from the not-for-mammon-alone dept.
Occamboy writes "I wrote a slightly successful (30,000+ copies sold) computer communications textbook a number of years back that was published via the traditional textbook publishing route. The royalties were nice, but, frankly, the bigger money came from the boost in my professional standing (I'm a practicing engineer, not a professor). I also felt bad when the publisher hiked the price dramatically every year because students were stuck once a professor adopted a text — $50 for a smallish paperback seemed very high (although I like to think what they learned was worth it!). I'm thinking of writing another textbook, this time about the practice of software engineering in critical systems, using the experience I've gained in the decades I've spent developing, and managing the development of, software-driven medical devices. Poking around on the Net, I've found several intriguing options for distributing open source texts, such as Flatworld Knowledge, Lulu, and Connexions. This concept of free or inexpensive texts intrigues me — the easy adoption and lack of price-gouging. Do any Slashdotters have experience with this new paradigm? Any suggestions or experiences to share from authors, students, and/or professors, who've written, read, or adopted open source or low-cost texts from any source?"
"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not
Compute' -- I forget which."
-- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982