Monday, April 25, 2016

New Book: Being an Astronomer

Aug 21st

I've just added a few more words on eyepieces and my next section is about Barlow lenses, etc.

Aug 17h 2017

OK, no updates for over a year! With some hard-core day jobs and commuting, writing just flew out of the window. There's no guarantee it won't happen again but, frankly, nearly all of us make far more from our day jobs than from writing. Yes, I have re-visited the book a bit but have also started a new concept. Books are great, no doubt about it but, quite often, new information, equipment and techniques come to light.
To get back into writing and provide supplementary information for my books, I have written some free material:
An example is "Astrophotography with a DSLR". In fact, I will be updating it again once the Perseid meteor shower is definitively over, as I have some new information about photographing meteors. This I just could not do with a book.

July 14th

Try writing about how an equatorial mount works. Very tough.

July 13th

Finished reflectors and now writing about mounts. Progress is slow, as I have many non-writing jobs to do. Also proof-reading the International Meteor Organisation journal.

June 28th

I'm back on the case. Progress isn't great but I've finished my section on refractors.

June 23rd

I'm taking some time off from writing while I upgrade my website:

June 11th

Now quite well into my chapter on optics.

June 7th

OK, I've re-written the introduction and written the first topic. I'm now writing about eyes.

May 22nd

I finally got underway! Yes, I'll probably re-write the introduction but it gives me a start. I'm now trying to describe what an astronomer is.

May 12th

I've tried to write the introduction but failed miserably. Work has also been busy and I "binned" my first attempt.

May 3rd

I have done my audience analysis for the book. It is aimed primarily at beginners but may be of interest to intermediate-level readers. It focuses (pardon the pun) on observational astronomy, with only cursory introductions to:
·         Specialist astronomy (e.g. solar)
·         Cosmology
·         Photography
·         Research science
·         Public-domain information

April 20th

OK, so here goes. I've written books before and four have made it to the press. On the other hand, many of my books are unfinished and belong in the museum of procrastination. This isn't simply all my fault. I've tried, in the past, to get publishers interested in beginner books. Strange, really. In my opinion, there are some very good beginner books around but they all seem to try to do too much and miss some of the fundamental issues.

The other point is that I can always self-publish if I cannot get a publisher interested enough. That was not always an option in the past.

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