It seems that technical publishers are just starting to catch on to the eReader generation. With Google's continued generation of electronic books from the world's publishers, and an agreement in place to compensate authors for copyrighted material, the world's books are going electronic.
Technical publishers, which I reviewed in a previous post, are starting to see that there is a profit in offering their libraries to the public electronically. They are enticing us with discounts on their electronic books. I thought I'd review these publishers along with where to find the discounted book deal.
My favorite publisher for technical books is Apress. There's something about that yellow and black cover that just appeals to my aesthetic senses, and I know underneath the hood, I'm in for a well written technical read.
Apress has a huge collection of published material. They have started offering an ebook "Deal of the Day" in which they randomly select one of their titles and offer it for sale, electronically, for $10. Considering most of their books range from $20 to $40 for the book, this is a good deal. The "Deal of the Day," being a random selection, means you have to visit the site every day to see if a book your interested in is being offered. It's worth a quick visit.
Apress offers their collection as pdf's, not the ideal format. However, if you read my MartView posting, you'll see that reading PDF's is becoming easier. I contacted Apress last month and asked them to offer their books in an ePub format, so we could enjoy their books with our eReaders. They responded that they were working on doing just that, and were hoping to offer ePub books some time this fall. I am eagerly anticipating Apress books in the ePub format. Go Apress.
Next we come to O'Reilly, probably the biggest publisher of technical books. They also offer an "Ebook Deal of the Day." Just like Apress, this is a one day random deal. O'Reilly's price is a little higher at $14.99. I looked up today's deal on Amazon and found the same book priced at $31.49, so this is a discount. O'Reily has gone to the next level in electronic publishing, they offer their books in four formats, all DRM free. You can get books in PDF, .epub, Kindle-compatible .mobi, and Android .apk. Ditch the PDF and go for the format that fits your eReader, and you can have a nice fall read on your eReader. Their format offering is impressive.
The next publisher entering this game is Manning Publications, the publisher of the "...in Action" technical books. Their "Deal of the Day" is priced at $15, and they offer to send you an email each day with the current day's selection.
Manning is converting all their titles to a format that is friendly to your eReader, no matter what eReader you have. They are converting their entire collection to .mobi for the Kindle, and ePub for the rest of the eReaders. Since they are in the process of converting titles, you want to check which titles are converted. They have a list on their web site. If you purchase one format, you can get another format once it is converted.
Manning has taken a bold, and much encouraged move, of allowing the purchaser of their physical books to also have access to the book electronically in any format they want for free. To garner this advantage, you'll need to purchase the actual book from their web site, not Amazon, so they have a record of your purchase, then you can download the electronic version. I applaud this decision and encourage it with all publishers.
Other publishers offer their books electronically, but don't have the deals of the above three.
Wrox only uses the PDF format, and they do not give you a discount on eBooks. You pay full price for the electronic version which is almost the same price as the physical book, ugh!
PackT offers you a 40% discount off their physical books, but the price ends up not being that much of a discount compared to the other publishers. They entice you with a "Deal of the Week," but its the same discount as every ebook in their collection. So there is nothing special about their "Deal of the Week." They only use a PDF format.
Murach has taken, I beleive, a misplaced and different approach. They require you download a "LockLizard Viewer" to view their eBooks. The key word is "lock." That word alone makes me want to forget even considering their eBooks. There pricing is the same as the hard book. At this writing, I don't recommend them.
Take advantage of the Apress, O'Reilly, and Manning special offerings. If your a collector of technical books, this may be a chance to gradually fill out your eBook collection at reasonable prices.