Shostack + Friends Blog


Threats, To The Supply Chain

The threats book is in the supply chain, inconsistently. An amazon screencapture showing threats as the #1 new release in Computer Network Security, and delivering overnight

Many people are asking about the lack of an ebook version of Threats. I think the real reason is Wiley’s a Microsoft shop, the ebook is on an Azure server, and AWS is being petulant.

More seriously, ebook is now here [as of Jan 26] and audio book is forthcoming.

Let me pull back the curtain a bit and explain. Books are complex products. My Wiley team included an acquisition editor, a project editor, a content refinement specialist, a copyeditor, a marketing lead, a cover designer — and those are the folks whose names I know. There was also a proofreader, a layout person, an indexer, and probably more. Each of those people works on multiple books, and there’s staging and pipelining so that everyone stays busy.

Something around October, I got an email telling me that our publication date of Feb 7th was at risk, and we were out of slop days in the schedule. (They had a fancier name for them.) I made the call to buckle down and hit my dates, and accept that there might be some quality or assurance tradeoffs.

If you’re paying close attention, you may notice that I said Feb 7th, and people have books in hand today, in January? First, the original publication date was February 7. If you read the end of the the Threats book site, it still says the 7th, we’re still doing the launch parties then, because launch parties also have some production lead times, and we wanted to make sure we could have a stack of books ready for signing.

But the awesome team at Wiley had the printed books done early, and we made the call to put them in the supply chain, because we didn’t expect my fans to be lined up outside bookstores at midnight, clamoring. 😂 And so the physical books are flowing. In fact, Amazon is now delivering them overnight, 2 days ahead of the revised publication date!

I assume that ebooks take longer to produce because there’s more platforms to test on, including e-ink readers and phones and desktop software. There may be text-to-speech to check? (I don’t know if that’ll be enabled, I hope so.) And similarly, the audiobook takes time to record, check, master, and all the rest. Barnes and Noble is taking pre-orders and shows it as available March 21st.

As William Gibson famously said, the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. Or as Yoda said, “Patience! Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things.” And while this book is an exciting adventure, it’s not the sort that Padawans get themselves killed chasing, so it’s ok to crave.

So: the books are flowing, and the various forms are just catching up.