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Old July 15th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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Angry Why I'm Returning a Really Good Book

I just purchased Professional VB 2010 and .NET 4. It is a particularly good book, even for an experienced programmer with a bookcase full of VB books. Nonetheless, I will return it (to Barnes & Noble) tomorrow. Why?

The cover is flimsy, the paper too thin, and the type much too small for tired eyes. The book cannot be held or read. I understand why you printed it this way, but I would rather have purchased two books I could use easily than one I must fight.

I also purchased the drm-free copy, and that is the last purchase I will make from your eBooks. (Kudos on the drm-free, though.) The pdf is totally unreadable on a Kindle (probably the fault of Kindle and pdfs, though why you use pdf format is a mystery to me) and relatively difficult to manipulate on my computer (and, of course, impossible to read in bed!). All in all, a really bad experience despite the book itself being especially well done.

I had not realized you now were part of John Wiley, and that might explain some of this. In my experience, John Wiley treats its customers as a bothersome distraction.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for the great specific feedback on the print book and the ebook. I'm glad to hear you liked the content as the authors really worked hard on this edition to find a way to make a VB book valuable for exactly the kind of experienced programmer you describe yourself as.

I'm worry to hear about the paper, cover, and type size issues. There are a lot of factors that bring us to the choices. The paper is actually a huge improvement and in most ways, better paper than what's used in most programming books. It's a smooth, very white paper that gives good legibility. The tradeoff on books our size though is it has to be think to accommodate binding the high page count. And yes, we squeeze the font down a bit to get as much content onto each page as we can and keep the book from being any fatter than it already is. Cover thickness choice, yes, that's something I'd like to improve.

Ebook: You're right. PDF on Kindle isn't an ideal solution. We are producing Kindle books too. The Kindle version of this book was supplied to Amazon earlier this week and I suspect they'll have it available for sale in their Kindle store sometime in the next 2 weeks. Keep in mind, our Kindle books sold through Amazon are subject to Amazon's standard Kindle DRM. (Hint, if for some reason you give us another try and decide to buy this from Amazon, watch the Kindle version on Amazon for about 7-10 days after the list it. There's a data issue there and it usually takes them 7-10 days to change the discount to 40% or better. When the first list it, the discount and price aren't so good.)

As far as the comments about Wiley, all we can try to do is prove we're better than what you've experienced one response at a time. If you'll look at my profile here, you'll see my 1400+ posts, hundreds of which are trying to help customers. If you'll read by blog (http://p2p.wrox.com/content/blogs/jminatel - look at discussions about DRM-free ebooks for example) you'll see that I don't pretend we're perfect or hide from criticism about product issues, I try to answer every public question I can. Behind the scenes, our editors work with tech support and authors to answer as many questions as they can. Honestly, I'm not aware of any other tech publisher with more ways for customers to get in touch with us or more staff to address the issues that come up.

Jim Minatel
Associate Publisher, WROX - A Wiley Brand
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