Read my book online for free

This is for a limited and unknown amount of time, but you should be able to read my book online for free. Read on for a bit of explanation about what's going on and for some important caveats (and the URL).

Like many publishers, Wiley is trying do a good job of reaching out to their audiences. Before the internet, book authors toiled in silence and letting people know about their book was an expensive exercise in marketing. Today, however, it's easy to let people know. After all, you're reading this, right?

However, today's audiences have different expectations and trying to manage those expectations can be confusing, particularly as the market shifts and moves in mysterious ways. O'Reilly is trying an interesting strategy of letting people read many of their books online for free. Wiley, via their Wrox imprint, has been working with O'Reilly to make Wrox titles available through this system.

My book, Beginning Perl, is the first Wrox title available on the O'Reilly site. We're not certain of the best way to approach this and Wiley asked me if I was willing to take this risk. I immediately said "yes" and we've slowly been working through the issues involved with this.

You will doubtless still notice a few glitches in the system as O'Reilly, quite understandably, originally built this for their own titles. For example, in Chapter 15, The Interwebs (forgive me for the cliché), the images don't appear, though you still get a nice introduction to Web programming via Plack.

Also note that these chapters are the raw chapters I've uploaded, prior to editorial review. That's a big risk we're taking as the first few chapters already have some substantial changes to them.

If you want to comment on the chapters, you'll need to sign up for a free account. Because of the rather rushed nature of this, it's unclear how many of your comments will impact the final manuscript and how many will make it into a second edition (we'd need enough sales of the book to justify that, of course).

A few notes:

  • The later the chapter, the more likely it is that comments will have an impact on the book.
  • As of this writing, we only have chapters 1 through 16 (out of 19) available.
  • You are seeing the unedited chapters.
  • We don't know how long we'll keep this online.
  • Chapters generally build on previous chapters and don't stand alone unless you already know Perl.

This is a very interesting experiment for us and we hope you like what we're trying to do. If and when the book is no longer online for free, I hope you'll be understanding. What we're hoping to get is Perl community involvement and feedback. If this is a success and has a positive impact on the book, it's possible that more Wrox titles will appear.

Enjoy!

1 Comment

Your book looks great. The idea of using Plack/PSGI for the web demo rather than demonstrating some 1990s CGI script is definitely the right way to do things I think.

If I have any feedback it would be that there is a lot of information to absorb in one go, especially the first chapter.

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About Ovid

user-pic Have Perl; Will Travel. Freelance Perl/Testing/Agile consultant. Photo by http://www.circle23.com/. Warning: that site is not safe for work. The photographer is a good friend of mine, though, and it's appropriate to credit his work.