We’ve had a few requests recently for information on the status of the 9th edition of Ben Long’s Complete Digital Photography, so it seemed to be the right time for an update.
While I really do wish that the new edition was finished and ready for sale, I can tell you that the book’s production is well underway. Ben has been diligently working on the book for a while now, and I’ve started on the editing and the design side. The biggest challenge for Ben has been the change in the postproduction landscape since the 8th edition, which has meant that most of those chapters need to be rewritten from scratch.
On the publishing side, we’ve been obsessed about keeping the book size down—the 8th edition was more than 600 pages—so that we can offer a full-color book at a reasonable price. The realities of today’s on-demand book-printing market result in extremely high prices for large-size, full-color books, and we don’t want that any more than readers do. We looked at a few options for keeping costs down, including splitting the book into two volumes (shooting and postproduction) and printing it in black and white (which saves considerable money, but doesn’t help when talking about things like color correction). In the end, we decided to trim some older, outdated content (do people these days really need a 30-page chapter on transferring photos to their computer?) and keep the book tightly focused on its stated goal of helping people to take better pictures through a study of technology, composition, and editing.
We’re hoping to get a large portion of the book edited and into layout pages in August and September. If we’re able to do that, Ben and I believe that we can reach our target goal of late November for the print edition. The ePub version will require a little bit of extra TLC, given the extensive number of images and additional content, but it should be ready for sale by the end of the year, if all goes as planned. (We will offer a special print/ebook combo to folks here on the CDP website.)
We know that this doesn’t help people who have been looking forward to the new edition, especially those educators looking for an updated version of their textbook, but we’re confident that the 9th edition of Complete Digital Photography will be fresh and new, and not just a token rewrite.
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