I had no idea that my book Painting the Web was going to be one of O’Reilly’s first batch of DRM-free eBooks. I was stunned to see it as one of the first 12 Kindle books O’Reilly has released.
Painting the Web does make a nice ebook. I think the graphics are better in a digital format rather than in print. I’m not quite sure, though, how the graphics will translate to a Kindle. I’ll probably buy a copy for my own Kindle, just to see what the book looks like on the device.
There was a group of us authors who had a discussion in the Kindle forums several months back, about books with figures. My suggestion at the time was that companies who publish books with lots of figures to the Kindle, should also provide a PDF or some other online copy of the book, or at least the figures, so that people have both—the Kindle for the text, and the other format to better see the figures. It sounds like O’Reilly is using this approach with the company’s ebook bundles: pay one price, and get the book in PDF, EPUB, and Kindle-compatible Mobipocket. So now, you can now read Painting the Web in Kindle, Sony’s ebook reader, on your computer, and yes, even on paper.
In addition to being able to read these books in about every environment known to humanity, the digital formats make it simple to add corrections to an existing book and have those corrections reflected immediately in the digital copy. This is the way of the future. I’m not saying paper books are going away, but I know I certainly don’t miss paper with my Kindle.
The DRM-free nature of the books is a gamble. Other publishers have started to put out DRM free books, too, such as some of the Sci-Fi houses like Tor and Baen. My being able to buy food and pay rent next year depends on how well this gamble pays off.
I’m pleased to see Painting the Web on both lists. This is a book I’m very fond of, and I like that it’s taking part in O’Reilly’s new venture. I was surprised, though, as I hadn’t been in any discussion with O’Reilly about the book being included.