Wired News: Net Publishing Made Profitable

… Veteran Net publisher Adam Engst has finally stumbled on a good business model — fast-turnaround e-books …

… From the get-go, Engst has pioneered just about every revenue model on the Internet — ads, subscriptions, sponsorships and the now-ubiquitous tip jar — with mixed success …

… But now Engst thinks he’s finally cracked it. Since last fall, Engst has published a series of rapidly produced e-books using a system he calls “extreme publishing.”

The nine books in the Take Control series range in topic from customizing Mac OS X to setting up a wireless network.

The books are written by a small stable of independent authors, who receive 50 percent royalties, a rate unheard of in traditional publishing. Edited collaboratively over the Net, the books are published “within moments of going to press” as small, downloadable PDF files. …

… At O’Reilly Media, the third-largest technical publisher in the United States, e-books are being taken to the next level: O’Reilly is digitizing its offerings to build a huge digital library that makes possible things like customizable textbooks — printed books assembled from dozens of different texts …

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