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Perl Publishing---Who's on First?

by hsmyers (Canon)
on May 16, 2005 at 15:33 UTC ( #457496=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

As some of you know I'm a confirmed biblioholic and as such I try and follow who is publishing what as best I can. Time was, O'Reilly was on top of the pack when Perl was the subject. Lately however, Apress seems to be coming on strong. Did O'Reilly decide to rest on their laurels or seriously irritate it's writer's or what? Inquiring minds wish to know (and need gossip...)


"Never try to teach a pig to wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

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Re: Perl Publishing---Who's on First?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 16, 2005 at 17:36 UTC

    O'Reilly has a couple of other new Perl books in the works for July or August release. They aren't revisions or second editions. I don't know about Apress.

    I know the relative marketshare of both publishers, but I'm not sure I should share. Tim O'Reilly has talked about it several times in the past two years, so look at his weblog or search for discussions of his "State of Computer Book Publishing" talk.

Re: Perl Publishing---Who's on First?
by brian_d_foy (Abbot) on May 16, 2005 at 18:04 UTC

    Apress recently published Beginning Perl (retread of the WROX book) and Perls of Wisdom (collection of Randal's columns). They published the new books Pro Perl and Perl 6 Now. They have the upcoming books Pro Perl Debugging and Pro Perl Parsing, which I haven't seen yet (and they usually send me an early peek of the galleys on CD). So, that's 2 retreads, 2 new books, and 2 upcoming books.

    During the same time, O'Reilly has coming up Learning Perl, 4th Ed., Intermediate Perl (the new name for the Alpaca), and Advanced Perl Programming, 2nd Ed. (an almost complete rewrite). They have two new books coming up: Perl Best Practices and Perl Testing Developer's Notebook. So, that's 3 retreads and 2 upcoming books.

    The numbers aren't the story though. You have to look at who is publishing what. The important books out of all of those are, in my opinion, Advanced Perl Programming (it's an excellent book based on the sources Simon sent me), Perl Best Practices (again, excellent based on the source Damian sent me), and Perl Testers Developer Notebook. Those last two are new and important subjects on the Perl bookshelf. O'Reilly also has some other interesting things in the works.

    It's not a writer thing either: O'Reilly has contracts with Simon Cozens, Randal Schwartz, chromatic, Damian Conway, and the other top, prolific Perl authors. Apress has been using lesser known or first time authors. It seems to me O'Reilly is attracting the talent. They still seem on top of the pack. They still have the best-selling Perl books.

    The difference is that O'Reilly isn't the only serious player. Manning used to be a Perl competitor (that's who published Damian's first book and Simon's second book), but they stop publishing Perl titles years ago and their authors didn't stick with them. Apress has a better chance, I think, and they're going to keep at it and get better.

    brian d foy <>
Re: Perl Publishing---Who's on First?
by samtregar (Abbot) on May 16, 2005 at 20:27 UTC
    I think it's a pretty good bet that most Perl authors shop their book proposals to O'Reilly first. I know I did. It's not just that we're all O'Reilly fan-boys, they're simply likely to sell more copies if everything else is equal.

    In my experience with Writing Perl Modules for CPAN, O'Reilly wasn't willing to take a chance on a "community" (read underperforming) title. APress was. So I'm an APress author.

    I think there's plenty of room for more than one publisher of Perl books. Sure, there will be some duplication of effort ("Beginning Perl" versus "Learning Perl" for example). But there will also be more room for "community" books with multiple publishers, which is nice if you're in the mood to donate one.


Re: Perl Publishing---Who's on First?
by cog (Parson) on May 16, 2005 at 17:52 UTC
    If you have a look at the list of books being given by publishers for the auction at YAPC::EU::2005, you'll see a couple of not-yet published books, such as Minimal Perl (from Manning, by Tim Maher), or Pro Perl Debugging (from Apress, by Richard Foley and Andy Lester).

    I can also tell you that there are also some books that are likely to be at the auction but are not on the list... (in most cases due to uncertainty regarding publish dates)

    I don't think any of those four publishers has stopped publishing Perl books... just you wait a few more months :-)

    Oh, and you might want to put to some money aside... trust me ;-)

Re: Perl Publishing---Who's on First?
by etm117 (Pilgrim) on May 16, 2005 at 16:50 UTC
    It depends... according to Friday's (5/13/05) newsletter. O'Reilly is releasing Learning Perl, 4th ed. and Advanced Perl Programming, 2nd ed. in June.

    Yet those are updates to older editions, not new books (albeit the 2nd Edition of Advanced Perl Programming might as well be new since the first was published in 1997).

    I personally own 3 O'Reilly, one Apress, so for me it is still O'Reilly. Yet the best Perl book I own (and am still trying to digest) is Higher Order Perl by Mark Jason Dominus and that is published by Morgan Kaufmann, which I've never heard of before...

Re: Perl Publishing---Who's on First?
by ghenry (Vicar) on May 16, 2005 at 22:29 UTC

    It just amazes me how many books you can have on the one subject, Perl.

    It really does show me how much there is to learn about perl and that TIMTOWTDI ;-)

    Walking the road to enlightenment... I found a penguin and a camel on the way.....
    Fancy a Just ask!!!
Re: Perl Publishing---Who's on First?
by BrowserUk (Patriarch) on May 16, 2005 at 18:22 UTC


    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    Lingua non convalesco, consenesco et abolesco. -- Rule 1 has a caveat! -- Who broke the cabal?
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    The "good enough" maybe good enough for the now, and perfection maybe unobtainable, but that should not preclude us from striving for perfection, when time, circumstance or desire allow.

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