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Give our authors Safari access? What next?

By Kathryn Barrett
June 25, 2008 | Comments: 1

An anonymous geek recently mused on the fact that O’Reilly authors were no longer being given free Safari accounts:

I do not know why in the world they would discontinue this offering for authors. Perhaps they’re not aware, but a great many of the O’Reilly authors are also bloggers. Tech bloggers. Some of them write on the O’Reilly blogs themselves, but almost all of them blog outside of that arena as well. And guess what they blog about? Well, lots of stuff, but there’s plenty of blogging about “something I learned”, or “this book rocks”, etc. Heck, we even blog about products we use — I’ve even blogged about Safari… *today* even! In a world where people are paid to blog about products, it surprises me that O’Reilly wouldn’t offer people who are already actively blogging in and around their content, and who have actually formally joined the O’Reilly family, the opportunity to become users, and thereby advocates, of their other offerings.”

It turns out that this anonymous geek is actually an O’Reilly author himself, and an O’Reilly editor was quick to let him know that we do indeed still provide our authors with free access to Safari Books Online. (He has since updated his blog post with this information.) Why would we not do so?

Safarilogo.gifSafari—if you’re not familiar with it—provides instant online access to entire collections from respected publishers like O’Reilly Media, Adobe Press, Peachpit Press, Microsoft Press, Wharton School Publishing, Que, Sams and Addison-Wesley, to name a few. It’s extremely convenient for tracking down bits of information, copying code directly from a book, reading on the train, and for scores of other practical uses. Safari lets you keep your entire technical library at your fingertips, and search through all the offerings of the participating publishers. The way we see it, giving our authors access to this kind of information will help them to be stronger writers and more successful in whatever they’re doing.

Safari is just one of the tools we offer to help our authors succeed. Our online group has recently launched a new author portal that allow authors to manage the way their information appears on our site and gives them access to our author forums where they can connect with other O’Reilly authors to share experiences and exchange information. The portal also includes book forums so authors can interact with their readers, sales data and graphs for their books, widgets, and a number of other tools. One of our authors, a self-acknowledged crank who said he can find fault with anything, called the author portal “amazing.”

Unfortunately, you can’t see the author portal unless you’re an O’Reilly author, but our author page will give you an idea of how we work to promote our authors. You can see our featured authors of the month, our five-star authors, and use it to search for your favorite O’Reilly authors—find their areas of expertise, if they’re available for consulting or speaking, and see which events they’re participating in.

Going back to the Anonymous Geek’s post, he says: “Not to mention the fact that having the [Safari] account is a very real, very sincerely felt way to make the authors feel appreciated…” He refers to authors as people “who have actually formally joined the O’Reilly family.” That’s the way we think of it, too. It matters to us that our authors feel appreciated.

I should also mention that when you write an O’Reilly book, you have one of the best editorial, sales, marketing, and pr teams in the industry working for you. Now, having said that, you’re probably wondering, “How can I become an O’Reilly author?” The first thing to do is contact us. We’re always looking for good authors and good ideas, so let us know what you’re thinking. It could be the start of something really great.

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What about authors from different publishers who have books in Safari? I'm the author of Struts 2 in Action from Manning, and it's in Safari now.

What's the policy on me?


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