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textbook update



The first printing of the textbook I use with my Prehistoric Life class 
is off the presses.  It looks cheap--lots of smudges, spots on the pages, 
some pages too light, some too dark, one diagram missing (just a blank 
space on the page)--but it costs a lot.  It turns out supposedly to fall 
within industry standards, so initially I thought we might be stuck with 
it.  But after considerable jawboning over the phone and discussion with 
Kendall/Hunt representative who came down to see me earlier this week, 
they have agreed to reprint it, for copies that would be sold outside my 
university; I had to agree to use up the first printing myself, so I AM 
stuck with it for a few semesters.  However, Kendall/Hunt did see that it 
might be counterproductive to send out review copies in that condition, 
and they even got a concession on cost from the contractor who actually 
ran off the pages and bound them; anybody involved would have to admit 
that the quality control was deficient.

In the mean time I have been reformatting it in a font that is 
considerably condensed from the original, but no less easy to read.  I am 
also finding various other tricks to make the next printing shorter by 
perhaps 20%, which should result in significant price reduction (price 
will be in the $30's from the publisher, but still over $40 in a 
university bookstore).  This also gives us a chance to correct the few 
typos that managed to sneak through the first time. In addition, I have 
an opportunity to add new information here and there which came out too 
late to incorporate into the first printing, such as the latest on 
Sinosauropteryx, Mononykus, and Protarcheopteryx integuments.  And, I'm 
always coming up with smoother language for explaining things, so I'm 
making a few changes in my prose where desirable.  I also found a simple 
error in fact that even I could see (!); don't know how that got in 
there, but I corrected the appropriate sentence, and hope I don't run 
across too many more of those.  Because of the changes, we may need to 
call it a second edition; it's "iffy", and there are industry guidelines 
to be followed.

Anyway, we are going to wait until the second printing (or edition) is 
done to make copies of any kind available outside of USI.  Second 
printings (editions) are always more polished than the first ones.  It 
will probably be ready near the end of March.  I'll be in touch with the 
people who contacted me off-line when it's time to put in an order for a 
personal or review copy.  Sorry for the delay, but I think it will be 
worth it.


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Norman R. King                                       tel:  (812) 464-1794
Department of Geosciences                            fax:  (812) 464-1960
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712                      e-mail:  nking.ucs@smtp.usi.edu