O’Reilly Rough Cuts

In January 2006 O’Reilly debuted their “Rough Cuts” program. Here’s how they describe it:
“When you buy a book on the Rough Cuts service, you get access to an evolving manuscript. You can read it online, download as a PDF, or print. Once you’ve purchased a Rough Cuts title, you have a chance to shape the final product – you can send suggestions, bug fixes, and comments directly to the author and editors.”
“You have your choice in the Rough Cuts program of purchasing just online access, just the print book when it releases, or the best of both worlds – online access immediately and the print book later.”
This is a great model for infotech books, which often suffer from the speed differential between paper-bound publishing and techno change.
Of particular interest is the option to comment on the book as it is being written, a sort of collaboration between author and reader that might seem distasteful to literary traditionalists but is eminently useful in the case of technology books. How would a similar model work in the humanities, I wonder?

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