Ivan Pepelnjak at ioshints.info has made a good point about people who steal textbooks. Basically, it takes months to go through the process of writing a book. It isn’t a part time activity, and you need to get paid a reasonable amount of money to take time off from your work to get this done.
And the money that the author gets isn’t very much. Typically about 5% of the cover price goes to the author, and you need to sell a lot of books to get a months salary in the bank at two or three US dollars a book.
As Ivan says:
Do you really want that? Do you really think Cisco Press (and numerous other publishers) would still be in the business of book publishing if the vendor documentation addressed your needs?
I wonder if that is why many of the Cisco Press haven’t been updated in the last three or four years. If the authors aren’t making enough money to make the process worthwhile, they won’t do it. I haven’t written or published a book myself because there is not enough money to make it worthwhile.
If you don’t pay, it wont get written and you won’t get good quality study material.
Think about it.