I have a friend whose favorite saying is, “Anything worth doing is worth doing fast.” It’s the perfect mantra for online publishing, but not so easy for books. Or is it?
O’Reilly has just introduced Rough Cuts. It’s a service that gives you access to books before they’re published. These early chapters won’t be fully edited or formatted for print. They will, however, be very current.
When you buy a book via the Rough Cuts service, you get access to an evolving PDF manuscript. You can download and print it, or read it online. You also have a chance to shape the final product through your suggestions, bug fixes, and comments made directly to the author and editors through Safari’s Notes feature.
There’s a great story behind this product’s evolution. You might want to read Tim O’Reilly’s post on The Long Snout. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a glimpse into the future of book publishing.