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Reader survey – would you buy a Not Exactly Rocket Science book?


I’m toying with the idea of publishing a book that compiles the best of Not Exactly Rocket Science from the last year. I’ll select about 60 or so of my favourite pieces from 2008 and transfer them from code and pixels to ink and paper.  The plan is to launch the book in early November in time for the Christmas market.

So the big question is: would you buy it? And related questions: would you buy it as a gift for anyone? Would you recommend it to people? Is this a good idea or a silly one? Do any of you have contacts who could help to market something like this?


25 thoughts on “Reader survey – would you buy a Not Exactly Rocket Science book?

  1. I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself as I read most everything online. But I would consider it as a gift for someone else. I do like to recommend and give science related books.

  2. I think a book of science posts is a great idea, and a great gift, especially as a way of introducing people to a lot of basic science topics in an accessible format. A book would reach a whole different demographic, including people that don’t read blogs. The more science books available to the public the better.

  3. Ed,
    What would you think about a book on science writing/blogging that used articles from N.E.R.S. as examples. Maybe tell how you go about the process, and some of the stuff you’ve learned along the way.
    Just a thought.

  4. You are a really terrific writer and I’d definitely buy a few copies of the book if 1) you could put it together by Christmas and 2) if you’d autograph it.
    I’d talk to Bora about how he and Reed Cartwright put together the two science blogging anthologies because I believe they had some issues with an online publisher.
    Marketing? I believe that you know a number of science bloggers who routinely write book reviews. Some of these folks also write reviews for larger print and online publications. Some of us also help indy bookstores schedule book signing talks (although I could only help you if you came to the States).

  5. I prefer having things in electronic form, but I’d definitely recommend a book to people and give it as a gift if I could find any good recipients.

  6. I would buy it if it was reasonably priced. I read all your articles anyway, but having them in “coffee table” form to share with family would be great.

  7. Dear Ed,
    I would buy the book as a gift for someone interested in science.
    It should be pointed out that this is difficult to translate a blog post into book. The blog is so “meta” while the paper books are not. You can lose something.
    Nevertheless, try!
    Best regards,

  8. I think that’s a great idea. I have been enjoying perusing the archives and have often thought that particular friends/family would enjoy your topics. I would buy your book if it was relatively easy to get here in Canada (or online without massive shipping fees attached) Good luck!

  9. No, I wouldn’t buy it. Why? The same reason I wouldn’t buy a compilation of articles from SciAm or New Scientist. Magazine articles cover news, usually briefly. Books are for things that are more permanent and need more detail.
    I do enjoy your blog. Lots of interesting stuff

  10. As for David Brayton, but for a slightly different reason. I do think you could easily fill a book with interesting material. Also your writing style is clear and concise and your choice of articles relatively wide. However journal articles are more interesting when relatively current. Books by their nature are static in time, some of your future posts may be based on previously published material, indicating an evolution in our understanding. There are few ‘blockbuster’ articles published that never date as research continues.

  11. Honestly, no. I don’t buy books with blog posts I’ve already read, and the few people I would want to give a book like this to wouldn’t read it in English anyway.

  12. I think its a good idea, but would we get the great pics you have accompanying your posts in the paper format? lots of pics would greatly increase the printing costs I would imagine.
    If it was reasonably priced, I’d happily buy one for my coffee table, even though I’ve read the lions share of your posts, especially from 2008.

  13. Sad to say, Probably not.
    The science books I buy combine a narrative about something outside of science with the inner workings of the science itself. Snowball Earth was a great example. Some others could be Evolution -v- Creationism/ID. Climate Change and social policy. Peak oil and technical solutions. The drama outside of the science itself is what will lure me to plunk down some dollars.

  14. Yep if reasonably priced. I like reading real books no matter I have read the same things on the Internet or not. May buy for a friend or two coz not many of my friends appreciate the beauty of science (or of English).

  15. Totally. I love the blog but haven’t read many (my sister just told me about it a few weeks ago). I’d buy it for myself. And maybe for the aforementioned sister… =)

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