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Please make your titles available through Kindle!

The only thing that's holding me back from getting a Kindle is that there are no O'Reilly titles available. You'd get a lot more revenue out of me selling me titles for a Kindle than you will out of my (often lapsed) Safari subscription.
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  • 2
    Thanks for your vote in favor of our books being available for the Kindle. Have you had a chance to try the device yet? If so, please write back with your experience. Realize that the Kindle is not appropriate for all of our books. For example, because the Kindle has a gray scale screen, it can't display our digital media titles which rely on color. Our Head First series, which relies on complex layouts, is rendered unintelligible in the MobiPocket format. By no means is that all of our books, but it's something to be aware of.
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  • I'll repeat what I said in the other query on this same topic:

    We're glad to hear that there is interest in having books on the Kindle. We'll be quick to support it when Amazon allows PDFs, rather than requiring titles to be purchased only from Amazon in their proprietary and locked format.

    It seems to me to be a major mistake by amazon not to support PDF. But it's a mistake that is an intentional "strategy tax." They no doubt see the benefits that Apple gets from owning songs in their proprietary format. But they miss the fact that the iPod was possible because of its support for the ubiquitous mp3 format as well.

    Trying to control too much, you end up limiting the market. If Amazon supported pdf, this would be a big win for the device, and eventually they would sell enough materials in their proprietary format for that to be a valuable source of lock-in. But their first challenge is to get enough usage. And for that they need to support PDF. Then users can load their own documents onto the device.
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  • Just bought David Pogue's OSX Leopard, I am about thirty pages into in and the spines are falling apart, and pages are falling out. Not the first time this has happen with a book this thick. Great Content, however I wish the delivery system for this content could be view on my Kindle.

    What a great way to be able to read O'reilly books, on a Kindle.

    Please try to work out an arrangement with Amazon.
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  • Hi Sandy,

    Please send your mailing address and phone number to booktech@oreilly.com and describe the problem with your book and we'll send you a replacement copy.
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  • I love my kindle. I use it for holding all kinds of documents, and it's the perfect format for computer reference books.

    As for PDFs vs the locked file format, I completely agree.

    In the mean time, would it be possible to simply put out your own unlocked mobipocket files?

    Or something that us kindle users can convert directly into a kindle-friendly document? We can convert PDFs to kindle's format for free, with certain limitations of how good it is.

    E.g. Academic 2-column papers work pretty well, as do quite a few Manning PDF eBooks I've purchased. Problems come up with math-heavy papers and various forms of formatting (e.g. sidebars) that require more formatting than the kindle can do.
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  • 2
    Hello Lally. We're working as quickly as we can to make our books available for the Kindle. A couple of questions for you:

    1) From conversations with Amazon it seems that the Mobi format does not support the monospace fonts we use to represent code. Have you had any problems reading code in the Manning PDFs you've converted?

    2) Have you tried converting one of our PDFs to your Kindle? If so, how did it render for you? The attempt I tried didn't work at all.

    Most importantly, though, please know that we're working on a solution and we'll have something to announce soon.
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  • The formatting isn't pretty for code, but it's workable. Hopefully a library full of O'Reilly titles is enough to entice them to fix that? :-)

    I haven't tried an O'Reilly book yet. If there's a free one somewhere you'd like me to try out, I'd be happy to make an attempt.

    I'm glad to hear something's in the works. I don't think I have to press the value of compressing a few bookshelves into a tiny SD card that's available when I am and am not at my desk.

    Thanks!
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  • Lally, send me an email and I'll send you a file you can try. Mine is allen at oreilly dot com.
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  • First I would like to thank Chris Olson, for responding and replacing a book that was coming apart due to binding problems.

    It is refreshing today, to have a company respond to satisfy a customer the way that O'reilly has for me.

    With that said, I love my Kindle, the Kindle has elevated the amount of reading that I do, to a new level. I also would love to have the O'reilly library available in a Kindle format.

    More important, I would like to have the class available from O'reilly have the printed material that is necessary for the classes also available for the Kindle.

    Regards
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  • Hello Sandy,

    Thanks for writing about your experience with Chris Olson. He's a huge asset to O'Reilly because of his knowledge about our products and because he's a great advocate for our customers.

    Regarding the Kindle, I hope you're glanced through this thread to see that we're working on a Kindle solution and we will have something to say about this soon. Can you tell me what books you're most interested in reading on it? I'd like to know so we have a notion of what to convert and make available first.

    Regards, --Allen
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  • Mac OSX related, Leopard, Mac related software Iwork & I life.

    I will put together a wish list, and get back to you.

    Thanks for your interest.
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  • Hi Allen,
    I just bought my Kindle and hope to get the Oreilly to publish books soon. I travel a lot and being a Software Engineer I do refer to lot of books and would love if Oreilly could publish Java/J2EE and Java related open source books ( such as books on Spring, Hibernate, Web Services, Jboss to name a few) on kindle, I think these titles are very much needed in day to day development activities and being able to consolidate these books on a device specially designed for reading books would be awesome.

    Regards,
    Virendra
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  • Hello Virendra,

    We're definitely moving in this direction. Our goal is have some books available on the Kindle soon, as well as to provide books in the .epub format direct from oreilly.com. Regarding the Kindle, it sounds like you'd want some of our code heavy books. One thing we've discovered is that the Kindle does not yet render monspace fonts such as courier is a way that makes the code anywhere near as readable as in the book. My question is how big an issue will this be for someone like you?

    Regards, --Allen
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  • Hi Allen,
    Thanks for the reply. I am happy to hear that Oreilly is moving in the right direction with Kindle. To answer your question, The code examples are the most important in understanding the technology behind it; most of the times you can directly re-use the same code. So, its an important aspect of your books. In my sincere opinion, could you guys just change the fonts if its not that big of a deal? The books will not meet the practical purpose if code is unreadable.

    One more aspect I want to mention here, Kindle can operate like a single and portable manual for all the tech-books; meaning usually most of the software development community refers to various books during our day to day job and those books are scattered over different formats some are hard bound books and some are pdfs etc and Oreilly books are one of the most popular brands in tech books publications. This is because you guys do publish lot of tech books and cover broad base. So, imagine this if your books are published on Kindle I will have a single source to refer all those books on a 10 ounce device and as a bonus these books are searchable; so, I can find relevant information quickly and this is a very important feature. Instead of searching on the internet for information I can search on a more credible source (i.e books) which usually tend to have more complete information regarding a topic of interest. You guys will be doing a huge favor to Software Development community by providing support to Kindle or Kindle like devices.

    Please let me know if you have anymore questions.

    Thanks,
    Virendra
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  • 2
    Hi Tim,
    Thanks for the update. Just for my information, did you guys receive any updated information on this issue from Amazon? I did email their customer support about this issue. Do you know any particular contact person on Amazon side so that I can send an email them? May be, if they hear from customers, they will address this issue little faster....

    --Virendra
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  • Hi Viren,

    Viren wrote:
    > So, its an important aspect of your books. In my sincere opinion, could you
    > guys just change the fonts if its not that big of a deal?

    (reiterating what Tim wrote)
    At this point, it's not the lack of a single font that bothers us, it's the lack of a whole class of (important) fonts. We certainly would use any monospace (fixed-width) font, but the Kindle doesn't provide a single one. We're currently evaluating other options to see if a different approach to code fonts and whitespace makes more sense.

    > The books will not meet the practical purpose if code is unreadable.

    We hope to counter some of this anxiety by making PDF versions (with good typography) available alongside any ebooks. That way, when the reader is in doubt about the meaning of a particular section they'll have another, more legible, version available.
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  • I understand the problem and don't know how your systems are designed, but inability to change fonts on a piece of content...that's what gets me...but you guys are publishers I have to take your word for it.

    One more thing about the PDFs you were talking about..will I be able to convert these to Kindle format through Amazon's conversion program? Or, do I have to go the conventional route of opening them on a computer cauz if I have to open it on a computer then the entire argument of having a portable device such as Kindle is lost. I may as well open the pdf on my computer.

    I see two problems with this situation:
    1) I will have to buy the book on Kindle and then buy pdfs from Oreilly, how do you address that?
    2) Now instead of one device I will have to manage 2 devices Kindle and Computer if these pdfs are not convertable through Amazon's program.
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  • Viren: Font support isn't a publisher problem, it's a device (Kindle problem).

    I would be surprised if converting the PDFs with the Amazon converter yields acceptable results (mainly because of the font problems). We hope to provide .mobi files for many of our titles, which should sidestep the need for customers to convert PDF files themselves.
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  • Got it, Thanks for the info. I checked their site and it does say that Kindle supports MOBI files. This will keep my hopes up!!
    Few more question: Do you know by what time frame this is going to happen? Are you going to publish only new books or old and the existing ones in the MOBI format?
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  • I’m frustrated with all this griping
    I don't understand all this griping about proprietary file formats, fonts, and compatibility issues. Not that I'm not concerned, it's just that this is a very strong revenue stream for both O'Reilly & associates as well as Amazon.com. As I'm sure you're all aware, readers, & purchasers of your products are very loyal and more than willing to pay premium prices for your content for years to come. I for one can tell you this; the moment you declare that your products are available in Kindle, I'll buy at least a dozen. Your content more than makes up for the price of the device.

    I'd me more than willing to put up with adware, registration or subscription fees, If I can get your books on Kindle. I'm certain that hundreds of thousands of Sys Admins, Net Admins, engineers, students, teachers, researchers, and hobbyists would agree.
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  • I’m indifferent
    Another suggestion:

    Nobody likes to be the first guy to jump into a cold pool. So I would suggest making starting small & going from there.
    To make a strong initial inroad into the Kindle market, I would suggest selling your most popular, non-technical titles and moving from there.

    1. You could start with one of the "pocket Guides". Those are fairly popular.

    2. Books on Website design, or "Hacks" (i.e. Google, linux, Office) have a larger customer base & would presumably do better in initial sales ; you could start with those.

    3. Once a strong inroad has been made with these titles, your shareholders & management would be more inclined to try to market the advanced titles (i.e. programming languages, Software engineering, & bioinformatics, etc.) for Kindle.

    4. In summary: examine your gross sales. Look at what products/titles sell the most, and begin offering some of the most notable titles in Kindle format. Start with a coupon or discount for first time buyers. Do some marketing to current customers.

    Of course all of this is pointless unless an agreement can be reached regarding a common file format.
    5. Could a software adapter be introduced into Kindle, or some kind of plug-in to enable your products to be read while retaining your own security format?

    6. Consultation with other publishing companies? It's a foregone conclusion that other publishers are just as reluctant to participate because of the same issues. Perhaps a formal or informal partnership could be reached to devise a file format, plug-in or security feature to protect your product?

    7. Perhaps a more detailed explanation of why Amazon is so reluctant to modify the Kindle's security format to accommodate more publishers.
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  • Hello Melman, as well as everyone else who has contributed to this thread.

    I want to let you know that we're preparing files for the Kindle now. I'm not certain when they will be available, but I'm hoping within two to three weeks. We've selected 31 titles that don't have tables and code that have proved problematic with the tests we've conducted thus far. At the same time, we're working with Amazon to resolve the font and table issues, and we're both eager to resolve this. I'll post to this list when the first books are available.

    Thanks, everyone, for your patience.

    --Allen
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  • This is fantastic that you are preparing titles for the kindle. I am a solider/network engineer for the US army serving in Iraq and as such I have very limited space for books when I am traveling or even in my room. The kindle has worked wonderfully for me so far. I have quite a few Cisco Press books that work great for me. To sit and read a tech book is usually preferable with the hard copy, but to carry around for reference on a technique while on a trouble call it is wonderful. Could you possibly set up a way to buy the hardcopy and then pay a small amount $5-10 for a kindle version as well. I think that a lot of us traveling people would prefer that. The project I am working on now would be greatly enhanced by Squid the Definitive Guide. Since it isn't available on the kindle I will have to order it and deal with a 1-2 week delay due to military mail, which isn't the best situation.

    Thanks
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  • I found the PDF for Squid - The Definitive Guide. I purchased and downloaded the PDF, along with the Linux Networking Cookbook. Using Mobipocket Creator I imported the PDFs and built the ebook file. It works wonderfully on my kindle. The text is fine and works great. The only problem is the table of contents isn't hyperlinked on the Squid Text, like most texts I have converted, it has a few but not the ones that count. The Linux book did have hyperlinks in the TOC and search works great. For the really bored you can edit the HTML page that is generated by mobipocket creator and add the links yourself before you build it. I have done that before for a book I will be using quite extensively as a proof of concept and it worked great but is very tedious and I only recommend it for often used books. Also I have had problems with Pocket creator if you use the default standard compression. The pages tend to turn really slow. Use no compression and you should be fine.

    As a note to O'rielly publishing. Thanks for your great books, from searching for Kindle books I am also really pleased with your research into using Kindle. I was pleasantly suprised given Tim's public stance on non-open standards and prior patent disagreements with Amazon, which were resolved semi-amicably from my reading. The texts I am most interesting purchasing for the Kindle tend to be dense text for the most part. From my trials they have worked simply and in less than a few minutes of work. I would love for you to publish a list of kindle friendly PDFs that convert if you decide not to go with a full scale support offering.

    Thank you very much
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  • I’m happy
    4
    We've now started releasing titles as eBooks, as you've requested: http://toc.oreilly.com/2008/07/30-ore...
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  • So head first titles in MOBI format are completely out of the question, right?
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  • I’m Happy
    Personally I choose to buy my ebooks here, and cut out the middleman.

    Getting them DRM free is a real bonus, I can download and read them in any format. I read ebooks generally in iBooks and the Kindle App. I like being able to download multiple formats and use PDF, ePub and mobi.

    Even better I can buy paper copies and use the upgrade option to get the digital format.

    .
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