Re: Hardcopy versions of Handbook and FAQ as BoD

From: <marc(at)>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 08:32:19 -0700

> I think that FreeBSD hasn't experienced
> a public interest large enough to expect
> that people would also spend money for a printed
> book (speaking only for germany).

I would wish the answer was so easy.
The problem has a bit of the egg/hen dilemma.

Why is suddenly everyone talking about Linux, and not about FreeBSD?
I believe their visibility has reached a certain critical size.
They had some companies that produced easy to use distributions,
plus lots of books, magazines, mascots..

Every new FreeBSD item is good and will assure people that they are
betting on a healthy, growing OS.

I myself would not hesitate to buy the books if they are resonably
priced and respect their origin.
In fact printing 600p on my laser is not for free after all, and
the result is an ugly pile of pages that is not easy to use.

So for practical reasons it would make sense to drag this stuff
to a printer, for a nice A5 sized paperback edition.

Doing this is only justified, if a certain number of copies
can be produced. I used to publish a school paper that was quite
professional for that time, we printed about 2000 of them per
issue, 80 pages, chromolux cover (3 colors printing).
It was lots of work, but really nice. Also we had to recoup the
1000-2000$ of printing costs per issue. This was covered by
printing ads of local stores, from bigger ads companies etc.

But I guess such a business model won work with technical
documentation - 600 pages handbook + 50 pages of ads? :-)

> Otherwise, I think, there would be a serious
> second source for FreeBSD CD-ROMs; it's really
> annoying that it always takes several weeks until the
> new walnut creek distribution is sold e.g. at Lehmann'

I am buggered about this as you are.
However for another reason too - I want to see money flowing
to the FreeBSD project, but subscribing is a PITA for various

> So: Before you do this, maybe you should ask a major distributor
> (either an experienced Linux distributor or e.g. Lehmanns)
> if they are interested in that project.

End of this month I hope to have all major options covered,
contacting Lehmanns -my source for CDs too- is one the options.

> And there are *lots* of Print On Demand Services

If you have recommendations for
- BoD Services
- Print Services
- CD Manufacturers
please mail them to me.

Another item is advice on the legal form to choose.

I wish I could do without such hassle, but in a regulated
western country like Germany, economic activity above
a certain scale -and selling books and CDs qualify as such-
is not tolerated without creating a foundation/Verein or
a company.


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Received on Thu 29 Jul 1999 - 17:03:11 CEST

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