Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Orbital Mechanics Coloring Book 2nd edition

March 15, 2020 edit: Kickstarter  page is up

Here is my Kickstarter page. I launched the Kickstarter on March 14 (Pi Day). It is an opportunity to pre-order the coloring book, $10 $15 will get the coloring book shipped to a U.S. address, $20 $25 to addresses outside of the U.S. The Kickstarter goal is $519. If I can sell that many books in a month's time that gives me some confidence I won't be losing my shirt printing 4,000 books.

I made some errors setting up the rewards. I am double charging for shipping. So I am offering to toss in items to compensate for the over charge.


The folks making the first edition went belly up. So the first edition is out of print. I want to do a second edition. The makers of the first edition would print it in batches of around 50 (I believe) and cost of printing was $6.00/book. Suggested Retail Price was $10.00.

Checking my Amazon author's page over the years I believe around 2000 coloring books were sold. When you get into quantities in the thousands, set up costs of traditional printing are amortized over more units and traditional lithographic printing is cheaper.

I recently asked for quotes:

Given the small cost difference between 56 and 64 pages, I've decided to go for 64 pages.

The first edition was 40 pages. Given the new book has 24 more pages and the cost is a lot less, I believe it's a good gamble I can sell 4000 2nd edition coloring books.

I'm thinking of an Suggested Retail Price of $5.00 and to retailers I would charge $3.00.

Sadly the past decade or two hasn't been kind to the newspaper industry. Our weekly newspaper is still hanging on but my sister and business partner likes to say we're in the buggy whip business.

New in the second edition

Given 24 more pages I can add a lot of extra stuff. I've kept most of the original 40 pages and added:

Page 18

In the section on Kepler's 2nd Law I've added a visualization that helps show r X v is twice the area swept out over a given time period. That specific angular momentum is twice the area of the ellipse per orbital period.

Page 22

Page 22 attempts to portray my visualization that helps me remember centrifugal acceleration is ω2r.

Pages 28 and 29

Attempts to explain radians and to show circular motion is ωr where ω is angular velocity in radians.

Pages 30 to 35

Are devoted to orbital vertical tethers. I am going to try to start calling these Sarmount tethers as I have recently learned Eagle Sarmount proposed these in the 1990s.

Perhaps science fiction device but I like them any way. The geometry and math associated with these is pleasing, in my opinion. Here are two pages from this section:

Pages 49 - 51

Are about the Oberth Benefit and EML2

Pages 51 - 52

Are about the rocket equation and mass fractions.

Pages 53 to 63

Will look at thrust vs exhaust velocity, dynamic pressure and the need to make a rapid ascent from a planetary surface to avoid gravity loss.

Page 64

Will be resources that have helped me. Books, websites, forums. Atomic Rockets, NasaSpaceflightForums, Space Stack Exchange, Tough SF and others. I am adding to this list as more occur to me.

Front and back cover

Front and back cover will be a couple of my more playful drawings. Also text for delta V map, Suggested Retail Price, ISBN number and barcode. The section on Dandelin Spheres remains in the coloring book and the front cover will one of the Dandelin drawings colored in.

The earlier book was labeled a workbook. The printers of the first edition told me this was because ISBN numbers for workbooks are free. However I want this book to be playful as well as informative. In my opinion something categorized as a coloring book is more marketable than a workbook.

Inside front cover

Will be my favorite equations. The Vis Viva Equation will be at the top. I've been thinking of making a reference sheet to pin to the wall next to my computer. This would serve.

Here is the coloring book as of  March 2020 (6.4 MB pdf, not too big). Reviews would be appreciated. Steven Pietroban invested a fair amount of time looking over the first edition and found many small errors and a few substantial errors. Given my tendency to make misteaks, I'm sure there are errors hiding in my more recent effort. A heads up would be much appreciated if you see something wrong.

I will take down the free online PDF if I am successful in getting the coloring book printed.

My email is hopd at cunews dot info.