About 3 weeks ago Joe Wikert, the general manager of O’Reilly Media, hinted in a blog post that an unnamed small publisher was contemplating taking a new direction with DRM-free ebooks, and today I think that publisher was named.
O’Reilly Media is well known for their stance in favor of selling ebooks without any encumbrance of DRM, a position which has been proved correct as revenues increased while the ebook market grew.
Now John Wiley & Sons, tech publisher extraordinaire, plans to join O’Reilly in going DRM-free. They announced today that they would soon be selling 3 thousand current titles via the O’Reilly ebookstore. Nine different Wiley imprints will be offered via O’Reilly, including such leading brands as for Dummies, Wrox, and Sybex. All titles will be available in multiple formats, usually including PDF, Epub, and Kindle. Free ebook updates are also guaranteed along with lifetime access.
O’Reilly has been DRM-free for years, and they stand as an example of how treating customers like customers instead of thieves, by trusting them not to pirate the ebooks, can benefit publishers when customers respond with similar respect. Of course, anyone who has been watching Baen books for the past decade probably could have figured that out 5 years ago.
image by Dazzie D