I have an author who’s under pressure to include _only_ the publisher’s titles in the resource section. I understand the publisher’s desire to cross promote titles, and it’s not the first time that I’ve heard a publisher say “point to our books,” but the author is understandably peeved. They not only want him to point to their books, they want him to shill books he hasn’t even seen.
Publishers, if you want an author to feature your other books, please send review copies and let the author choose what belongs and what doesn’t. You have plenty of space in the back and front matter to promote your other titles. It demeans your book if, by design, it doesn’t include other credible resources, some classic, that happen to have been published elsewhere.
O’Reilly does a great job of not only encouraging their authors to list the best available resources in their books, they even allow their authors to promote their other titles on O’Reilly blogs. In fact, I remember Tim bragging about this many years ago at the Waterside conference. I’d love to hear about other publishers who are as open.
We live in a transparent world. If an author can’t include credible resources the readers will get the picture pretty quickly. A publisher who can confidently point to its competition will gain the confidence of its customers.