The O’Reilly Radar blog has three great posts covering the current state of the computer book market (look here, here and here). The third post is perhaps the most interesting. Here are a few excerpts:
Among the "majors" (Pearson, Wiley, O'Reilly, Microsoft, and McGraw Hill), only Wiley and O'Reilly outperformed the market.
Wiley was up 11% overall, with Wrox (up 116%) and Visual (up 46%) leading their growth.
The competitor we have our closest eye on is Wrox, which is resurgent under new management at Wiley.
Wiley picked up Wrox's top 35 titles when it went out of business. Wiley's strong performance with these titles (and new ones they've added since) shows how smart they were to cherry pick the list. While APress' growth has largely been driven by the publication of large numbers of titles (funded by APress' parent and distributor, Springer Verlag), Wrox is getting a lot of bang from each title, with average revenue per title in Q1 of over $19,000, vs. about $13,000 per title at APress.
Of the top 50 titles, Wiley had 17, Pearson had 13, O'Reilly had 10, Microsoft had 8, and McGraw Hill had 2. No other publisher had more than 1.
We here at WROX are of course flattered by Tim’s comments. My fellow WROX colleague Jim Minatel also offers his additional thoughts over on his blog.