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The Changing Publishing Landscape - Introducing Wrox Blox

I often write about the changes in publishing caused by disruptive technologies and the need for publishers to make their own changes in order to stay relevant. Today we have launched Wrox Blox, a new product for programmers that hopefully will strike a chord with a market that often looks to the web for fast, bite-sized content.

So, what are Wrox Blox?

  • DRM-free
  • PDF format
  • Bite-sized (generally 20-40 pages)
  • Faster to market than traditional books
  • Introductory priced at only $3.99 US

The initial roll out consists of 4 titles, with many more in the works to be available shortly. Beginning today you can purchase and instantly download:

  • iPhone and iPod touch Programming : Handling Touch Interactions and Events for Mobile Safari
  • Silverlight 1.0 Animation
  • Leveraging LINQ in ASP.NET 3.5 Projects
  • Building a Photo Gallery with Adobe AIR

Hopefully we have responded to customer needs with a great new product. What do you think? Is this type of publishing the right direction? How can we improve Wrox Blox?

  • http://books.sorodesign.com Jeff

    I think this is a very good development. It seems like more publishing is moving in this direction. Personally, I’m just as likely (& maybe more likely) to pay less than $5 for highly focused content as I would spend >$20 more on a larger book.

    As a potential purchaser, though, I would be interested in how these bite-sized titles relate to full-sized books on the same or closely related topic or books that may be forthcoming.

    Are these mini-titles also going to be available in the subscription-based WROX reference library or only separately? It might be a good opportunity to hook people into the subscriptions. I couldn’t help but notice the ad for “online access to WROX books” on the page to purchase the mini-book.

    I assume the mini-book utilizes the same layout style as other WROX titles. If not then it would be useful to show a sample page or two. A 1 or 2 page preview is always nice anyway.

    Good luck with this endeavor!

  • http://www.ckwebb.com Chris

    Hi Jeff, thanks for being part of the conversation.

    “As a potential purchaser, though, I would be interested in how these bite-sized titles relate to full-sized books on the same or closely related topic or books that may be forthcoming.”

    I agree, we need to do a better job of providing info on related books.

    “Are these mini-titles also going to be available in the subscription-based WROX reference library or only separately?”

    Currently, no. But I think it’s a great idea and value add for the subscription. Ill bring it up here and see if we can get it integrated.

    “I assume the mini-book utilizes the same layout style as other WROX titles. If not then it would be useful to show a sample page or two. A 1 or 2 page preview is always nice anyway.”

    For the most part they do use the Wrox interiors. But I agree that a sample or preview makes sense.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.

  • http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki Bill Seitz

    I think it’s a great idea.

    Those particular first titles don’t interest me much, though.

    And, depending on the layout requirements, I think you should consider providing HTML alongside PDF.

  • http://www.ckwebb.com Chris

    Thanks for the feedback Bill.

    We are looking at other formats for these products and HTML is certainly something we will consider.