I wrote the author of a very popular scientific book related to chemistry and physics and got a rather disturbing reply back. The book was first published around 10 years ago, with a second edition a few years later because the field was changing so quickly (not because the author was greedy as sometimes happens with widely used textbooks). So I wondered if a third edition was in the works and wrote the author.
I got the following (edited) response back.
” Alas, the energy and time to accomplish a 3rd edition has eluded me up to this point. And, bit torrent pirate copies haven’t exactly increased my motivation.”
So how often do you think other authors of good scientific books have similar thoughts (and behavior)? Statistics on this sort of thing will be impossible to get in the same way that negative results aren’t published.