Vanity project

I haven’t written a book. And this is it.

Cover photo

Well, I did write it of course. The words are mine. But there is nothing new here. I’ve just pulled together a selection of my blog posts from the last six years and self-published it as a hard-back book titled A Thousand Nothings using the services of It wasn’t that hard.

Still. It is a bit… awkward. I’m telling myself that I have done this for my parents, which is why the book has been rushed out in time for Christmas. But truth be told, I was also curious to see what a book by me might look like. And maybe, just maybe, it might entice a few more readers to my blog.

Anyway, here is the blurb I came up with for the back cover:

“I won’t promise to post regularly; that way I will avoid the repetition of future apologies for failing to write. I won’t promise to be unembarrassed to admit that I am a blogger. I won’t promise to have anything terribly insightful to say. But I will share my experiences of science – such as they are and as frankly as I can.”

With these words Professor Stephen Curry started writing his science blog in 2008. His aim was to demystify the business of being a scientist working in the UK in the 21st century but the journey turned out to be much more engaging than he had ever imagined. This book contains a personal selection of his most interesting and significant blog posts. It is probably too long.”

All of my proceeds from this vain endeavour will be donated to Amnesty International. If I detect the faintest sniff of interest, I will try to come up with an ebook version. I’m also publishing the book under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence so there is an open access version available as a PDF (8.9 MB).

I don’t know why I feel so exposed.


Update, 08 March 2015: I finally got around to formatting the book so that if could be made available as a ebook, which is now on sale for just £0.99 at  I also took the opportunity to trawl through the text to weed out residual typos and errors. These changes have also been made to the printed and open access versions.


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10 Responses to Vanity project

  1. Bravo and congratulations. Came here after tripping over the cover photo on Flickr. 🙂

    But… link to the Lulu book? Please?

  2. Interesting. I’d thought of doing that, though with 386 posts (and 17 pages) it might take more than on volume.

    But what happens to all the embedded links in a printed version?

    • Stephen says:

      Links are lost in the print version — unless you go through and laboriously convert them to footnotes, which I didn’t do. This may lead to some strange effects since the posts were written with the assumption that links would be obvious. I’ve warned the reader about this in the introduction.

      However, the links are retained in the PDF that I’ve made freely available. I’m not sure if they can also be retained in an ebook version. Not looked at that yet.

  3. Steve Caplan says:

    I thought it fascinating that you comment “maybe it might entice a few more readers to my blog,” whereas when I write a blog, I always hope it might entice readers to read my novels…

  4. Mike Taylor says:


    First, congratulations.

    Second, my experience with the (very modest) sales of my own book was that e-books outsell hardcopies by a huge factor — definitely more then ten, possibly as much as 100. So I highly recommend that you do make an e-book edition.

    Third: good luck!

    • Stephen says:

      Thanks for the tip Mike. Have had a go this evening but not quite got to the point where I am happy with the layout. It seems a bit fiddly. But I should be able to sort something and it will definitely be a lot cheaper than the hardback.

  5. cromercrox says:


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