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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5927803 - 06/18/13 03:49 PM

Quote:

Congratulations on your new series in Sky & Tel, long over-due. I see they have a deep sky article by Steve Gottlieb, also overdue.




Indeed!


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Aleko
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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Spaced]
      #5930281 - 06/19/13 11:00 PM

I ordered a copy of this book after reading Craig's excellent article in Sky and Tel. I paid about $80 including shipping from Barnes and Noble.

The book is another of the lesser quality printings mentioned here. I can't see how Amazon is the culprit, since this came from B&N. I thought booksellers ship what the publisher gives them, or gives them permission to do. Perhaps the publisher itself is to blame here? I can see where the high quality version would be worth the price, but I didn't receive the quality version. It's a shame that Rhemann's images aren't being shown in their best light.

That said, I bought the book because of the author's perspective. I don't need another coffee table book. This will be a constant companion at the eyepiece as I explore the night sky with a new 4-inch refractor after using only a large dob for years. Time to view the forest too and not just the trees. :-)

Alex


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Crossen
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Reged: 07/14/08

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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Aleko]
      #5962227 - 07/09/13 01:46 PM

I finally had the time to go to Springer-Verlag here in Vienna and discuss the matter of the lesser quality copies of "Sky Vistas" that are being sold. The people here were, as always, very helpful--and indeed anxious to help.

According to their records, the original print run of "Sky Vistas" has been sold out since 2008. Beginning in that year POD versions of the book have been sold at the rate of between about 1 dozen and 2 dozen per year. However, my royalties statements show a range of prices for the book in the US between 2008 and 2010 of $99, $89.95 (the most common), $79.95 (the least common) which are more typical of the original US prices for the book right after publication (from $90 to $100, as I recall).

The data on the original print run is at Springer Heidelberg, and Springer Vienna has promised to get that data to me in a couple days. My recollection is that the original print run of "Sky Vistas" was 2000 copies: I'm sure I remember this correctly because of how unusually high that is for a specialty astronomy book. However, the fact that this original printing was officially designated as "sold out" in 2008 suggests that the original print run may have actually been only 1000. I will post that information as soon as I receive it from Springer.

Nevertheless, as posts on this and the other threads about "Sky Vistas" in the forum have indicated, original 1.7-kilogram, sewn-bound copies of "Sky Vistas" with the hallmark red end-papers are still out there to be purchased. My guess is that the designation "sold out" is applied when there are no more copies of the book in some central warehouse. How many of the original-print copies are still out there depends on the original print run. These remaining original-print copies seem to be widely scattered throughout the wholesale book distribution network. This is at least in part the consequence of how large and complicated Springer's own distribution network is.

Craig Crossen


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LivingNDixie
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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5963401 - 07/10/13 01:25 AM

Quote:

I finally had the time to go to Springer-Verlag here in Vienna and discuss the matter of the lesser quality copies of "Sky Vistas" that are being sold. The people here were, as always, very helpful--and indeed anxious to help.

According to their records, the original print run of "Sky Vistas" has been sold out since 2008. Beginning in that year POD versions of the book have been sold at the rate of between about 1 dozen and 2 dozen per year. However, my royalties statements show a range of prices for the book in the US between 2008 and 2010 of $99, $89.95 (the most common), $79.95 (the least common) which are more typical of the original US prices for the book right after publication (from $90 to $100, as I recall).

The data on the original print run is at Springer Heidelberg, and Springer Vienna has promised to get that data to me in a couple days. My recollection is that the original print run of "Sky Vistas" was 2000 copies: I'm sure I remember this correctly because of how unusually high that is for a specialty astronomy book. However, the fact that this original printing was officially designated as "sold out" in 2008 suggests that the original print run may have actually been only 1000. I will post that information as soon as I receive it from Springer.

Nevertheless, as posts on this and the other threads about "Sky Vistas" in the forum have indicated, original 1.7-kilogram, sewn-bound copies of "Sky Vistas" with the hallmark red end-papers are still out there to be purchased. My guess is that the designation "sold out" is applied when there are no more copies of the book in some central warehouse. How many of the original-print copies are still out there depends on the original print run. These remaining original-print copies seem to be widely scattered throughout the wholesale book distribution network. This is at least in part the consequence of how large and complicated Springer's own distribution network is.

Craig Crossen




Craig,
Something else to think about is how many copies may be sitting at public libraries. The copy I got to thumb through and have looked at several times since came from The Birmingham Public Library. I really wish I had heard of this book earlier, it really is worth the price.


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Crossen
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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5963488 - 07/10/13 04:14 AM

Quote:


Craig,
Something else to think about is how many copies may be sitting at public libraries. The copy I got to thumb through and have looked at several times since came from The Birmingham Public Library. I really wish I had heard of this book earlier, it really is worth the price.




One of the advantages for me as an author to be in print with Springer-Verlag is their name recognition with librarians and those who purchase books for libraries: such individuals may not know much about astronomy, but they do know that Springer publishes high-quality science books of all sorts. This was especially important because I knew the price of "Sky Vistas" would discourage many individual purchasers--at least at first.

During the first year many of the book's purchasers were German and Austrian amateur astronomers who knew Gerald Rhemann's work. But there were also a lot of US library sales, and US libraries dominated the sales of the book during the next two or three years. I was able to follow this on worldcatlibraries.org, and it was very gratifying to me to see the book being listed in the libraries of first scores, then hundreds, of US academic and public libraries. In Alabama, for example, it was listed in the Birmingham Public Library and the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, as well as in the libraries of Auburn University, Birmingham Southern College, Redstone Scientific Information Center, and the University of Alabama. And of course not all US libraries are in WorldCat.

It's also been a pleasure to see the foreign libraries that have "Sky Vistas". Outside of Europe these include St. John's and St. Mary's Institute of Technology in Taiwan, Zayed University Library in the United Arab Emirates, and the Centro de Provisao de Temp and Estudios Climáticos in Brazil. I have Springer to thank for this kind of library access for "Sky Vistas". I'm a Minnesota farm boy, and I never dreamed that I would write a book that would end up in libraries like those!

Craig Crossen


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Crossen
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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #6061399 - 09/03/13 05:47 PM

I apologize to the followers of this forum for not posting this sooner. I have had a rather stressful, but busy and interesting, late summer.

Anyway, according to Springer-Verlag's records at Heidelberg, the original printing of "Sky Vistas" in the autumn of 2003 was 1200 copies--rather lower than the 2000 I think I was told at the time, but greater than the usual first printing of an expensive specialty book. I assume, but cannot be certain, that they all were exactly the same, weighing about 1.6-1.7 kilograms, with red end papers, and of course with sewn binding and glossy paper. The numbers on my royalties statements totalled over the past ten years imply that something like 300 original-print copies must still out there somewhere waiting to be sold.

The question is, Where? Springer-Verlag by itself has a huge distribution network worldwide. And then there are numerous secondary distributors who might be holding copies. The best way of tracking down original-print copies seems to be by specifying the features of that printing when ordering--that is, a weight of 1.6 kg, red end-papers, sewn binding, and glossy paper.

"Sky Vistas" was printed before the POD culture had begun--or at least before that culture had really taken off. It was designed as a showcase book, with every physical aspect of the highest quality to show Gerald Rhemann's outstanding astrophotos to best advantage. Even my text can be thought of as in some sense an extended caption to Gerald's 96 color and black-and-white photos. The basic purpose of "Sky Vistas" therefore is incompatible with POD publishing.

However, I as text author have no real objection in principle to the selling of POD copies of the book if (1) it is plainly stated by the seller that these are POD, not original, printings, and (2) if there is a discount in the price of the POD copies that reflects the difference in their quality from that of the original printing. I've never actually seen a POD copy so I cannot say whether or not I think they are adequately discounted.

But even if they are adequately discounted, much of the beauty of Gerald Rhemann's outstanding astrophotos apparently is lost in the POD process. And this is a great pity because those astrophotos are both works of art and works of science, and I selected those that are in the book because their very beauty is so revealing of the actual astrophysical nature of the objects or fields they show, and I attempted to bring that out both in the captions to the individual photos and in the text as a whole.

Craig Crossen


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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #6063415 - 09/04/13 09:28 PM

Craig,

Thank you for updating us all on this. I'm plenty happy with Sky Vistas amazing content.

Clear Skies!


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