thank you for your request by PM. i'll answer here as two others like to promote this idea of a autopano book.
first let me say that i feel honored by your request
i think it's a very nice idea as a real handbook is a very different thing compared to that what most software companies deliver as documentation. that's not at all meant offending to any software company. they usually see a program from the technical structure it has. as i wrote 3 books about photoshop and one about panoramic photography which i'm currently updating for a 2nd edition i know this very well.
these circumstances are creating the market for such books.
i'm happy to see the panorama book i wrote is now considered widely as the standard book on this topic in the german speaking countries. it's selling very well, but it's nevertheless a very, very small market.
one resaon for my books success in this very tiny market segment is the braod overview about nearly all practical aspects of panoramic photography. that generated an audience which is sufficently big enough to make economic sense to such a book.
to write a book about one
program or the software only from one
company. so a book about autopano would be a very special book in a very special area of photography. i think even written in english it would be very difficult to estimate an economic success of such a book. i hardly can imagine any editor taking this risk.
to answer another question which occurred here: galileo isn't publishing any english books in it's design / photography segment. i did some research on other publishing companies related to this topic but with no success.
as i have some experiences with alternative forms of publishing and community approaches for generating content in collaboration let me take a closer look at the idea posted by mcapellari
, which suggests an open book written by a community.
i'm a friend of all open source things but autopano is a commercial software and why shouldn't a reasonable handbook be commercial too?
such a book is a lot of work. dividing this into managable pieces is a good idea.
of course it's difficult to handle the quality control. this can be a pretty hard democratic and social challenge for a community
technically it's no problem to set up a platform to do this. an approved solution is the book function in drupal (a very wellknown content management system): http://drupal.org/documentation/modules/book
. here you can work top down from a table of content to chapters and sub-schapters etc. this platform can be the way to deliver the content, but it needn't to be. having all the structured data of such a book collected at the end of writing, it can be exported to other tools for making an ebook, a pdf or an apple ibook.
electronic publishing hasn't these high economic risks printed publications have and i think this could be a way to generate some earnings for all contributing people. the investments are pretty low. for an ibook one person needs an apple developer account (~100 EUR / year), for an adobe folio made with indesign and digital publishing suite it's ~400 EUR + apple dev account for the person managing the publishing process itself.
especially the adobe folios (delivered as viewer app + content via itunes) has a lot of interactive features which are pretty usefull for demonstrating the work on panoramic photography and related software.
i myself am too busy now and in the future i can oversee from now as i would be able to write such a book. as i'm partly make my living from my work as an author the economic risk is to high for me.
i think a collaborative approach would be more the way to go, if such a handbook on autopano software should be written.
i cannot promise anything now, but it i can imagine to act as a kind of "editor in chief"
in such a project to keep an overview about the content structure and on the overall quality of the book.
these are some thoughts on your ideas. i'm subcribing to this thread the keep me updated what you think about it.