Latitude 28 Design and Marketing, Graphic Design for Business, Marketing Communications, Marketing Consultation
Elsewhere:||Reality Check Publishing|||"150 Tips For Better Gas Mileage" ebook



This part of our Portfolio presents books that Luke Melton has authored and had published.

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Published Books

150 Tips for Better Gas Mileage

The Complete Loran-C Handbook

Piloting With Electronics

Celestial Navigation The Easy Way: A Self-Study Guide





I have been writing since a child, and am the author and illustrator of several books:

My most recent book, 150 Tips For Better Gas Mileage, published in 2012 by Reality Check Publishing, Clearwater, Florida, was written to help beleagered drivers, who are currently paying truly preposterous prices for gas, save money at the pump. The book gathers together over 150 real-world techniques for wringing the most mileage from every gallon a driver pumps into his or her gas tank. If drivers learn to effectively use a number of these techniques in combination, they can reasonably expect to increase their mileage by as much as 3-5 miles per gallon.

150 Tips... is my first digitally-published book. I originally intended it to be an ebook, to be downloadable as a PDF file from my own website; then I decided to offer the book in printed form, as well. So I reformatted the PDF version to comply with the print specifications of CreateSpace (, Amazon's print subsidiary.

I had CreateSpace print one version of the book with a full-color interior, and a second version with a greyscale interior. Finally, I converted the PDF version to the requisite Kindle format.

As a result, 150 Tips For Better Gas Mileage is currently available in four formats: a full-color printed book, a greyscale printed book, a digital PDF downloadable ebook, and a Kindle ebook.

I wrote 150 Tips For Better Gas Mileage in its entirety, and created all the ilustrations. I also took some of the photos in the book, but many photos were obtained from royalty-free photo sources.

For more information about 150 Tips For Better Gas Mileage,
or to purchase a copy, please visit:

To learn more about this timely book
and purchase it at, go to:

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The Complete Loran-C Handbook, published in
1986 by International Marine Publishing, Camden, ME.

Based on lesson plans I had developed to teach
a course in Loran-C navigation at the Sea School in
St. Petersburg, Florida, this book provides a complete
technical description of the Loran-C coastal navigation
system, which for decades was the primary naviga-
tional tool used by sailors plying coastal and near
offshore waters throughout the world.

The Complete Loran-C Handbook also provided
readers with detailed instructions and examples for
how to properly use the Loran-C system to safely
navigate coastal waters, including descriptions of
potential problems and errors.

The Complete Loran-C Handbook was one of the most successful "cross-over" books published by International Marine Publishing, a major national publisher of books
on strictly marine subjects. "Cross-over" meant that the book was popular with owners of both sailing and motor yachts.

I took the majority of photos used in the book, and drew all the illustrations by hand (the book was written in the days before I was introduced to the Macintosh).

First published in 1986, the book went through three editions before going out of print in 1996. The primary reason the book was remaindered was that The Loran-C system was deactivated, to be replaced by the Global Positioning System (GPS), which as made possible by our fine modern network of position-indicating satellites.

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Piloting with Electronics
, published in 1987 by
International Marine Publishing, Camden, ME.

Part of International Marine Publishing's popular
"Seamanship Series," Piloting With Electronics
looks in detail at the wide variety of instruments avail-
able to mariners for navigating coastal waters,
including fully manual instruments, such as lead lines
and compasses, and electrical and electronic instru-
ments, such as depth sounders, knot meters, radar,
Loran-C and the then newly-emerging Global Position-
ing System.

In the book, I discuss the operation and use of each
instrument individually, detailing both its strengths
and weaknesses. At the end of the book, I look at
how the instruments discussed can be effectively used
in concert to provide coastwise navigators with all the
real-time data they need to ascertain an accurate
position while underway and to avoid running aground.

As with The Complete Loran-C Handbook, I took the most of the photos and hand-drew all of the illstratons.

First published in 1987, Piloting With Electronics went through three editions before being remaindered in 1997. Again, satellite-based marine navigation spelled the death knell for many older forms of navigating.

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Celestial Navigation The Easy Way: A Self-Study Guide, published in 1984 by The Sea School, St. Petersburg, FL.

I originally wrote Celestial Navigation The Easy Way: A Self-Study Guide to provide myself with a carefully structured textbook with which I could teach the subject of celestial navigation. At the time, I was a Loran-C instructor at the Sea School, a commercial business whose primary focus was helping recreational boaters obtain their Commercial Captain's License. One branch of the school, however, offered courses for commercial seamen, such as captains of commercial tankers, freighters, shrimpboats, and the like.

One of the most popular commercial courses was the Celestial Navigation course. That was because skippers of tankers and freighters were required to pass a ten-question exam on celestial navigation before the Coast Guard would certify them as competent to take their vessels more than 200 nautical miles offshore. For example, without the celestial endorsement on his or her license, a professional freighter captain could not take his boat from the U.S. to Japan to pick up a load of Toyotas. Nor could a tanker skipper travel to Kuwait to pick up a load of crude oil. In other words, for professional ship drivers the celestial endorsement on their commerical licenses was extremely important to their maritime careers and livelihoods.

The Celestial Nav test was widely regarded as one of the most difficult required by the Coast Guard. It consisted of ten questions, and only one wrong answer was permitted. The challenge in teaching the course was to sufficiently cover in a two week-long preparatory course a very complicated subject. The exam covered not only the theory of navigating by celestial sightings, but required the test taker to work a series of complicated plotting problems in which celestial sight data was provided and from which the test taker had to calculate his or her position with great accuracy. Adding to the difficulty of teaching the subject was the fact that many of my students had only finished high school and often had limited math and conceptual skills.

Since I was unable to find an existing text that was suitable for the unique way in which celestial navigation had to be taught so that we could almost guarantee that students would pass the Coast Guard test, I was forced to write the textbook myself...from scratch. With it, we passed an average of 92% of our students on their first attempt at the Coast Guard exam. Nearly all those who failed the first sitting passed on their second try.

The textbook, and the Celestial Navigation The Easy Way: A Self-Study Guide book that grew from it, approached teaching the convoluted subject from the standpoint of enabling each student to study and proceed at his or her own rate. Concepts were carefully defined and exhaustively illustrated, and each chapter ended with a written examination consisting of ten questions which mimiced those students would encounter on the Coast Guard exam.

In all modesty, I believe Celestial Navigation The Easy Way: A Self-Study Guide is the most effective, understandable and usable introduction available for not only passing the Coast Guard test but also for learning how to navigate by the sun, stars and planets in the real world — aboard one's own vessel, and as a backup skill to using today's ubiquitous satellite and GPS navigation systems.

As with The Complete Loran-C Handbook and Piloting With Electronics, I took the majority of the photos for the book and hand-drew all of the illustrations.

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I am currently writing my fifth book, which is provisionally titled Living In The Cosmic Neighborhood. The subject of the book is the natural morality that grows out of a deep awareness on the part of a human being of his or her intimate connection with everything in the Cosmos, and the impact such an awareness has on a person's life. I am about three-quarters of the way to completion of writing the initial text.

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For a number of years I have also been a frequent contributor to a number of commercial maritime publications, including:

Ocean Navigator magazine

Sailing magazine

The Sailors Gazette magazine

Cruising World magazine

Yacht Vacations magazine

Florida Waterways magazine

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