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Old July 12th, 2017, 09:14 AM
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jminatel jminatel is offline
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Wow, thanks for the incredible feedback and please accept my apologies for the late response. This post was trapped in moderation limbo and I just spotted and released it. I'll do my best to answer this as I can.

Wrox went bankrupt. In 2003! John Wiley & Sons ("Wiley") bought Wrox's best-sellers at the time out of bankruptcy in 2003. All of the book's you've listed as "great" and those not so great have all been published while Wrox has been and still is a part of Wiley.

Here are the big changes I can talk about:
Pluralsight, Lynda.com, and others have had tremendous success teaching programming and web development through videos and that's dramatically cut the number of people reading books. Writing takes more time by freelance authors than creating video and as books sell fewer copies, the best authors can no longer devote the time to books and forums they used to.

Safari Books Online and other subscription book services offer reading 10,000+ books a month for one low subscription price. While Wrox and the author get paid for books being on there, we all get paid a lot less than someone buying books. Safari is "netflix for tech books" and publishers aren't making enough money from Safari to publish as many books.

The bottom line: even our best-sellers like Professional C# and Professional ASP.NET that you mention sell fewer copies than they used to. The success and profit of the best editions of those (ASP.NET 2.0, 3.5, 4; C# 2005, 2008, 2010) funded investment in new and speculative books. The best-sellers sell less now, meaning less money to invest in other new books. Simple business.

Authors have always been freelancers (at least the last 14 years) and many of them have either moved on to new career challenges or even done interesting things outside work - like getting married and raising a family. The work they did in forums was because the loved helping people learn and while they still love that, they may also love spending time with families.

We continue to publish a very selective list of books with potential to be worth the author's time. There's a great new edition of Professional JavaScript on the way, Reto is finishing the latest edition of Professional Android, and there are others.

And there are also fewer of us working on more things - the same situation you've probably seen in many companies. I worked on nothing but Wrox for almost 10 years but lately I get to work on books on cybersecurity and a few others things too. While those are great and fun, it does mean I miss things - like moderating the forums as well as I should. Sorry.

I hope this helps. We're still alive and working hard.
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Jim Minatel
Associate Publisher, WROX - A Wiley Brand
Blog: http://p2p.wrox.com/content/blogs/jminatel
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