Friday, August 23, 2013
Three Books (or Two plus a Second Edition) in Three Years
I plotted the year of when my books appeared, but started the chart with when I entered college (Columbia) and and then when I received my PhD (in physics). [See below. I have also included fellowships and grants for research time.] One year two books appeared, and I have "three" books in a row recently (two new ones plus a second edition), with a promised fourth (also a second edition) coming up. Since two of these are second editions, I counted them as 0.8 books, and the promised book is 1/2 of 0.8. So one of the three books in the topic of the post is a second edition. Four of the books are about mathematical modeling, four are about theory of planning and design, and the most recent reflects years of service on our university's promotion and tenure committee
It took seven or eight years to find a publisher for my first book, the second was a product of a research grant (with some of its chapters already in journals, but not most). The third took a while to find a publisher and includes one or two published chapters but most were not previously published. The fourth and fifth happened to appear the same year; one was written three years earlier, the other was something I did on the side for perhaps six or seven years. The 2000 book was driven by an article I published in 1973, and included subsequent work mostly unpublished, and it took forever to find a publisher. The next book was also written on the side, and after some frustration I did find a publisher but I had to give them camera-ready copy, as is done nowadays in mathematics and similar LaTex fields. The 2011 book again took a while to find a publisher. The next book was a second edition, and the publisher was quite happy to do it since the first edition sold reasonably well. The newest book was taken on the by the same publisher. In prospect is a contracted second edition of the 2003 book, and they are quite happy to do a second edition. In further prospect, and not on the chart is a book I wrote in 1979!, and I have yet to find a publisher (maybe it is not worth pressing any longer); and, another book that demands color printing and I have been shopping for a publisher for seven years. I am not sure there are any more books in prospect.
The hiatus between the first and second book reflected the fact that I did all the research for the second after the first appeared, and I had not found a publisher (still not) of the book drafted in 1979. The second hiatus again reflected years of research in a new field.