New Rough Cuts Service Offers Sneak Peeks at Tech Books

Safari Books, a joint venture between technical book publisher OiReilly and Pearson Technology Group, on Monday announced Rough Cuts, a new service that offers readers online access to early versions of books. They can read the books online or print them from PDFs and offer feedback directly to the authors and editors through a built-in Notes feature.

Safari Books compared the service to a software projectis nightly build, with each Rough Cuts PDF getting updated every time the author or editor makes changes to it. Rough Cuts versions of books will show up two to six months prior to publication, according to Safari, with three ways to buy: the online version, at a discount from the price of the print book; both the Rough Cuts and print versions, at a package price; or an advance order with a pre-publication discount.

Four OiReilly titles are available now as Rough Cuts: Ajax Hacks, Flickr Hacks, Ruby on Rails: Up and Running and Ruby Cookbook. Eight more will be available through March.