LinuxPlanet: The StartX Files: Why Johnny Can't Read Linux Books
Jun 04, 2001, 13:16 (32 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
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Lately you may have noticed a few less Linux books on the
shelves of your local bookseller: Brian Proffitt explains that this
is the result of a fickle publishing industry ever looking for the
next big thing, and the self-reliant/self-documenting Linux
community itself. Here's an insider's view from a published Linux
...But the Dummies series has just about reached its
saturation point on the market, if it hasn't already. There are
some good books in the series, even today. But I think the series
pretty well went over the edge with the best seller Sex for
Dummies. Since I am a big believer in natural selection, the
thought of people needing a beginner's guide to sex was a bit
off-putting, to say the least.
Okay, cheap shot. But you see what I mean about saturation.
Now Hungry Minds is scrambling around trying to find the next
Big Thing. And so is every single one of its competitors. Not just
for series, mind you, but for topic ideas as well. About two years
ago, the potential Big Thing was Linux.
And the publishing companies poured their resources into this
(to them) fledgling technology. (That statement alone shows how
much trouble they were in for.) As more and more users were
migrating to Linux, they reasoned, they would need books to help
guide them on their way.
On the surface, this is a logical argument. It might have been
true, once upon a time. But just below the surface was some hard
reality that the publishing houses would have to face up to.