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SafariU is a commercial on-line web 2.0 publishing service developed by O'Reilly Media and allows teachers to create printed custom-made textbooks from chapters of books edited by over 20 publishers (e.g. O'Reilly, Addison Wsley, Pearson Education).

These textbooks do receive a ISBN number and are shipped as printed books to the teacher or the local university bookstore.


The process

Registration and conditions

  • A qualified university teacher has to register with O'Reilly
  • Membership is free under the condition that students collectively consume a minimum of $700.00 USD per year in books and/or online subscriptions.

A give step process

  1. Gather content from books
    • Book list is searchable and chapter contents are shown to the teacher
    • You may add chapters or sections with a button
  2. Organize it
    • You can drop/drag edit the table of contents
    • In addition, you can upload your own PDF contents to be included
  3. Choose some Options
    • Definition of the cover page
    • Selection of the binding
  4. Review
    • Generates a PDF
  5. Finalize
    • This will commit the process and will generate a ISBN number
    • You will get the book after max. 4 week (according to the web site)


  • In the search box use quotes, e.g. "web application"
  • Use advanced search to:
    • Restrict to categories (not that useful)
    • Select recent books (published from)
    • Search in titles only
  • Search or browse the "public projects". Maybe some other teacher already did most of the work. Each project each teacher does (including yours) is accessible to others.... and you can copy the structure.


  • Books must be between 100 and 800 pages
  • Cost/page is $0.16 USD, i.e. a typical 200 page custom book is $32
  • Students also may buy on-line access to up to 10 books you used.


Daniel K. Schneider did not test this service for real, but I find it an interesting concept. I may create a book for next semester. You have to plan ahead !

Current restrictions for the moment:

  • Only English books seem to be available
  • Mostly technical books (some business)

Alternatives: Write it yourself, e.g. with lulu