August 14, 2008

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode?

As I still have a lot to write, I'm toying with the idea of publishing the first part of my coming Tiburon book, focused on Unicode, as a separate early volume. I'm interested in your feedback.

As you might have seen in previous posts, I'm writing a book on Tiburon, the next version of Delphi, coming out soon and already previewed. Considering the astonishing amount of new features (Unicode, Generics, Ribbon, New Dataset Remoting, to name just a few major ones), I still need time to finish the book and I doubt it will be ready as the product ships (also because I'm going to take two weeks almost completely off... starting tomorrow) or even close to that date.

An interesting option, at this point, could be to release as soon as possible only the first part of the book (maybe with some extra material in draft format) focusing on Unicode. This part counts now about 80 pages, and adding some related RTL material (like the TStringBuilder class) could easily take it over 100 pages. Of course, I could sell the book at a premium low-price, as it is still some sort of draft. The problems though, is that using I cannot grant readers who want to buy the preview and later the full book a reasonable discount, so I fear you'll have to pay twice. The other drawback, is that releasing the "Unicode section" of the book will certainly slow down the complete project, even if this should have a limited effect.

What do you think? Would you buy the two books or wait for the second? What could help making this a win-win situation? If it is relevant I could try to work out a discount deal, with or without Lulus help... Still, even if I discount (say) half the price of the first book from the second (considering printing costs), you'll still have to pay shipping twice.

BTW, I'm also thinking of a "signed book" deal, a "book + support" deal, and a "book + DVD" deal, but those might take way more time to happen...



What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

Why not publish the Unicode part as a E-Book (PDF or
similar)? I would still buy a printed version of the
complete edition later on. And about a discount for
the complete edition, well, would be nice, but is not
a show stopper for me.
Since the changes concerning Unicode could affect a
lot of the code I'm already writing right now, I
really would be interested in this issues. All the
other changes like Generics, Ribbon and so on can
wait, since they are (hopefully) kind of optional.
Comment by JG on August 14, 13:40

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

 I think that we need only one book. The new delphi 
have not a release date today. I think too that the 
new delphi only have some changes about delphi 2007 
and i think that are bussiness (marketing). A new 
release (break release) it will must have a lot of 
changes ( compact framework, .net 3.5, wpf, 
silverlight and so on..... not only unicode,  
generics, Tstrings, Ribbons ..).
Comment by vicente on August 14, 13:48

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

Hi Marco,

I definitely would buy both, the 'pre-release' about 
the new Unicode features is very interesting since 
IMO it would help to start converting existing 
projects before D2009 ships.

New controls or similar things of D2009 will not 
effect existing projects too much as perhaps Unicode 
Comment by Michael on August 14, 14:13

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

I think it should be interesting to publish it as PDF 
in an "early access program" way, take a look at
Comment by Davide Zordan [] on August 14, 14:24

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

I Will buy the complete second book.I am interested  a
lot more for the Unicode support but all the other
thing (changes) are very important.thank you. 
Comment by John [] on August 14, 14:24

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

I like the idea of a pre-book focused on new features
of Tiburon, even without a discount for the full one.
Comment by Alexander on August 14, 14:42

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

The PDF idea is good.  Getting a signed book would be
cool too.

If you're more worried about time-to-market rather
than perfection, maybe making what's essentially a
draft version available for an extra-low price might
be an option?  Thinking of it in this manner might
help to reduce the effect on the rest of the project.
 It might also help to put at ease the whole "I'm
paying for part of the book twice" mindset some people
might have.

Here's the thing though: People who would buy this
Unicode-only section in advance are probably going to
be more worried about getting timely information now
rather than how much everything is going to cost. 
They needed Unicode in Delphi yesterday, and anything
that's going to let them hit the ground running with
Tiburon is going to be a major advantage to them.

Don't worry about people double-paying for shipping --
it's a cost for moving a physical product from point A
to point B that has to be paid and there's no way
around that.  Anyone that's going to whine about that
is going to be impossible to please.

Another possibility is to make the Unicode section a
separate book.  Then finish off the rest of the
project as a second book.  Then later down the line
you can integrate the two together into a single
massive tome.

Another (crazy) idea: Broaden the scope, so to speak.
 People might pay for access to draft-level PDFs of
different sections of the book as they're ready. 
Let's face it, Tiburon is a pretty massive release for
CodeGear, so I'm guessing that your book is getting
rather large.  Big books take time.  Time to edit,
time to revise, time to polish, and time to publish. 
Having access to expert-level work on any given
section sooner, even if its incomplete, might be
worthwhile to some people.  However, I can see how
this might slow things down significantly.

Just some ideas I hope you find useful.
Comment by Anthony Frazier on August 14, 15:26

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

I totally agree with the previous post.
I think your customers are loyal (I may be wrong, but
for sure I am of this kind!) so acquire a partial PDF
and after a complete printed book is a plus (to get
Unicode stuff in advance).
A nice possibility (but this is up to you) is to give
the PDF version for free, if a customer proves to have
bought the previous version of the book, as a sort of
'guarantee' that will bought the full printed version
when available. This way the customer gets the second
win (no extra-cost).
Comment by Guido Aspesani on August 14, 16:36

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

Just release a full Book and everything will be OK.
I completly hate reading Ebooks and I know so many 
who are with me on that. The Time you waste on 
pulishing 2 Books, giving discount, thinking about 
other solutions.... use it for the complete Book.
Comment by Delphix on August 14, 17:31

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

 I would buy both!
Comment by Shane on August 14, 17:46

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

If Lulu offered some kind of pre-order service for 
yet to be published books (like Amazon for example) 
then you could send early details in pdf form to 
those people.  It would also give you an indication 
of the number of people committed to buying your 
upcoming book.

I for one would be on the list & would consider 
paying a book 'deposit' to gain early access to such 
Comment by Mark Brindle on August 14, 18:40

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

Personally, I would count more on a single book
covering all the new features in a single volume, as a
more practical solution, so one can read what he wants
without bothering where he left the other one.

However, I can see that some people want to start
reading about Tiburon asap...

Comment by Zlatibor Boro Urosevic on August 14, 20:48

What About a Tiburon Pre-Book on Unicode? 

I would buy both - and whatever you will publish on 
Delphi - and especially on Delphi.NET.

BTW: I hope you cover in your book also questions of 
interoperability to Delphi.NET for the new features?
Comment by grenzi_r [] on August 15, 15:31

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