Paul - I still refer SE Scope owners having alignment problems to your "Best alignment process for the Celestron NexStar 8SE". That was an excellent and very useful/practical piece of writing. Thus, your 'Backyard Astronomer's Guide' should be a welcome and valuable book, especially for those new to the hobby.
A few observations for the proposed TOC:
1. Most raw newbies to astronomy think, " I'll just buy 'a telescope' and e able to see all those wondaful views that I see on the NASA website and elsewhere." In reality it is nowhere near being that simple - which becomes obvious when viewing all the topics in your TOC. I would suggest adding a topic under 'Introduction to Astronomy' about 'Expectations for Beginners'.
2. Under Tripods, I would suggest breaking it into 2 sections related functionally categories. one section would be for "Tripods and Piers", with another section for "Mounts and Tracking" (or what goes atop the tripod).
3. A lot of beginners tend to expect that "astrophotography" can be easy and affordable, but like most other aspects of astronomy there can be a huge range of equipment and costs. I suggest that you may want consider breaking down Astrophotography ( aka Astro--Imaging) down into "Inexpensive Beginner Astro-Imaging" and "Expensive-Intensive High Quality Astrophotography", with "EAA" maybe as an in between option.
4. I did not notice any topics that address "Telescope Maintenance" to include essential beginner topics like collimation or optics cleaning.
Due to the vast amount of material to be covered, you may also want to consider breaking it down into a series of books, maybe "Astronomy for Beginners", and Advanced Astronomy for Beginners" (for AP and such). This way you could get some badly needed topics and material out to newbie astronomers much quicker - and possible gain come near term income if you are selling the books.
Good luck and keep writing!
Edited by JohnBear, 28 September 2021 - 02:26 PM.