MC Press Online, LLC has announced the launch of its new feature-rich online MC Press Bookstore enhanced with new training materials and targeted at information technology professionals who need to keep their skills up to date.
The pace at which technology is moving today has never been faster, and many programmers, system administrators, and IT managers are under intense pressure to keep up with the new advances. In fact, their jobs depend on it.
As the leading book publisher serving the IBM midrange channel, MC Press Online offers many titles on emerging and open-source technologies in addition to those developed and supported by IBM. A growing list of college textbooks and IT management books rounds out the product line. MC Press also publishes five high-tech newsletters and hosts an in-depth news portal, www.mcpressonline.com, through which readers can access all the newsletters along with current technology news, even if they haven't yet subscribed to the individual newsletters.
While MC Press has been offering books online since 2002, its original online store had several limitations and, eventually, a dated interface, all of which have been redesigned and completely redeveloped from the ground up, according to David M. Uptmor, MC Press Online publisher.
"The new store has more robust product listings and is far more informative than the old store was," says Uptmor. "We also have completely reorganized all store products to make everything much easier to find. There are now many different ways to view the products. It's a completely new experience from the user's viewpoint, one we believe will make customers want to return again and again."
A major enhancement to the store's content is the addition of a full line of training materials from Manta Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of training to the IBM i community. MC Press customers will receive an exclusive 5 percent discount off Manta's best price when they purchase Manta training through the MC Press Bookstore, according to Jeff Phillips, MC Press Online director of marketing.
"We now actually offer a price for training from Manta that is lower than Manta's own price," says Phillips. "However, you must click through from the MC Press Bookstore in order to get the extra 5 percent discount."
In line with current publishing industry trends, the MC Press Bookstore has opened a new e-books section where visitors will find a number of their favorite titles available in Kindle Edition via Amazon.com. The e-books section eventually will host a large number of titles, and soon users will be able to download them directly from the MC Press site.
While the content, user interface, and functionality of the store have all been redesigned, so too has the pricing structure, says Phillips. Not only is the MC Press Bookstore now offering free ground shipping on orders of $100 or more for customers in the continental U.S., but prices on the current inventory of books have been adjusted in every case to ensure readers get the absolute best value possible, he says. "In essence, there simply are now more items on sale every day than we ever have had in the past," says Phillips. "We're anticipating a much higher volume of sales from the new store and are pricing aggressively to help ensure that outcome," says Phillips.
For the budget-minded buyer interested more in the content than the wrapper, the Bookstore now offers a new "Scratch and Dent" section. While MC Press has sold books returned by bookstores during special semi-annual scratch-and-dent sales, the new section makes these titles available on a regular basis at the reader's convenience.
Because readers are generally interested in what people who have read a book think of it, the Bookstore has a review section where visitors can post their thoughts online about the book for other readers and those considering purchasing it. The Bookstore also has a new blog hosted by Katie Tipton, MC Press Online book editor, who will be writing about various authors and upcoming new titles.
"We have an exciting lineup of new titles in the pipeline, and I'm hoping to use the blog to give readers an advance look at what they can expect once the work in progress is published," Tipton says. "I enjoy working with the authors on their manuscripts and look forward to sharing stories about these projects with MC Press readers."
Tipton noted that book code downloads are now available directly from the book's Web page, along with a link to the reader discussion forum. A popular feature of the MC Press Bookstore is the ability for readers to see a book's table of contents, index, and a sample excerpt—all in realistic PDF format—for every book.
As polished and attractive as the new Bookstore is, MC Press isn't finished with all the enhancements planned for the new site, according to the publisher. Among the major upcoming features will be a display of competitive pricing alongside the MC Press price, and inclusion of an affiliate program where other businesses can place an ad with a special link and receive a percentage of any resulting sales.
"We're going to continue to invest in the Bookstore to make it a true pleasure for our regular customers to visit and shop, and we're looking forward to a whole new generation of visitors to check us out as we continue to publish a stream of new IT titles," says Uptmor.