O'Reilly begins using open editing of its books before publishing them
Friday, January 27, 2006
O'Reilly Media is opening up editing of its books through Safari Books Online, the company's joint venture with the Pearson Technology Group.
The company is allowing ordinary people to buy access to manuscripts before they are finalized.
Customers are given access to software to that allows them to make notes on the manuscripts, to expose errors, or make suggestions.
The project is intended to improve the content, find technical errors and make sure that examples make sense and are relevant, rather than proofreading. The service is similar to the ordinary nightly builds of open source software projects.
The manuscripts will be updated as the author and editor make changes.
A beta version of the service, named Rough Cuts, has four books available and O'Reilly intends to add up to eight more in the first quarter of 2006.
Customers get an "evolving manuscript", a manuscript that hasn't "been fully edited, subjected to final technical review, or formatted for print."
The books will become available between two to six months prior to the intended publication date.