A few thoughts on O'Reilly Media

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If you are like me, books bearing the O’Reilly moniker and a hand drawn animal fill your bookshelves. I have been intrigued by Tim O’Reilly and his company for some time. Take, for example, the following quote from Mr. O’Reilly that I recently stumbled upon:

Let’s say my goal is to sell 10,000 copies of something. And let’s say that if by putting DRM in it I sell 10,000 copies and I make my money, and if by having no DRM 100,000 copies go into circulation and I still sell 10,000 copies. Which of those is the better outcome? I think having 100,000 in circulation and selling 10,000 is way better than having just the 10,000 that are paid for and nobody else benefits. People who don’t pay you generally wouldn’t have paid you anyway. We’re delighted when people who can’t afford our books don’t pay us for them, if they go out and do something useful with that information. -Tim O’Reilly1

I think this speaks volumes, and while I haven’t observed this company over a span of years yet, I think this is a group I can get behind.

With that in mind, I recently enrolled in their blogger review program.2 In a nut, you get free O’Reilly books in exchange for writing online reviews. Here are a few reasons I’m excited about this:

  1. I’m happy to support O’Reilly. All of the O’Reilly books I use on a regular basis are outstanding. I’m honored to help get the word out.

  2. I want access to free books (obviously). While the review copies are ebooks, you get the bundle discount any time you want to add the hard copy to your arsenal.

Building up my reference library while supporting a company I like is a win+win. Of course the book isn’t free (you are writing a review after all), but if I am reading and using a book anyway, writing a review is more productive than spending the money.

That’s it–just wanted to say a few words to frame the discussion before these reviews start showing up in this space.3

  1. Tim O’Reilly on Piracy, Tinkering, and the Future of the Book (Forbes)

  2. O’Reilly Media Blogger Review Program

  3. Reviewers are not required to write positive reviews, and I’ll always disclose when reviewing a book I received free of charge. And no, the blog will not turn into a book review blog.