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O'Reilly No Longer Selling Individual Books, Videos Online 82

dovf writes: Just got an email from O'Reilly Media that as of today, they are no longer selling individual books or videos online -- rather, they are encouraging people to sign up for Safari. They are continuing to publish books and videos, "and you'll still be able to buy them at Amazon and other retailers." They also make it clear that we will not lose access to already-purchased content, updates to such content, etc. More details can be found in the FAQ. No mention, though, of whether the content sold at these other retailers will remain DRM-free... From the FAQ: "You can buy all of the books (ebooks and print) at from Amazon and other digital and bricks-and-mortar retailers. We're no longer selling individual books and videos via -- but we are definitely continuing to publish books and videos on the topics you need to know. And of course, every O'Reilly book and video (including O'Reilly conference sessions) is available instantly on Safari." The only mention of "DRM" in the FAQ is in regard to what happens to the digital content you have in your account at According to O'Reilly, "Your DRM-free ebooks and videos are safe and sound, and you'll continue to have free lifetime access to download them anytime, anywhere."
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O'Reilly No Longer Selling Individual Books, Videos Online

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  • what a coincidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by claudio veron valussi ( 3494427 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @08:01PM (#54708889)
    what a coincidence! I am no longer buying O'Reilly books, videos. win-win.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Be honest. You just steal them from download sites.

      • by claudio veron valussi ( 3494427 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @09:15PM (#54709245)
        I have legally bought a generous amount of O'Reilly ebooks. I read mostly on my kindle and the mobi files where always quite good. also, no DRM at all. Also, being a regular customer gave you a 50% discount or someething, so the price was quite reasonable. And saved you a whole evening fishing for a 'free alternative' of exactly the book i wanted, in mobi/epub format. If it existed at all. The money/time/effort/content quality tradeoff was quite good, in my case. Now, O'Reilly is mostly an endless flow of the latest of the latest of the newest and up and coming fad and rehash tech of the week. Not much interesting to me anymore. I don't really need 'buying' a book (at most) of that every month, month after month. I think the authors of good books really deserve my money. O'Reilly now? not so sure.
        • I sit 10 feet away from 2 Perl books I got from O'Reilly circa 2000. They were immensely helpful. Not all titles I got were that way. Safari is a great deal for enthusiasts, educators, and employers though I'd still like to see an ultra low cost option for casual nerds. I still prefer paper to screen as it is easier on the eyes. Glad to see they are still selling on Amazon.
          • As an aside. I find that I can still get used copies of recent O'Reily titles elsewhere online.. in print with free shipping. What? I'm pathologically cheap.
        • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @10:32PM (#54709575) Homepage Journal
          Hmm...I"ll miss this.

          I still have a LOT of O'Reilly books....back from learning Linux, setting up apache, email servers, etc.

          I must say, I did then and STILL prefer most of my book, especially tech stuff on dead tree format.

          I can mark the dead tree books up, highlight pages...and strangely enough, I can usually thumb to the pages I need to reference again MUCH faster in a real book than trying an ebook or website on a real computer......I mean, I can usually "see" the page in question in my head on a real book.

          This is much like how I did in school...I could see my notes in my head during tests...complete with notes and doogles in the margins.

          I just can't do that on digital format books....

  • by Drakonblayde ( 871676 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @08:18PM (#54709001)

    This sounds like they're just not going to be selling stuff directly anymore outside of Safari.

    If I can still purchase individual titles via Amazon, especially for Kindle, then I can honestly say this is non-news to me

    • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @09:23PM (#54709299) Homepage Journal

      This sounds like they're just not going to be selling stuff directly anymore outside of Safari.

      Where does that leave people who use something other than a Mac or an iPad to read O'Reilly material? Or does Safari not require Safari?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Same name, two different things.

        O'Reilly's [] Safari is a service that lets you read books online. It has a free trial period, then you have to pay for it.

        Apple's [] Safari is a web browser.

    • What I don't see anywhere (and so I suppose is a no) is whether they're going to continue selling drm-less individual books somewhere. I have an ereader that's not a Kindle and I don't wanna be tied to a specific company/device so having drm free epubs and pdfs is essential for me. If they're not gonna sell them anywhere is over for me
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean you won't be able to get PDFs of their books anymore?

    Amazon's mobi files are nowhere near as good as reading an O'Reilly book as a PDF.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @08:25PM (#54709031)

    Like many others probably do, I remember the O'Reilly of the 90s, when they made high quality acid-free print books with lay-flat binding.

    I ordered a couple of books direct from their online store a few months ago, and it's obvious that making a high-quality print book isn't a priority for ORA anymore. Now they do print-on-demand on crappy paper stock, standard binding, and the type is inexcusably blurry; not sure if it's font aliasing or ink bleeding on the cheap paper. Needless to say their prices haven't gone down along with the quality though.

    So yeah. Regardless of this decision, I won't be giving any more money to ORA. There are way better technical publishers nowadays who still care about making a good print product.

    • by ZayJay ( 609601 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @08:31PM (#54709063)
      I tell you what though, as a ten-year Safari user, its a better deal than you may think. They have tons of other publishers (Wiley, et al) available. Its pretty damn handy to be able to access virtually any relevant tech title on demand.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The quantity of information on Safari on phenomenal, but ever since they converted Safari to Safari Queue, they've made the interface godawful and just about unusable

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          Amen to that. I had a subscription at work and at first it was pretty decent, but of course they had to make it useless. I think I'd rather read somehting printed in draft mode on recycled paper than use that thing.

        • by ZayJay ( 609601 )
          Yep. No argument there.
      • > I tell you what though, as a ten-year Safari user, its a better deal than you may think.

        Agreed; and as a Professional Member of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), your annual subscription provides you with an included subscription to Safari.

        • Plus, ACM costs only $100 a year. Sure you only get a fraction of Safari's content.
          But $400 a year for a full Safari subscription is just expensive. I do not read that many of those books a year. Why doesn't safari offer the 5/10 slot bookshelf anymore? This is what you still get via ACM and I suits my consumption.

    • I'm curious, who do you consider to be way better these days? I'm certainly willing to try somebody else.

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @08:52PM (#54709129)

    These days I only have three O'Reilly dead tree books on my shelf: "Learning The Bash" [] by Cameron Newham, "Mastering Algorithms with C" [] by Kyle Loudon, and "Revolution In The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How The Mac Was Made" [] by Andy Hertzfeld.

    Two out of three books are still useful. When I go to Silicon Valley Comic Con next year, I'll have Steve Wozniak sign the Revolution book (he wrote the forward). I couldn't afford this year since he was raising money for a dog park charity by charging $100+ for his signature.

  • by myid ( 3783581 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @09:03PM (#54709187)

    I'm sorry that they've stopped selling ebooks. It's really convenient to read reviews of an ebook, check out a few pages of it, pay for it, download it, and start reading it. I"ll do a free trial of Safari, and see if I like it.

    Another option for buying ebooks is Peachpit Press []. On the bottom right corner of each page, they put "From the Library of (your name)", which isn't too distracting. However, I haven't been able to find as many technical books that I want by Peachpit as by O'Reilly.

  • by cruff ( 171569 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @09:04PM (#54709191) Homepage
    I can read PDFs on the systems I need to use without too much hassle. Now it appears that I won't be able to get them from O'Reilly or elsewhere for a one time charge. Signing up for Safari doesn't sound like a great deal to me. Anyone have experience with Calibre for reading ePub on desktop systems? Is it s reasonable alternative to PDF?
    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      Anyone have experience with Calibre for reading ePub on desktop systems? Is it s reasonable alternative to PDF?

      I use it. It's not all that great, the resize is weird and overall it feels like using something from 1998. And there's a lot of bloat; there's even a built-in browser to "shop" on sites like Google Books, and half the links don't work. They could get rid of 90% of the "features" and it would be a big improvement. But when there's a lot of graphics it's the lesser evil.

      Whenever possible I use Kindle; the fact that the highlights are stored in my Amazon accounts is fantastic. I used to take notes or jump aro

    • So far, Epub Reader on Firefox has been the one thing that hasn't sucked for me. It's not perfect but also not the kind of clusterfuck that many standalone "ebook readers" actually are.
  • I opened Safari and don't see all these books that are supposed to instantly be available like these O'Reilly guys are talking about

  • I'm not too keen on the kindle versions of O'Reilly books, and have bought certain books from their shop specifically because they offer PDFs, Technical books often rely on formatting conventions which are are more sophisticated than what a kindle can handle.

    (I still prefer paper copies for some stuff, but they take up space, and some of them are less than portable.)

  • Safari is a great service with lots of books. But their Android app is a disgrace!

    For example - if it works at all, it will connect to safaris defunct back-end upon start-up, and then block the UI thread until the connection times out(!). More times than not, I have to switch off wi-fi on my tablet in order to read downloaded content at all.

    Whenever I need new books, I often end up searching for the book on safari, and then on Kindle. By the time I have found my book on the Kindle shop, read the reviews

    • I use their Android app and don't have any of these issues. In fact I consider it the best reader for technical/math books that I've used as it doesn't screw up the formatting as much as others. Maybe you need to upgrade the app, users from more than 2 years ago are the only ones allowed to use their older app. The new one is Safari Queue

      • I'm using Safari Queue. The old app had none of these issues.

        I am in Europe however. May be they simply don't have the bandwidth to serve international users.

  • So Oreilly hates money? I have bought huge pile of their individual ebooks over the years.. Im sure some bean counter somehow has had mistaken idea that they can convert xx% of individual buyers to monthly subcriptions... I do hope this backfires on them badly.. Safari is very good for professionals that can tax deduct it easy. Not so god for hobbyist that has other hobbies competition that money as well.
  • "O’Reilly has always been a privately held, self-funded company, and it’s a distinction we wear with pride. We don’t have any investors but our customers, who fund us by buying our products and services. That keeps us attuned to what the market is really telling us...The formats may change, but the mission stays the same." Read the whole post from O'Reilly's president at []

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