Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 07:39:23 +0900

>>>>> "Tim" == Tim O'Reilly <> writes:

    Tim> On 9/20/02 2:44 AM, "Stephen J. Turnbull"
    Tim> <> wrote:

    Rich> What is the essential difference between Tim's publishing a
    Rich> Linux book that includes a Linux CD and RedHat publishing a
    Rich> Linux CD distribution that includes a Linux book?

    >> Support.  O'Reilly is a book publishing company.  None of those
    >> great authors are on retainer in case a reader has a problem
    >> with the CD.

    Tim> Actually, we do have an active tech support department for
    Tim> all our books,

But does this tech service department *help* with failed CD installs?
Are they trained for that?

And what do you do if a reader complains that the author doesn't

Unless the answers are something radically different from "Best
effort, but untrained" and "Ping the author; soothe the reader" I
don't see anything close to FS business, although there's obviously a
lot of FS activity going on.

    Tim> And we do this for free, including the service in the price
    Tim> of the often proprietary book.  Whereas FSBs give away the
    Tim> software but charge for the service.

Going the extra half-mile and failing will sell a lot of books for
O'Reilly.  It loses customers for the FSB, which must go the whole
mile as a matter of course and then check whether the customer wants
another half.

    Tim> Go figure.

That's exactly what we're here for!  :-)

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