While there will always be a demand for printed books, few of those books will have a life entirely disconnected from the wider digital Web. In that sense, all publishing is becoming digital publishing, and all writing is writing for the Web. That’s a big shift, and it will take time for the existing players to make the transition (and we’ll almost certainly lose some along the way). For now, here’s a roundup of where things stand for us at O’Reilly on the ebook front:
- David Pogue’s iPhone: The Missing Manual is now available as an App in the iPhone App Store. It’s available for a limited time at an introductory price of $4.99 (the regular price will be $9.99). The App was built by Lexcycle, creators of the popular Stanza App, so you get the same rich reading experience (including live linking and cross references) as when you read our other books on Stanza. More titles will follow in the coming weeks.
- More than 130 titles, including many of our best sellers, are now available as ebook bundles, which can be read on a variety of ebook devices and systems, including Stanza on the iPhone, Bookworm, Amazon Kindle, and the Sony Reader. A full list is available at oreilly.com/ebooks, and includes the following:
- Learning Python, 3ed
- High Performance Web Sites
- Rails Cookbook
- Beautiful Code
We’re working to release the bulk of our backlist as ebook bundles during the next 90 days.
- All of our in-print Head First books will be available for purchase as PDFs within the next 24 hours (two of them already are via the Rough Cuts program). Those of you familiar with our Head First titles know their layout would not translate well to reflowable formats like EPUB. We regularly evaluate alternatives, but in the interim, we’re happy to finally deliver something a lot of customers have requested–the option to purchase Head First books in digital form.
- In total, more than 700 of our books are currently available for sale as DRM-free PDFs or Ebook bundles (and even more are available through Safari Books Online). As more Ebook bundles become available, those are included as free updates for anyone who’s already purchased just the PDF from oreilly.com.
- Our “Media Management” account pages for customers who have purchased ebooks from oreilly.com are now much more mobile-device friendly, and are accessible from oreilly.com/e. A screenshot from my iPhone below:
In the coming months we’ll be working to make more of our new book content mobile-friendly, better integrate our book content with the Web, and continue exploring how to deliver our content in ways that take advantage of all that being digital has to offer.
If you’re a publisher trying to figure out how to deal with digital, registration is open for our 2009 Tools of Change for Publishing Conference. Lexcycle’s Marc Prud’hommeaux and Neelan Choksi will both be speaking. New York area publishers should also check out StartWithXML, our one-day forum deep-diving into how and why to move to flexible formats for more nimble book content.
Questions? Comments? Drop us a line through Get Satisfaction