O’Reilly and the goodies

Kathryn Barrett recently responded to an O’Reilly’s author who was unhappy about not having Safari Online access. I’ve seen these complaints before, which puzzle me because I’ve had Safari Online access since the online site was first launched. Which, I guess, means I’ve been an O’Reilly author for a long time.

O’Reilly is also good about sending us free books, which I appreciate. Reading what other people write on a topic helps ensure that I’m not covering too much of the same ground in any of my ongoing efforts. In addition, new stuff keeps my synapses shiny and sharp.

Instead of just passively receiving the books, as I’ve done in the past, I’ve decided to start writing reviews of some of the books I receive from O’Reilly. I’ll also write reviews of books sent from other publication companies. I like free books.

Kathryn also writes about the new author portal. I haven’t been making as much use of it as I should. The one aspect I really like, maintaining errata, isn’t fully operational, yet. As for the publicity pieces of the portal, much of my indifference to the site is because O’Reilly fosters a competitiveness between the authors I find off-putting. For instance, I am not a “five star” best selling author, and therefore I don’t rate the front page. I can see the company’s point of view, but it’s difficult enough being motivated without being constantly reminded that my books are not rated as high, nor selling as well as others.

The computer book industry is a different industry now than it was five years ago. I guess we either have to adapt, or leave.

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