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Amateur astronomy books back at Cambridge?

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#1 herschelobjects

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 01:00 PM

I regularly get emails from Cambridge University Press featuring notifications about upcoming titles in physics and astronomy. As Cambridge has gone strictly academic in recent years, the books generally speaking are of little interest to the typical amateur. So imagine my surprise this morning when I saw this book, a second edition which is being published in the spring of 2024. I’m wondering if this might indicate a bit of a change of heart at Cambridge, and if some of their more popular out-of-print titles might see something of a renaissance in the coming years.

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#2 BrentKnight

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 02:05 PM

They have probably seen what those books go for on the used market...

If this is true then I sure hope they reprint the photographic atlas of selected regions.
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#3 Knasal

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 10:57 PM

If either of you see that one being reprinted *please* let me know lol.gif flowerred.gif

 

Brent, you know I’ve been trying for that one for awhile smile.gif

 

Kev



#4 SNH

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 11:27 PM

I regularly get emails from Cambridge University Press featuring notifications about upcoming titles in physics and astronomy. As Cambridge has gone strictly academic in recent years, the books generally speaking are of little interest to the typical amateur. So imagine my surprise this morning when I saw this book, a second edition which is being published in the spring of 2024. I’m wondering if this might indicate a bit of a change of heart at Cambridge, and if some of their more popular out-of-print titles might see something of a renaissance in the coming years.

That's a good question, Mark. I asked Ronald myself while helping him edit the second edition earlier this year. If I recall, he said his getting a second edition to the book is quite special (I never asked who instigated the idea of a second edition).

 

Scott H.


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#5 kgb

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 11:40 PM

I was trying to determine how I might get notified once this title is available, but then realized that if I post on this thread that I might be able to take the lazy way out and someone will kindly post once it's available. I'm sure this plan will work eventually if not more immediately.

#6 obrazell

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Posted 22 December 2023 - 03:18 AM

Ronald told me that the second edtion will be sometime in 2024. I did not proof this one so I guess I will have to buy it.


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#7 herschelobjects

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Posted 22 December 2023 - 09:17 AM

From the description at the Cambridge website, the second edition appears to be extensively revised. See screen grab below...

 

 

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#8 BrentKnight

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Posted 22 December 2023 - 10:50 AM

If either of you see that one being reprinted *please* let me know lol.gif flowerred.gif

 

Brent, you know I’ve been trying for that one for awhile smile.gif

 

Kev

I believe the authors of The Barnard Objects: Then and Now have mentioned that they have another Barnard book coming out.  Perhaps it's an update to Regions...


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#9 SNH

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Posted 22 December 2023 - 11:48 PM

From the description at the Cambridge website, the second edition appears to be extensively revised. See screen grab below...

Yeah, Ronald worked his butt off to make as much of the information "cutting-edge" as possible in the second edition. The first edition was terribly impressive and the second edition is even more so. I was just delighted to help him fix little errors!

 

Scott H.


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#10 JohnH

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Posted 16 January 2024 - 12:02 PM

I remember this publication from back in the days when my dad had a book club membership in the '70s, I'm one of the books she got for me was I. S. Shiklowskii's Stars, what was regarded as a definitive book on Stellar astrophysics

#11 Lee D

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Posted 17 January 2024 - 07:47 PM

From the description at the Cambridge website, the second edition appears to be extensively revised. See screen grab below...

I found this up for pre-order on Amazon a day or two ago. I was going to pre-order (for Monday, April 1), but the $80 price put me off. 

 

I really like the author's works and want to support his efforts, but at that price will have to think about it.



#12 BrentKnight

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Posted 17 January 2024 - 08:12 PM

Consider that the first edition easily goes for 2 to 3 times that price, and it becomes a steal.

Granted, I'd rather pay something like $40 for this one, but specialist astronomy books are not going to be million copy bestsellers so I think the reality is around this price. Paperback would have given us options though.

I recently heard of a John Herschel biography also published by CUP and due out next month. The paperback is $30, but the hardback is $90. What is up with that?

#13 yuzameh

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Posted 18 January 2024 - 05:36 PM

Consider that the first edition easily goes for 2 to 3 times that price, and it becomes a steal.

Granted, I'd rather pay something like $40 for this one, but specialist astronomy books are not going to be million copy bestsellers so I think the reality is around this price. Paperback would have given us options though.

I recently heard of a John Herschel biography also published by CUP and due out next month. The paperback is $30, but the hardback is $90. What is up with that?

Simple, economy of scale.  The hardback print run will be a much smaller number of books.  Apparently printing has a point where after a certain number just the cost of the extra paper and ink matters, and then barely, or at least in the past as it was the case that print runs were offered at threshold amounts (eg 3000 or 5000 for a specialised tome) with the next jump up not really costing much more than the available base number run.  Probably like a normal sized tin of beans is often only a few pence dearer than a small tin of beans despite the latter having less than half the contents.

 

They didn't always have hardback versions of astro tomes at CUP, btw, and sometimes you'd to wait quite a while for any paperback.

 

I think the question here is probably how did they manage to keep the paperback so cheap?  Even thirty to forty years ago their astro paperbacks were in the twenty five to thirty quid range (they were high quality paper, quality images, and stitched pages), and that was when there was one buck fifty or more to the quid and the quid then was worth a heck of a lot more than a quid is today (same for the buck).


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#14 obrazell

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 04:25 AM

I suspect you may be overestimating the print run for specialised hardbacks. They may be more like 1000-2000.


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#15 yuzameh

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 02:27 PM

I suspect you may be overestimating the print run for specialised hardbacks. They may be more like 1000-2000.

nah, just quoting some old numbers from someone I knew who was getting a book published via a kind of self incorporated specialist journal (set up their own minicompany).  Probably I should have said _up to_ 3000 to be more clear, as in even if you only wanted 200 books it'd cost you no different than 3000, that was the minimum cost price so to speak (gallies, setup, turning the machine on for a print run, etc, although pdf setup for printing must be way cheaper nowadays than the old manual way.  Remember when good books had lots of print runs despite no new edition?  Nobody'd print too many at once), like the small tins of beans allegory was supposed to explain, no matter how few beans there were and despite less than half the 'tin' material being needed, they're still only a few pence cheaper than the tin with over twice more beans and 'tin' used, in other words a minimum cost threshold no matter what the product.

 

Apparently it got ridiculously relatively cheaper after certain limits, but then of course the publisher has to pay for shipping more and storing them and eventually pulping them, as they aren't likely to deplete their publishing house's reputation by 'em ending up in 'the works' or other remainder stores (doubtful said would want 'em anyway), and they will eventually have other books to print and store.

 

[sideways, given aas having the w-b pdf masters any new reprints could be a lot cheaper by swallowing the old pride and getting 'em printed in India or China.  In fact, it'd probably be cheaper to ship them from those places than it is to ship them from one USA state to the neighbouring one, and better packaged]



#16 Lee D

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 05:45 PM

Consider that the first edition easily goes for 2 to 3 times that price, and it becomes a steal.

Granted, I'd rather pay something like $40 for this one, but specialist astronomy books are not going to be million copy bestsellers so I think the reality is around this price. Paperback would have given us options though.

I recently heard of a John Herschel biography also published by CUP and due out next month. The paperback is $30, but the hardback is $90. What is up with that?

So is there any hope of the Atlas of Messier Objects also coming out in paperback at something under the $80 hardback (U.S. market) price?



#17 helpwanted

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 06:31 PM

What are the actual differences with this new addition? I’ve seen what’s written in Amazon and it doesn’t really give too much details.



#18 herschelobjects

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 04:30 AM

What are the actual differences with this new addition? I’ve seen what’s written in Amazon and it doesn’t really give too much details.

I think this information from Cambridge from post #7 above is pretty explicit...

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#19 helpwanted

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 09:11 AM

I think this information from Cambridge from post #7 above is pretty explicit...

Thank you for pointing that out to me, I must’ve started reading this thread without the glasses on, I somehow did not see that. Also by the way, I cannot find that webpage within Cambridge.



#20 yuzameh

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 09:27 AM

I went into the various CUP pages and searched on astronomy sorted by date.  They were predominantly text books, and to some extent even the John Herschel book is (depends if the final volume is riddled with references at the end of each chapter (or the end of the whole book), the history of western astronomy seemingly a bit of a thing/trend of late (quite a few titles from cup over time and quite a few from springer too on particular time periods and/or astronomer(s)).

 

For 2024 only the Messier object new edition and the John Herschel book cropped up in the descendind date sorted search.

 

When someone has received the latter and read it could ya clarify the Herschel - South thing for me?  Some books state that South felt himself treat like a lacky rather than an equal during their double star work or he at least felt he never got the proper credit he should have compared to JH.  Others don't mention it at all despite mentioning their occasional collaborative work (there are HJ, SHJ and S doubles listed in WDS, which usually takes its cue from the paper authors).  I'm not into biographies, especially historical ones, except where they are part of a more general book on stars and/or constellations.



#21 herschelobjects

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 10:36 AM

Thank you for pointing that out to me, I must’ve started reading this thread without the glasses on, I somehow did not see that. Also by the way, I cannot find that webpage within Cambridge.

Here is the link.

 

https://www.cambridg...my Dec23_Global

 

And as often happens with Cambridge, the publication date has been pushed back a month.


Edited by herschelobjects, 20 January 2024 - 10:38 AM.

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#22 SNH

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 05:24 PM

So is there any hope of the Atlas of Messier Objects also coming out in paperback at something under the $80 hardback (U.S. market) price?

Well, you might find a few used copies for less than $80 within a year.

 

What are the actual differences with this new addition? I’ve seen what’s written in Amazon and it doesn’t really give too much details.

In the last fifteen years or so, there's been some impressive scientific finds using GAIA, Hubble, VLA, ect. So, even your brightest objects (i.e. Messier objects) have had revelations made about their nature. Also, he got a lot of "deeper" images in it. I really enjoyed the book and was glad to help catch some errors that would've made paying $80 a disappointment.

 

Scott H.


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#23 BrentKnight

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Posted 21 January 2024 - 11:36 AM

Well, you might find a few used copies for less than $80 within a year.

 

In the last fifteen years or so, there's been some impressive scientific finds using GAIA, Hubble, VLA, ect. So, even your brightest objects (i.e. Messier objects) have had revelations made about their nature. Also, he got a lot of "deeper" images in it. I really enjoyed the book and was glad to help catch some errors that would've made paying $80 a disappointment.

 

Scott H.

In your opinion Scott, will this one be the finest Messier book out there when released?  Are there topics, features you wish could have been included?

 

While I love images of objects, very few recent observing guides include any sketches.  I know the author does sketches (I've seen them in the interstellarum guide).  Will there be any of those in the book?



#24 herschelobjects

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 09:14 AM

Here’s an image of the cover of the 2nd edition of the Atlas...

 

 

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#25 yuzameh

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 03:51 PM

I really enjoyed the book and was glad to help catch some errors that would've made paying $80 a disappointment.

 

This is still a highly concerning statement, as just because you caught some errors doesn't mean you caught all of them.

 

Significant factual gaffs or some galley proof basic issues as per standard for any book on any topic?

 

I can still find typoes or misplaced or misspelt words in stuff I've had 'published', despite having sent back corrected galleys, albeit primarily at the pro-am and am journal level.  Of course some of the gaffs were real ones that no one noticed including myself, but very, very few are factual ones (well, how would I know if no-one corrected me, if I got it wrong then why should I get it right now unless new data sources have changed the facts ; ).

 

around 70 quid ain't cheap for a book on just over 100 objects, remembering that not everyone can gallavant around everywhere and/or live at latitudes appropriate enough in order to view more than three quarters of these splobs.  I'll likely never get to see M83, and I've only seen most of the Sagittarius stuff on one fine moonless summer night once thanks to knowing someone who knew someone who lived in the middle of nowhere on a chunk of land with a good southern horizon some many leagues distant.  Although, having said that, with the modern value of money maybe a quid an object ain't so bad, if you haven't any other observing books whatsoever because they'll be in there too.

 

Wanna book, get a good Herschel Object's book, and whatever you do ignore Moore's list of inconsisten bleh, at least Herschel found 'em via observational discovery.




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