Arcand/Watzke: Magnitude

Magnitude cover

Magnitude cover

MAGNITUDE: THE SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE
Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke (NASW member)
Black Dog & Leventhal/Hachette, November 7, 2017, $27.99
ISBN-10: 031650291X; ISBN-13: 978-0316502917

Watzke reports:

Magnitude: The Scale of the Universe takes readers on a journey to explore the lightest and heaviest, fastest and slowest, hottest and coldest, largest and smallest, loudest and quietest phenomena in the Universe. The book is broken into four sections — size and quantity (distance, area, volume, mass, time, and temperature); rates and ratios (speed, acceleration, density, and rotation); phenomena and processes (energy, pressure, and sound); and computation — to bring these difficult concepts within reach. Inspired by the film "Powers of Ten" by Charles and Ray Eames, Magnitude uses everyday experiences as jumping-off points for the extremes we find in nature and through technology.

For Magnitude, we returned to Black Dog & Leventhal, which published our previous book, Light: The Visible Spectrum and Beyond. Having this ongoing relationship with Black Dog made the entire process very smooth. We did write a proposal, but it was more of iterative process with our editor, Becky Koh, who did a wonderful job on Light. Unlike our previous books, this one used an outside illustrator, the amazingly talented Katie Peek. This made the project different enough to be a bit scary — in a good way!

About three months prior to publication of Magnitude, we started trying to complement and amplify the publisher’s publicity plans. We wrote several articles that connected various current events to the book’s themes and ideas in outlets such as The Huffington Post, Medium, and Forbes.com. We pushed these out via social media, and did small giveaways and promotions to get early buzz going about the book.

This is the fourth book that my co-author, Kimberly Arcand, and I have written together since 2013. We’ve been with the same agency the entire time. Kim and I have worked in the communications group for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory together for over 17 years. Our books seem to be a natural extension of the mind meld that comes from being colleagues for so many years. We are excited to see where Magnitude goes and where it might take our collaboration next.

Contact info:

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