Will Packt’s Open Source Projects be Affected?

April 13, 2010 by

I’m sure the question which many of you are asking is ‘what about the Open Source Projects?’ That’s an excellent question. As many of you may know, since Packt formed in 2004, we have ensured that we give back to the Open Source projects. For each book sold that is written on an Open Source project, we pay a royalty directly to that project.

This will not change. We will continue to support Open Source projects with royalties from the books we publish and, to add to this, we are offering further options including book donations, documentation rewrites, and event sponsorships.

Another mainstay going forward is the Packt Open Source CMS Award which was launched in July 2006. The Award is designed to encourage, support, recognize and reward Open Source Content Management Systems that have been selected by a panel of judges and visitors to the website. There are big plans in place for the 2010 Award that will advance the scheme to reflect Packt’s dedication to supporting, recognizing and rewarding Open Source projects.

Packt will remain dedicated to the Open Source community as a whole, and will continue to work towards the growth of Open Source.
We would be interested in receiving your thoughts or feelings on this.

This post was written by Julian Copes, Packt’s public relations executive. For more information on Julian, and all other post authors, look here.

About Packt Open Source

April 13, 2010 by

As you will have seen in previous posts here, we’re creating a Packt Open Source brand. I’m the Publisher for our Open Source books, and this is a great chance for me to tell you all about it.

We’re creating an Open Source brand to expand our range of practical and clear books on Open Source applications and libraries, to make Open Source technologies accessible and easier to use for more and more people. Most Open Source technologies grow by the day – you visit a technology’s website one day and already some great new feature has been added since the previous day! The pace of development of individual Open Source projects and the rate of appearance of new projects means a wave of users with different information needs that the projects cannot necessarily keep up with. This is where Packt comes in.

Packt has long been associated with Open Source. Our earliest titles were on Open Source technologies, and from the first copy of our first book we have been supporting the Open Source community through our Open Source Royalty Scheme. So far, we have been only scratching the surface.

By creating a new Open Source brand we will be able to dig deeper, to explore new Open Source projects that we have been unable to reach before. Our team of dedicated Open Source Acquisition Editors now look exclusively at Open Source projects, learning more about them, and getting to know our existing customers of Open Source books better so that we can not only publish great books on topics and projects we’ve not published on before, but also give our existing customers more information about the topics they’re looking for.

All Packt books share the same core values – practical, distilled content based on user experience, a clear goal and purpose, and a carefully defined target audience, and our Open Source books will continue this. Open Source projects change regularly with their accelerated release cycles, and we will be updating our books regularly to keep this in check.

Through all of this, we will continue to support Open Source projects through our Open Source Project Royalty Scheme, which means that some of the revenue from each sale of a book on an Open Source project will go to the project itself. More about that here.

In the course of publishing over 250 books on Open Source technologies we’ve met a lot of people, and made a lot of new friends. I expect us to make many more friends in the time ahead.

This post was written by Douglas Paterson, Packt Open Source publisher. For more information on Douglas, and all other post authors, look here.

Why are we splitting the Packt brand?

April 9, 2010 by

The decision to split Packt into two different brands might not sound the most conventional marketing strategy. However it’s something that we have given a lot of thought to, and is coming at the right time for us as a publisher and for yourselves as readers.

You are probably already aware that our business strategy at Packt is to publish specialist knowledge for IT professionals. Central to Packt from day one has been its business model, which enables us to publish more specialist books than traditional publishers. By printing our books on-demand and selling largely online and direct, we have established a publishing company that can bypass the traditional retail route to market, avoiding the large discounts associated with selling books through bookstores. Essentially, this makes bringing a book to market for niche audiences profitable for authors as well as ourselves, whilst keeping the costs down for customers.

We have spent the last six years publishing over 350 focused and specialised books that have enabled us to establish a brand; building up values and an identity that’s credible for the areas into which we publish. So I’m sure the question on your lips right now is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t split it!’ Well, you’re asking a good question, one that we’ve asked ourselves on more than one occasion, and one that I believe we’ve been able to answer.

I believe that to continue to be credible as a specialist, the readers of our books want to believe that we, as a provider of specialist IT knowledge, really understand them and their tools, techniques, and problems intimately. Wouldn’t you agree that you can’t be a specialist in a lot of areas? Of course you can’t, it’s not believable. As the number and variety of titles that we publish increases, there is a risk that the Packt brand itself will restrict its ability to specialise. It therefore makes sense for us to deliver these specialist areas with focused brands and personnel who are engaged with and working exclusively for the people who read them.

I see Packt as a “Master Brand”, standing for “Specialist IT Knowledge”, and then our sub-brands define the areas in which it specialises. We have decided to start with two main sub-brands:

–       Packt Open Source

–       Packt Enterprise

There will be more on these brands and what they stand for in later blog posts.

The acid test for these sub-brands is whether our customers can readily understand what kind of books will be published into them, so we don’t have to explain.

Looking at the titles we have already, and those we might publish in the future, it’s clear that not every one will fit into either of these two brands; this will be answered in a later post.

Ultimately we have arrived at this decision to ensure that our books remain focussed for you as readers, and I’m sure you’ll agree that venturing down this unconventional and possibly unchartered route makes sense. Feel free to let us know your thoughts on the matter.

This post was written by Damian Carvill, Packt’s Marketing Manager. For more information on Damian, and all other post authors, look here.

The Packt Blog

April 9, 2010 by

Packt Are Launching Two New Brands

“It’s a Packt Blog”, I can imagine people proclaiming. “What are they going to be writing about, and why are they starting it now?”

As you are probably already aware, these are some exciting times at Packt. I’m sure that you have noticed the sparkling new website, but there’s some even more exciting news in the works.

My name is Mark Nichols. I’m a marketing executive for the Packt Enterprise brand. “What is this brand?”, you ask. Well, it is our big news. We are launching not one but two new brands over the coming weeks.

Packt Open Source and Packt Enterprise, both still under the Packt umbrella, but both able to focus on their separate areas with more aplomb than ever, are due to be launched this month.

Over the coming weeks, a variety of people at Packt will be discussing this with you, beginning with a more in-depth post about the brand split from our marketing manager, Damian Carvill. I hope that you can share this journey with us, and we would all love to hear from you along the way.

Following the launch, we will be aiming to broaden the scope of the blog, to include interviews from authors, short tips on using software, and general information about life at Packt, allowing you to understand where the books are coming from.

So that is why the blog has been started now. We would like to not only be able to help inform you of the ways in which Packt is changing, but also to hear back from you about these changes. If you have any questions, others may well have the same queries, so drop us a comment and we’ll get back to you.

This post was written by Mark Nichols, a Marketing Executive at Packt Publishing. For more information on Mark, or any other authors on this blog, look here.