Wrox PDF Ebooks DRM-free


I’ve mentioned a couple of times in response to questions on the p2p.wrox.com forums and twitter that 2010 would be a big year for ebook changes for Wrox. Today I’m happy to announce the first of those: selling Wrox PDF ebooks DRM-free from Wrox.com (and Wrox’s parent Wiley.com). [Updated Feb 4: Here’s our announcement on the availability of the first 24 DRM-free ebooks and a limited time introductory discount.]
We’ve been selling some other PDFs DRM-free (Wrox Blox and Chapters on Demand) for a couple of years leading up to a decision to sell PDF ebooks DRM-free as well. Starting in early February, you’ll start to see full PDF ebooks for sale this way as well. Initially, we’re treating this as a trial phase, but I’m confident that this is a key ebook change programmers want and will be a success. The trial phase will initially include about 30 Wrox eBooks, and in February and March will increase to about 40 ebooks as we add key Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4 books into the mix.
I’m sure you’ve got several questions and I’ll try to answer a few of those I’m anticipating here and if there are others, great, leave them in comments so I can respond.
What 40 books will be included? Mostly our top sellers. We really want to show this is the way to sell ebooks so we’ve picked the books that show the most sales demand for this. In addition to the key new Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4 books, the previous version best-sellers on Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 will be included, hot new books on topics like iPhone app development, SQL Server 2008 titles key to .NET developers, our top sellers  for JavaScript, CSS, Android, and more. Once the books are posted and available, I’ve provide links to the complete list. 
Why only 40 books? This is a trial phase and we’re keeping the workload small enough to manage. This is also a big change for our authors and as the discussions about covers last year showed, we know Wrox authors feel passionate about their books. So for the 40 books that are included, I’ve contacted every author (or the key lead authors on multiple author books) to explain the reasons why we think this is good for Wrox customers and for authors. And I’m pleased to say that I only got turned down on my opt-in request by one author.
Why DRM-Free and just what do you mean by DRM-free? DRM (Digital Rights Management just to be sure we’re on the same page) is a pain for honest customers for a variety of reasons I won’t list here. And we see our ebooks that had DRM pirated enough to think that piracy won’t be any worse without DRM. DRM-free ebooks let our honest customers buy a PDF that they can personally use on any computer with a PDF reader. And with the explosion of mobile devices that support PDF (Kindle, iPhone, and more), we know programmers want to read our books not just on PCs but on these mobile devices. These PDFs will include a small watermark with the customer name, email, and order number at the bottom of each page, but they’ll open in any PDF reader. We’ll post the exact terms for the DRM-free ebooks when they’re available, but they’re very similar to or better than the terms for the Wrox Blox and Chapters on Demand.
What about the other 140 ebooks on your site? For a short period, beginning now, we’re going to start pulling all of the DRM PDF ebooks off of Wrox.com. Once those are all off and the back end is ready for PDF DRM-free, we’ll load just the 30-40 new DRM-free ebooks back on. We don’t want the confusion of selling both DRM versions and DRM-free versions on our site. You’ll still be able to buy other Wrox ebooks from other online retailers, but still with the DRM those retailers apply.

I’m a Wrox author. How can I get my book sold as a DRM-free PDF ebook? Once this is proven successful, we hope to start adding more previously published books and as many new books as authors agree to in a few months. Contact your editor and let them know you want your book added, and they’ll let me know.




11 responses to “Wrox PDF Ebooks DRM-free”

  1. Keith Fahlgren says:

     How about ePub as well? I’d like to be able to read on my iPhone.

  2. jminatel says:

    Keith: We’ll have more announcements over the next few months about more of our books in more e formats. Thanks!

  3. Kem Apak says:

    Great news, I loved wrox ebooks but hated the limitation to use adobe digital editions.
    Will the customers previously purchased the ebooks be able to upgrade to drm-free ebooks for free?
    Warm Regards,
    Kem Apak

  4. OHS says:

    That’s good news. I haven’t bought any Wrox books in a long time, because I’ve become spoilt with DRM-free e-books from Apress, O’Reilly, Packt and others. I’ve bought several hundred books from them, so if some of those 40 titles are of interest, I will certainly buy some.

  5. tachyon42 says:

    I can’t successful read PDFs on my Dell Axim X51v – the text never wraps around so I have to horizontal scroll which is just too much trouble. I’d be 15 minutes reading a page!
    I use Mobipocket format ebooks all the time and am very happy with this format.
    So, can I vote for Wrox ebooks in Mobipocket format?

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is great news. I used to buy Wrox books, but have stopped purchasing them when Oreilly and Pakt became known to me to provide digital versions of their books. I am really not a digital editions kinda person but have bought only 2 books via digital editions and only because they were not available via any other means. I have purchased however, well over 30 books between Pakt and Oreilly (mostly Oreilly) and welcome you back into my life with open arms.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am always in favour of E-Books because it makes my travelling light and have been getting books from Apress and Manning. However, I am quite surprised that the e-books have the same cost as the printed version. I am sure that more can be done to the price as e-books have no printing and delivery cost added to it.

  8. I want to congratulate you Jim on doing the right thing for Wrox.
    You may remember commenting on my blog post last year when I listed the reasons why I wouldn’t purchase any Wrox ebooks.
    I’m really glad of this turn around.

  9. Alex Reyes says:

    DRM free e-books is good, but it would be great if I were able to buy the PDF cheaper when I already have the paperback version.

  10. Franco Mondelli says:

    Hi, I can’t change PC to keep my wrox-ebook library with ADE, that’s absurd!!!
    I’ll never buy more worx-press ebooks!

  11. jminatel says:

    Franco: ADE is NOT required for Wrox PRD DRM-free ebooks. Please see:
    If you are reading the "important ebook information" page, please be sure to get all the way to the end after the ADE information to see the link to this Wrox information that lists Wrox as the ADE exception.

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