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O Rly? O'Reilly exits direct book sales

End of an epoch, but dead trees live on

A closed sign

O'Reilly Media, the preeminent publisher of tech titles for non-dummies, is exiting print distribution.

In the kind of prose you can only compose if you've been crafting business prose for decades, the company explains it's a "reinvention" needed because "we're in the midst of a fundamental shift in how people get and use their content."

Digital distribution is growing, CMO John Fomook writes, and its 2001-launched Safari platform is doing for the physical channel what Spotify is doing for music (and we don't mean "starting a long argument with Taylor Swift over low royalties").

With people paying for digital access rather than unit-by-unit physical purchases, Fomook writes, it made sense for O'Reilly to follow suit, since "the growth of membership on Safari far exceeds the individual units previously purchased on oreilly.com."

Physical books will still be available through Amazon and other retailers. This hasn't delighted all of O'Reilly's readers... ®

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