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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: xml, books

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ari@cogsci.ed.ac.uk (K. Ari Krupnikov) writes:
>Do you target books toward a specific category on this list? I've just
>gone though Dave P's FO which I *bought* and paged through some months
>ago because of (3) but which I didn't *read* until (1) happened. Having
>read it, I'm not sure which category it could fit best.

The targeting is somewhat vague. Books may certainly have elements of
multiple possibilities in them.  The topic of a book often determines if
people NEED it rather than just WANT it, but a lot of books include
seven paragraphs a lot of people need - though everyone needs different
paragraphs - and the surrounding material is mostly want.  

Our Cookbooks have done really well at this, since they're chopped into
conveniently reusable bits that address instant need pretty well but
also make for good reading if you're into the subject.  I also really
like Jeni Tennison's _XSLT and XPath On The Edge_ for this kind of
reason - between that, the _XSLT Cookbook_, memories of Ken Holman's
training (and materials), and occasional help on IRC, I can find my way
through lots of different mazes.

A lot of our books have been more tutorial.  They take some more
patience, and probably end up more in the want category as a result.  We
pay attention to indexes, though, since those are a great way to help
people find NEED material in an otherwise WANT book.

>Do you have (or release) statistics on how many copies of a given
>title yo sell? 

Sadly for this conversation, no, we don't release them.  Even for the
data I do have, though, it's inconclusive, because...

>Can you say if books that are available online sell
>better or worse than those that aren't? Norman Walsh's DocBook for

The problem here is that there's no good way to compare like and like.
I don't have an equivalent book to compare it with, much less the same
book without the open license.  

At this point in time, I suspect that Norm's online version gets a lot
more reading than our print book gets selling.  On the other hand,
Norm's updating his version of the book, and doing things like a
Simplified DocBook, while our print version has stayed a 1999 book.

How this might change if we resynchronized them, I don't know - but I
doubt they'd stay synchronized.


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