Manning over O’Reilly

Norman Richards has an on point post about O’Reilly and Manning these days:

O’Reilly still holds the premier tech publisher spot. I’m sure in marketshare, they are still well on top, but they do seem to be losing mindshare and far fewer people think of them as THE tech publisher. I regularly pass over O’Reilly books on the shelves in favor of other publishers, something that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. Why?

O’Reilly used to be pretty much the only tech publisher I paid any attention to. I still confess to love the animals on the covers. Today though on a recreational browsing of the local Borders I tend to look at books by the following publishers in order:

  • Pragmatic Programmers
  • Manning
  • Apress
  • O’Reilly

For some reason I’m more in alignment right now with the Pragmatic Publishers from Ruby on Rails to TextMate. Manning tends to cover technical topics in depth with their In Action series even on something like iText or iBatis. Apress isn’t afraid to put out books on things like Wicket or Common Lisp. I still really like the Head First Books especially for getting less experienced developers up to speed, but much of the most compelling topics in O’Reilly’s upcoming lists are actually from the Pragmatic Programmers.

In the old days I could just look for animals on the covers. Today, I can hunt among multiple publishers. Now if I could just find management book publishers that showed any signs of consistent quality.