O'Reilly Stops Selling Books and Videos
If you work in the world of technology then you've no doubt come into contact with one of the distinctive O'Reilly-published books displaying a woodcut animal on its cover. The media company has gone through several tranisitions since Tim O'Reilly founded it in 1978, and another just quietly happened.
O'Reilly decided that it will no longer sell individual books and videos through its online store. The company explains in a FAQ that it fully intends to continue publishing new books and videos, but it won't sell them to you directly. Instead, both paper and ebook versions will be available through Amazon and other book stores.
What O'Reilly would really like you to do instead of buying its books is sign-up to its Safari service. For $39 per month or $399 per year you get full access to all existing O'Reilly books and videos as well as any new content published. There's also live online training, learning paths including self-assessment, and early release access to new content.
If you purchase a lot of tech books, or need to keep up with the latest software development trends, then a Safari subscription may make sense. However, for acces to the odd tech book or video here and there it's an expensive proprosition.
Clearly selling books and videos directly no longer makes sense financially for O'Reilly. Safari combined with the dozen or so regular conferences the company runs do, so it's refocusing. If anything, O'Reilly needs to publish more content now and keep the quality very high so as to make Safari worth that $399 every year.
If like me you have a healthy library of DRM-free ebooks and videos sitting in an O'Reilly account, don't worry, you will continue to have "free lifetime access" to them.