More about the Ceph Care Book, now released


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
Our ceph care book, Cephalopods: Octopuses and Cuttlefish for the Home Aquarium, has now been released and is starting to ship this week (Oct. 27) So here's some more information you might find interesting:

Who is the audience for this book?You, the members of, anyone considerering buying an octopus or cutttlefish, and anyone who is interested in having a book with outstanding ceph photos and some other interesting material.

Is this a scientific book?No, it's a popular book for aquarium hobbyists, but we aim to be as scientifically accurate as possible.

The emphasis of the book is on keeping cephs, and we provide as much information as a hobbyist needs about the various species, anatomy etc. But we also expect you to refer to other sources for more information.

What are some of the special features of this book?
  • It is international in scope. For instance, the chapters on food are written so that no matter where you live, you'll be able to find a type of food for your octopus.
  • There are many interesting and sometimes entertaining little paragraphs (known as sidebars). Ollie stories were included by popular request.
  • We have included a chapter about situations you may encounter and how to respond (such as an octopus disappearing in your tank, or refusing to eat). This was drawn from problems we have seen over the years.
  • There is also a special chapter on Ceph History and Culture. Look for cthulhu77's Cthulhu illustration there, as well as ancient coins featuring octopuses!
  • You'll find excellent photos featuring hobbyist's cephs in their tanks as well as cephs in the wild. You'll see some of your favorites, such as Kalypso and Octane, as well many photos you've never seen before. We have a long list of contributors, but Roy Caldwell and Crissy Huffard had the most photos accepted.
Do you and Colin make money on each book sold?
No, as first time authors we took a lump sum payment.

How long did it take to write this book?
We first discussed writing a ceph book as early as 2002 and I even looked for a publisher, but there was little interest in cephs at that time. It seems like every year we had requests from members for such a book. Finally, after publishing articles in TFH magazine, we made a proposal to TFH for writing this book in the spring of 2007. They accepted our proposal. Deadline for submission of the manuscript was mid-April, 2008. We had a lot of editing, additions, checking and correcting to do from that date until July of 2008, when our book went off to printing. So, all in all, it's taken about a year and a half of fairly intensive work.

This thread is a good place to ask questions about the book and add comments!

Nancy (and Colin)
Just wanted to say congratulations on the book being released! I have a copy on order, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the heroic undertaking.
It is a real feather in the cap to even be a small part of the book, I am really looking forward to reading the serious part written by you two !

WHOOOO HOOO. Neal found Octane but I have not had time to do anything but briefly flip through some of the pictures and try to guess who took them. I will give it proper time this weekend!
Well, you're the first one to report having a copy! Hope Octane looks good.

I haven't seen the book yet. Many changes were made by the publisher after the last version I saw.

my amazon pre-order claims to have a delivery estimate of Nov 4th.
My copies arrived from TFH today! Thanks to TFH, our editor and book designer, and all the people who helped turn the manuscript into a beautiful book. The print quality is better than I'd hoped for and does justice to the excellent photos.

I'm going to make up a list so you know who the Tonmo photographers are (thier Tonmo names). Photos in this book come from researchers, hobbyists (mostly from Tonmo people), professional photographers and the files of TFH. It's a nice mixture. Wonderful full page and two-page photos, too.

Just received a notice that the copy I ordered from Amazon has just shipped. So those of you who ordered from Amazon should be getting your copies soon.

TFH Publications just emailed those of us who contributed photos saying that the book is shipping. This is the first time a publisher ever notified me that a publication to which I simply supplied images had been released. Nice touch (or I could be cynical and suspect that they want me to make several vanity purchases - I'll remain the optimist)). Congratulations to Nancy and Colin. Such a book was badly needed. Now if someone would just do one for stomatopods.

To those of you who've received Cephalopods: Octopuses and Cuttlefish for the Home Aquarium:
After you've looked through the book and read some of it, please consider going to and writing a review!

Thanks, Roy for the kind words. (Roy has some magnificent photos in our ceph book, including two 2-page spreads and at least five full-page octopus photos.)

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