One of the most common questions we get is why we generate a new edition every year.
The answer is pretty simple. It’s reflects the pace of the cloud and the need for books to change to cover what’s happening inside Office 365.
The Old Days of On-Premises Software
In the “old days” of on-premises software, we would have a new major version of products like Exchange and SharePoint every three years. People like me would cover the new version in a new book, like my Exchange series – I wrote about Exchange 4.0, 5.0, 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 before I moved to coverage of online services.
People seemed quite happy to buy a new book every three years, and the content of a book covering a new version of Exchange built on the previous version (just like the software). I added new text to cover the new features, removed text that no longer applied, and edited text that needed to be changed to apply to the new version.
Even with a 3-year software product cycle, the traditional approach to writing technical books couldn’t keep pace with changes and updates, and we invariably published a book that was in some way obsolete as soon as it appeared on the shelves. It was only a little obsolete because software didn’t change all that quickly, but it was obsolete in parts and became more obsolete as Microsoft rolled out service packs (in the old, old days) and later cumulative updates.
A New Edition of Office 365 for IT Pros Every Year
Now we build and publish a new edition of the Office 365 for IT Pros book every year. The new edition allows us to add new text, remove old stuff that no longer applies or isn’t as important as it once was, and update text to reflect what’s happening inside Office 365. That sounds a lot like it was in the traditional publishing model for on-premises software products. The difference is that things happen a lot faster – and when we publish a new edition, we know it’s up to date, and we can keep it up to date with frequent updates.
We Take Care of our Subscribers
So when people ask me why they should pay $49.95 for a new edition of Office 365 for IT Pros, my response is that if they bought the previous edition, they’ll get the new edition for a much reduced price because we offer subscribers a substantial discount. And if they are only buying the book for the first time now, we’ll take care of them with discounts to renew in the future. None of that happened with the traditional model.
I think the new approach we’re taking works well for everyone. Feel free to disagree! But buy a copy of the book anyway…