Update on the Young Atheists Book

Remember how my plan was to write the book over the summer? Well, I wrote about 90% of it over the summer and I figured I could fix up the rest of it after the school year began. I didn’t realize that once I got back into the classroom, it would be *really* hard to get back into writing mode…

Anyway, this weekend, I reread the manuscript after weeks of not thinking about it, removed a 5,000-word chapter that I spent two weeks writing because everyone told me it just didn’t flow with the rest of the book, made some changes to the other chapters based on the feedback of volunteer readers (thanks!), updated some of the stories I talk about, and fixed the chapter titles.

Much like with the posts on this site, I could change everything I write with each subsequent readthrough… so at some point, you just have to stop and call it a night. On the upside, after making the changes yesterday, I felt really proud with what I had written, so I sent the draft to my editor at Patheos Press. Yay! Now, it’s out of my hands for a little while.

The next steps:

  • Make changes after I get it back from her (hopefully not *too* many)
  • Double-check the 3894232 footnotes
  • Get the foreword written by someone awesome
  • Get blurbs
  • Get a cover

Question to all of you: There are a few websites I mention directly in the text (as opposed to the footnotes). Since it’ll be an e-book, would you rather see the URL written out or would it be better to see a QR Code directly in the text?

I’m hoping the book will be out soon, but I don’t have an exact date just yet. Still, I can’t wait for you to read it!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • eonL5

    Wow. I’ve never met anybody who ever used a QR code. Have you?

  • Eric Workman

    A URL is preferable.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeCascio Joe Cascio

    A QR code in an e-book doesn’t make much sense, seems to me. If you are reading it on your laptop or tablet, you aren’t going to want to use your phone to look at the web page. And if reading it on your phone, you can’t use the same phone to scan the code.
    Use a real link in the text that opens a new browser page so you can pop open the page with a click or tap.

  • jonathan

    no QR codes please

  • Dave Morgan

    As a general rule, go with the URL. No need for a QR code at all. QR codes are extremely limited in useful purpose anyway.

  • CoboWowbo

    I rather have the URL. 

  • jdm8

    A working hyperlink would be the best. A QR code would require you have a separate electronic device that can read it. If you’re reading it from your phone, then you’re screwed if it’s a QR code. I don’t know of any eReader that can read a QR code in the document it is showing you to know where to send you.

  • Metoo

    URL or hot link.

  • http://twitter.com/gneekman Dylan Caple

    I agree… A QR code would just be cumbersome in this context. They seem more useful on, say, posters or flyers. For an ebook you’re already using a device which is likely internet-enabled, so just use a good old-fashioned hyperlink. Maybe write out the URL too just to be safe.

  • Pisk_A_Dausen

    Adding my vote to using a URL for all the reasons already mentioned and
    the fact that I’d shy away from a book with migraine-inducing graphics
    on the pages. My eyes itch when I see those things at screen or poster distance, I don’t want them up close.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I’ve tried to.  I usually end up using google to find the thing I’m looking for instead.

  • allein

    I don’t even know what a QR code is, but I have a nook Simple Touch which does not have an actual browser (I can shop the B&N ebook store from the device but that’s it). I would need to be able to read the URL to type into my browser on the computer if I wanted to go to a website.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Good point, how about the full url, and if it’s long like Amazon links which put the kitchen sink in the url, also provide a shortened url in brackets for people to type in if that’s their only option.

  • Keith Collyer

    even if you have a QR code, you still need the URL.

  • Dwayne_Windham

    * URL
    * QR codes depend on outside sources / references and have not “caught on” as much as expected. Real links only.

  • http://truth-tables.com James Hotelling

     I second the “working hyperlink” idea. Although a QR code could technically be embedded as an image inside a link, it would just look weird, and anything a QR code does in an ebook, a link does better.

    Also, if you tell us it’s DRM-free, I am already willing to commit to handing over hard-earned cash in exchange for this volume.

  • Thomas Farrell

     He’s talking about dead tree media. It doesn’t have working hyperlinks.

  • Thomas Farrell

    I would put a QR code in a sidebar, or as a footnote, or just mention the web site by name and have an appendix that has URLs and QR codes for all the mentioned web sites.

  • Alt3

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an ebook format that doesn’t allow hyperlinks in the text, but if you’re talking about DTF, then just make a footnote with a QR code and full URL in it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SZYZHSPKTGSQBUYEBJCEQN4ZF4 Raymond

    At least some of us can’t access QR codes. 

  • Chakolate

    Can’t help you with the QR code, Hemant, but I’ll write the forward for you if you like.  I’m plenty awesome. 

    And modest, too.

  • lokicleo

    URLs are better.  I can’t imagine I’m the only one who doesn’t  have a smart phone to scan QR codes with. Also, I worked for a print & mail company, and we had a lot of trouble with QR codes in print- if they weren’t really big, some phones could read them and some could not. I don’t know if the resolution on the screen of an electronic device is better or worse for scanning, but I also think they are really ugly and detract from an otherwise nice layout. ;-)

  • allein

    Now that I know what a QR code is…I have to agree with this. I don’t have a smart phone, either. Also agree they are not aesthetically pleasing. :)

  • http://twitter.com/UAJamie Jamie Bernstein

    Wait a second, it’s not URL or QC. It’s only URL or both URL and QC code. Why not do both? If you’ve got your phone on you while reading, it makes it way easier to pull up the relative site or video, making the book interactive. It’s far simpler than trying to type in a long and complicated URL. And, you still have the option to type in the URL if you so desire. Richard Wiseman used them in his book Paranormality, which was perfect for easily being able to pull up relevant information on what you were reading about. 

  • Anonymous Atheist
  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    For individual products, yes, you’re right.  And that’s what would be in a book anyway.

    I was referring to the way Amazon uses the url for a great deal of state management, but that’s not particularly relevant.