First of all, content updates:
The website has fallen behind our actual amount of work completed, because we're trying to write and get things typeset for print at the same time, and are actively revising things and rethinking things. We have several chapters based on PayR floating around in private emails which we'll soon be checking in and finalizing.
We decided along the way that PayR was starting to get too big for its britches on camping, so though the reports will essentially be the same either way, the core example for the Ruport Book is now a Rails 2.0 application. Hopefully this is something folks will enjoy, sorry if I've disappointed a few fellow campers with this announcement. :-/
We originally hoped to hit RubyConf as our print date, but that fell through. We announced December 15th at RubyEast, though we're not 100% sure we'll make that date. However, we are really hoping to see the Ruport Book available for print before 2008, and still have a good shot at making that happen.
We plan on opening up pre-orders on December 1st, but will delay them if we think the book will not be out before January. Stay tuned for further announcements.
Pricing and Where Your Money Goes:
If you buy the books during the limited (US-only) preorder, you can buy the printed book for $25(+ S/H) and get the PDF copy for free. If you wait until after the pre-order, the book will cost you $30. The key difference between the two is that the pre-order will be mailed directly from us, which will give us a chance to scribble a Pacman ghost inside the front cover for you. It will also help us start off with a little money in the bank, which would be great.
If you want just the PDF copy of the book, it's $8.50, either before or after the pre-order. Of course, free-loaders will get the HTML and raw sources for well... free.
Because we're self publishing, we have the opportunity to do things a little differently. This is why we've chosen to donate 25% of our revenue after any Lulu fees to Engineers Without Borders. So if you buy the book, you're supporting us a little, supporting BTree a little (who helped pay our expenses), and even helping out a charity. Seems like a good deal all around to me.
More than one way to support us:
If you don't feel like buying the book but still want to show your support, there are a few things you can do:
- Help spot bugs and mistakes in the book. We'll announce a Trac URL for bug tracking some time soon. These bug fixes will be rolled out to the print copies of the books, as we're doing print on demand.
- Write up a review (once the book is published) somewhere that gets traffic, and help folks find the book and hopefully buy it.
- Consider a direct donation to the authors. Though we were able to find funding for core expenses, we weren't paid for our time, and are on our own for future expenses. On the bright side, if the book does especially well, a donation here might buy us a beer or two. :)