A Request for Help or Coming of Age?

In the distant past I helped to give birth to several textbooks.  I wrote a lot of stuff in the easy days of the 90’s, when life was simpler and sleep was for wimps!  One of these textbooks has endured, the one closest to my heart.  It was written with my PhD twin – he was erosion and I was deposition – a friendship forged in the Cairngorms attempting to paint frozen pebbles on avalanche slopes that has endured for over 25 years.  Glacial Geology was first published in 1996 and a second edition was squeezed out between other projects in 2009.  The book still sells and still manages to delight its authors when found on a dusty shelf in academic bookshops; finding the book shop is the greater challenge these days however.  As a 17 year old the book is not in bad shape and I am intrigued by the idea of keeping it alive so that we can celebrate its twenty first birthday.  Having a tradition view on these things I am taking this landmark as 21 not 18 by the way.  In its life it has seen a lot of change in me, in higher education and in the field to which it provides a general introduction.  This change is the point of the post, in case you had begun to wonder?  My co-author and I have been approached by the publisher about a third edition, which is a daunting prospect given my lack of time, a problem shared by my co-author who holds a similarly challenging role in Wales.  The challenge is worse however since the publisher not only wants a new book, but also a fully interactive e-version with a website and learning resource.  Sadly it is to be a book for the modern digital age when paper and few good pictures are no longer enough.  So sitting in my in-box is a draft proposal from my co-author – curse his efficiency – with some suggestions about how we might approach the e-version; video clips of classic landforms, pod casts of key concepts, interactive diagrams which you can explore with your finger or mouse, and a hyper linked bibliography.  Neither Neil, nor I profess to be experts in this field and that is the purpose of this post, to seek your help.  What would you do?  What would you include? Where are there good examples that we can look at and follow?

2 Responses to “A Request for Help or Coming of Age?”

  1. Richard Berger

    Dear Matthew,

    David Gauntlett – formally of this parish – has a good way of blending web resources and his books. He tends to put a few chapters up on his website for free as well: