Subject: CDROM/book products
From: Keith Bostic <bostic@abyssinian.sleepycat.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 09:31:33 -0500 (EST)

My group is considering putting together an Open-Source CDROM/book
product for the Berkeley DB software.  So, for some price you get
a book with a CDROM tucked in the back.  Obviously, lots of other
people have done this before, and I wanted to ask a few questions:

1. Are we better off doing our own manufacturing and shipping,
   or are there folks we could partner with, where we could
   give them camera-ready copy and a CD master, and they would
   create the CDROM/book, do the warehousing and the shipping
   for a per-copy fee or percentage?

2. Does it make any difference if we continue to keep all the
   additional documentation freely available, i.e., is the
   marketplace we want to reach the people that want hardcopy
   and stable media, or is it the people that want additional
   documentation over the basic manual pages?

3. How do people handle upgrades?  Open-Source products tend to
   have more releases than other products.  If we're releasing,
   say, twice a year, how do we handle the changeover?  Stop
   shipping for a month while the new release comes out?  (That's
   still a short period for converting, too.  Customers that got
   the old release a month ago will be annoyed that it's already
   out-of-date.)

4. Is there any information available (anecdotal is fine!) on
   the "reasonable" range for CDROM/Book product pricing?

Thanks,
--keith