Having read a lot of programming books recently, one publisher has quickly become a firm favourite; The Pragmatic Bookshelf (AKA The Pragmatic Programmers.)
Here are a few reasons that make them stand head and shoulders above most other publishers:
The quality of their books – One of the things I love so much about their books is their exceptionally high standard; I know that if I buy one I am going to be buying one of the best resources on that particular topic, and by the end of it, I will have gained invaluable knowledge. It’s a bit like the Matrix, you go in knowing nothing and you come out knowing programming Kung-fu! This is all possible because of professional editing – it’s priceless, and can make the difference between a mediocre book, and an amazing one.
Their pricing model – They’re very reasonable, and I love that their author share is also very fair. In addition to they also run several sales a year which gets you even more money off!
Excellent beta schemes – You can often buy their books while they’re in beta, and not only are they available in all major digital formats, but they get updated often too. You also get access to a forum where you can talk directly with the book author/s.
You’ve got mail! – or rather a digital book sent directly to your Kindle! I LOVE this feature. Whenever there’s an update to a book that I’ve purchased, it automatically gets sent to my Kindle device. So no matter where you are, you have the latest version of the book – no need to faff around downloading the latest version to your Mac, hooking up your Kindle and copying over your book – you just turn on the Kindle’s wifi, and it automatically syncs up and downloads the latest version! The service is free too, cool huh?
On top of all that, they have some really good books from some top Ruby talent (four pragprog books recently made it to my Best way to Learn Ruby & Rails list).
Honourable mention goes out to Manning, O’Reilly, Addison-Wesley and other publishers who share most of the qualities above (apart from send to Kindle and pricing perhaps – if they could do that too I’d be a very happy person!).