O'Reilly shop closes down - no more book sales, just subscriptions

Edit: Split from our book discounts thread.

Celebrate your independence! Half off all MEAPS - Today only!
Save 50% on all MEAPs until midnight tonight! Just enter wm063017lt in the Promotional Code box when you check out. Expires Midnight July 1.
Stay tuned! There’s a different deal every day until July 4th. Only at manning.com

For those who haven’t heard yet these presumably impromptu promotions were likely triggered by O’Reilly’s sudden exit from the DRM-free eBook/Video market when they closed down shop.oreilly.com on June 28, 2017 (less than 2 weeks before “International Day Against DRM 2017”, July 9).

O’Reilly’s media will remain available electronically on Safari Books Online and individually via Amazon Kindle.

Anybody considering a personal Safari subscription should look into getting a Student or Professional membership with the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) which seems to include access to the Safari Learning Platform.


So what I’m reading there is that O’Reilly’s is crap now, got it.


I think they just put a nail in their own coffin - they are trying to shoehorn a business model into a business where it’s not a good fit imo. Such a shame.


Manning - Deal of the Day 2017-07-01

Set your bookshelf free! Half off all eBooks TODAY ONLY

Use code WM070117LT at checkout.

We believe that what’s in a book is more important than how you get it. Manning eBooks give you independence from format, while maintaining our high standards for quality and readability. Our eBooks are DRM-free, device-neutral, and you can get to them any time from your user account. You can even automatically synchronize your bookshelf with Dropbox. And because you get our eBooks directly from manning.com, you can download them instantly in PDF, ePub, and Kindle. Set your bookshelf free!

FYI: eBooks also includes the eBook package of MEAPs .

If Manning follows its usual pattern print books will be half off on Sunday and everything will be half off on Monday.


Well - it looks like they’ve made up their mind - in a way that makes it difficult for the readership to change it.

But starting a few years ago, ebook sales too started to flatten, and then to fall. Running oreilly.com as a distribution platform was effective, but also costly. It required a dedicated investment in e-commerce software, staff, marketing, and so on. It also required us to choose whether to direct incoming customers to the declining e-commerce business to buy standalone units, or to our growing subscription business.

As the slowdown accelerated, the contrast between the rapid growth of the subscription business and the interest in learning in new ways became ever more striking. Now, don’t get me wrong, we believe in books, and the effectiveness of text as a tool for sharing knowledge, but the business model that had given us such a great start three decades ago has changed deeply.

I suspect that the rapid growth in the subscription business was largely due to corporate site subscriptions - where corporations simply look at it as a (fully) tax-deductible expense.

There is even an O’Reilly support thread about the issue.


And we are looking into ways for our resellers to support unit sales of PDFs. I regret that we didn’t get those arrangements in place in advance of this announcement.

Now authors published by O’Reilly may have more of an influence - for example Martin Kleppmann voiced his extreme displeasure - prompting Tim O’Reilly to respond

I do agree with that. And if any online bookstore wants to sell PDFs, we will be happy to provide them to them.

So this could be an opportunity for Pragmatic Bookshelf (whose print books used to be sold through shop.oreilly.com) or InformIT (some Pearson books are available through Safari) to start selling O’Reilly ebooks.

And apparently ebooks.com already does exactly that.

Looks like I’ll have to open an account with No Starch Press if I still want that off-line, portable version of Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good! (hmmm - they’ve been doing 50% off Day against DRM sales in the past years - we’ll see July 9).


I think they should have asked why book sales went down. I think out of all the programming books I own, only one of them is an O’reilly book.

Most of my books were published by Pragprog, followed by Manning - with a large percentage of them first bought in beta.


And adding DRM is just going to make it much less as I know that I and most people I know will not buy a DRM’d book (since we cannot read it on many of our devices then), so… this still sounds monumentally stupid…

Exactly this.


My purchases through shop.oreilly.com over the past 24 months:

Now granted lots of these were opportunistic/pre-emptive purchases.

There has been a growing number of people voicing the opinion that the content for O’Reilly books has been going downhill over the past few years (I think my earliest print examples are Using C on the UNIX System (1989) and Managing Projects with make, 1e (1989)). Now hypothetically that could be symptomatic of trying to provide a higher volume of new content to keep Safari subscribers happy but that’s only speculation at this point.


That’s the only one I’ve got :lol:

I didn’t know there was an updated edition - do we get a free upgrade? :confused:

Edit: I bought it off Amazon so I guess not. (Another reason why their shop failed - (e)book was probably cheaper on Amazon)


Excuse me. Have you read all these in the past 24 months?
:101: :104:


What is?


Didn’t happen for “Introduction to Elixir” - so I guess no. There was a time where “upgrades” came at a 50% discount. I hate to say it - but at this point I’d recommend Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good! first anyway (not because it’s free online - but I guess that helps) and look at these endorsements:

“I hope that many of you will enjoy reading Fred’s book as much as I did and that you find learning Erlang to be an agreeable and thought-provoking process.”
—Joe Armstrong, designer of Erlang

“I like this book. It’s a complete description of the Erlang language together with many practical examples. Most importantly, it explains OTP, a set of design patterns and behaviors which allow you to build fault tolerant and robust systems.”
—Robert Virding, co-inventor of the Erlang language


My point was that you don’t keep a subscriber customer base happy with access to a static library - you constantly have to add new content with topics that are perceived as relevant (and hot).

Always getting good authors for newer technologies isn’t easy, increased volume would put a strain on the permanent editorial staffing, possibility to point where you are skipping it entirely and the fast pace at which all these technologies develop renders content obsolete while it’s still in development.


No - because there comes a point where you have to realize that the true cost of a book is the time you spend reading/working through it. And the same is true for so-called free content (unless you don’t consider your time worth anything - though there is still the issue of opportunity cost).

Also that list only covers purchases from O’Reilly’s shop which covers No Starch Press, Wrox/Wiley, Site Point and of course O’Reilly. That list does not include my purchases from The Pragmatic Bookshelf, Manning, Apress and Packt. From that list I only really finished “Programming JavaScript Applications” and “React: Up & Running” but “I’ve stuck my nose” into most of them.

Over the past 12 months I’ve been methodically working through:

  • Programming Elixir (on-going, stalled)
  • Haskell from first principles (on-going, stalled)
  • Elixir in Action (casually on-going)
  • Programming Phoenix (finished)
  • React: Up and Running (finished)
  • Elm In Action MEAP (on-going)
  • Designing for Scalability with Erlang/OTP (on-going)

(The two Erlang MOOCs slowed me down a bit)

Right now Gerty on my phone contains 76 ebooks - that way if I’m sidelined anywhere, rather than getting annoyed or hitting my data plan I either read ahead on my “in-progress” items or go back to something that suddenly has piqued my interest again.

Hitting the sales lets me cover a broader range of topics - though there are always authors that are on my preferred list, some of them ranking so high that I’ll always consider their books and I’ll give authors and books they recommend a “preferred” look.


I reckon we need a thread about which Elixir books everyone has got/read (we’ve got an old one, but defo think a new one would be interesting!) :slight_smile:

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o’really at one tie was THE go-to book place for techies, but it has gone downhill since those days,.


Apparently O’Reilly books are available DRM free via Google Play Books. Example:

Designing for Scalability with Erlang/OTP: Implement Robust, Fault-Tolerant Systems

Content protection This content is DRM free.

According to Google Play Support:

Some Books on Google Play are completely free of digital rights management - they are either free public-domain books or the rights holder has chosen to provide their readers with full access to the content. In these cases, you will be able to download DRM-free ePubs or PDFs.

Now, I haven’t actually tried it … †

This fact was originally eluded to in The mission of spreading the knowledge of innovators continues.

As always, our digital books are available on Amazon as well as at B&N and (DRM-free) at Google books.

More accurately it should have stated “Google Play Books”.

‡FYI: the free sample goes up to most (~6 pages short) of 4. Generic Servers. From what I can tell 2. Introducing Erlang is included in it’s entirety.

† I was able to download epub and pdf of Moby Dick without a problem. So one remaining question is whether the O’Reilly epub/pdf quality is on par with the ones from the old online store - reviews repeatedly report annoyances with the Kindle versions on Amazon.

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I can vouch for this. I paid anywhere between $199 - $399/yr for a number of years, and happened on the ACM alternative by chance.

There’s also this link, which lowers the annual membership to $75/yr.

Worth mentioning too, is ACM itself. As a member, they send regular magazines (physical copies - even internationally), along with access to numerous other libraries – include parts of Science Direct, SkillSoft, and a bunch of others.

I’m a big fan of Safari. The library is pretty vast, and you get access to their conference materials, tons of video courses, etc. The only downside is that having to view material through the web or their apps; I’d love an option to read on a Kindle or a more portable download format, but at this price I can’t really complain. It’s paid for itself 10x over.


Think we may need to split this into a dedicated thread :slight_smile:

What have been your favourite books/videos/resources via the ACM membership so far? I’m wondering whether to give it a go :003: