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Tag: lulu

Shameless Self-Promotion

It looks like I’m off the hook and can relax (after a few months of rewriting/correcting/learning LaTeX-quirks). To all of you NeverEndingBooks readers : the bookproject has ended and will appear sometime this fall. It will be around 600 pages thick and cost just under 100$. This is about 4 times the amount NeverEndingBook-ers paid over at To all (?!) those who did : treasure the two volumes, they will become (extremely rare) collectors’ items, one fine day. Here is the final cover-design :

Compare it to the covers produced two years ago by the NeverEndingBooks-design department (thanks again Jan and the rest of the crew).

The final fight was over the promotional material. The copywriters did include the captivating sentence “A Novel Approach to Difficult Cases in Mathematics and Physics”… Here’s my reply

I realize Im a difficult (some say hopeless) case, but there is little point advertising this. Here a few alternatives that may require spicing-up

“A gentle introduction to one of mathematics’ (and even physics’) hottest topics”
“A novel approach to noncommutative geometry”
“Get rid of singularities by going noncommutative!”
“The first readable text on an over-hyped topic…”
etc. etc.

I can do better if I have to, so please tell me and I’ll open up a bottle of wine.
Whatever you do, please remove the difficult cases-sentence from all material.

atb+apologies :: lieven.

UPDATE (august 1st) : if you want to order the book for your university-library, have a look at the promo flyer. All my suggestions (apart from the last one) are included…

One final comment about all of this. The project started as a bookproject with the AMS in 1999 and was abandoned (for a variety of reasons, all of them only relevant to myself) sometime early 2002.

Here’s the one thing that will hurt for some time to come. I wanted to dedicate the book to “the women in my life : my mother, Ann, Gitte&Bente”. Unfortunately, my mother will never see the book. The current dedication is :

This book is dedicated to the women in my life
Simonne Stevens (1926-2004), Ann, Gitte&Bente


work in progress

The third volume in the NeverEndingBooks-series will be written by Geert Van de Weyer and will
be about (double) Poisson structures in the noncommutative world. Volume
4&5 are becoming clearer every day and if you think you have a
project fitting in this series, you can always email to

As for the NeverEndingBooks-URL, I will
probably close this blog by the end of the month (at its first
birthday). The main reason is that I found out that it takes several
people to maintain a mathematical blog for some time. So, if you want to
co-author a group-blog on noncommutative algebra and/or noncommutative
geometry, please [email me][5] (or even better, leave a comment here so
that other people may be willing to join in too) and if there is enough
critical mass to go ahead with the plan I will be happy to set up a
group-blog at

this URL I’ll probably put a frontpage for the book-series we started
and which you can buy at all times via It will contain errata- and suggestions-pages for each volume and
details about forthcoming books, links etc… Btw. it would probably
be a good commercial move to delete TheLibrary links sooner, now that
even String Theorists are driven to this site via
Lazariou’s paper On
the non-commutative geometry of topological D-branes

As my
main objective next year will be to write courses (from first year down
to post-doc level) I will set up (again) a Moodle site (mainly in English,
although UA-students will be free to add to it in Dutch). News about it
will be posted eventually at my regular, but forgotten
and perhaps here.

Once again, if you are interested
to contribute at unregular intervals to a noncommutative group-blog,
please leave a comment!

[3]: mailto:
[5]: mailto:

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A quick reply to some of the comments
to the lulu/neverendingbooks post.

_Are they also
responsible for the graphical design in your books ?_ No! In fact it
was one of the more pleasant experiences of the last couple of weeks to
develop our own format, LaTeX-style and covers. The usual gang had their
say in all of this but it is only fair to say that Jan did most of the work. We developed
the cover-concept (that is, macro shots of games in duotones and placing
of titles etc) by trial and error. Jan is responsible for the
photo-shoot, I did choose the shots to be used and did the initial
coloring and placing of titles and left the final tweaking to Jan, who
did some lay-out work before. We, at least, are happy with the
result… As mentioned before, the LaTeX-style sheets were made
using the
memoir package

_Who is responsible for trying to sell
the book, you or them?_ I dont think we are doing great efforts to
try to sell the books, yet. Up to now, you can only get to the
book-sites via this blog or via my homepage. Lulu claims that they will only make
money if we do… and as this is clearly sales-talk (they make money
on every book they print) it involves no (or a very small) financial
risk on our part. Anyone who wants to have a copy of one of our books,
orders them at Lulu, they print it and ship it to you. But beware! They
have several shipping options and for most of them it costs you more to
get them shipped than to buy the books… In fact, that was the main
reason why we didnt put the URL online before we had two volumes out.
The reason being that if you buy for over 25dollars you can have them
shipped via their “SuperSaver” option, that is, shipping is free (but
probably slow). But, based on my own experience it works well (I ordered
a few copies of book 1 via SuperSaver and another one via their
InternationalShipment and got the free SuperSaver package a day before
the costly other shipment…). Our real investment is that we have
bought ISBN-numbers for the books (at a price of 35dollars/book) and
hope to earn this back from a small royalty we get from each book (the
Lulu-rule is that they get 25% of any royalties you set). Even though we
are not entirely happy with the distribution process we opted for this
series for an unusual book-format making it handy and fun to use (the
square 7.5 x 7.5 inch format is very pleasing to read and the
coil-binding makes it extremely handy to lay flat on the table). So we
view this series as a student-edition of the books and we keep them as
cheap as possible. At a later stage it may happen that we will also have
a library-edition of the books which will have global distribution
(meaning that you can order them via Amazon or your local bookshop). For
this to work, you have not so much freedom in your book-format and can
only have regular binding. Besides, buying such a global-ISBN is more
costly and will make this edition (a lot) more expensive. But, as you
can see from the picture, the books get printed and shipped and look
VERY nice. In fact, of the few copies I ordered, I had to hand out
already two because some people just liked the feel and touch of it. I
think, people will only gradually be willing to buy their own copy when
(1) they have glanced through a copy at some meeting or seminar and (2)
if more volumes come out and they have a greater choice in bying 2
volumes to get free shipping. On this last issue : already three people
have expressed interest in writing a book in our series. My own hunch is
that the next book out will have to do with Poisson noncommutative
geometry and will have a macro shot of a war-game on its cover (authors
can give suggestions for which games they want on their cover), curious
how this will work out…

_How many have you sold so
far?_ Well, not enough so far to get our ISBN-investment back…
But, once again, I think it will take some time for people to trust the
series enough to buy a volume or two. In the first week we made the URL
available we sold 16 books, so if you want to increase our sales-index
please do by going to this
for the first volume and to this page for the second
volume. But perhaps it is easier to bookmark the lulu/neverendingbooks if
you want the latest news on the series. I”ll keep you posted on our
sales via this page. If you buy a book and like the result, please tell
others about it (or even better, let them see and feel the copy.
Hopefully you will get it back…)

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