Why Buy an Office 365 Book? And an eBook at that!
To increase your knowledge obviously. Seriously, Office 365 is a very large surface for any technologist to cover. We use our experience, our contacts with Microsoft, and our connections within the industry to discover what’s really important about Office 365 and write it down. Given the volume of change across the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, it’s critical to update your knowledge over time. In April 2021. when speaking to market analysts following Microsoft’s FY21 Q3 results, Satya Nadella said that Teams had added “over 300 features over the past year, including more than 100 new capabilities so far in 2021.” Given that number of changes in Teams alone, the updates across the ecosystem was enough to make it difficult for any tenant to keep up.
Our Subscription Model
Unlike other technical books, we keep on refining that content as new information comes to hand. Office 365 for IT Pros is unique in that respect. You don’t just buy a book: you buy into a living collection of knowledge. In fact, it’s rather like writing software: you look at code and decide that it can be written more concisely, better, or to give better performance. That’s the way we think about our text.
When you buy a book, you’re subscribe to an edition and are entitled to receive all updates we release for that edition. Over a year, we typically release eleven updates for an edition. The subscription model works well for the EPUB/PDF version of the book; it’s not as good for Kindle.
Subscriptions lapse when a new edition is released. We offer subscribers to the previous edition a low-cost update option to renew their subscription for a further year. Regretfully, because Amazon don’t tell us who buys the Kindle version, we can’t offer low-cost updates to these buyers.
Collectively, the money we earn through new sales, subscription upgrades, and sponsorship allow us the time and space to continually monitor new developments across Office 365 and the wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem so that we can update the book as necessary. Our revenues also allow us to publish articles on this site and write PowerShell scripts and other code to illustrate principles discussed in the book.
Our approach seems popular with readers. We’ve posted a few comments from people who have bought and like Office 365 for IT Pros.
Fun fact: SharePoint Online reckons it takes someone 34 hours to read the May update for the 2020 edition from end to end. Of course, no one does this because the book is used as a reference. But if the book holds 34 hours of knowledge, imagine how much it would cost to have a consultant sit down with you and teach you that amount? The answer is more than $49.95…
If you need to be convinced about the volume of change that happens within Office 365, just browse our change log to discover the number and type of changes we make to the book content on an ongoing basis. Because we have a team of experts reviewing what Microsoft changes, we think we have a good chance of figuring out what’s important and what needs to be in the book, and that’s what we include.
The book comes in two parts:
The Main Book is the one that we update most often. It’s about 1,200 pages long at this point. To get an idea of the kind of content covered in the book, you can read the extract from the Kindle version available on Amazon.com. Most of the first three chapters are available there.
The Companion Volume contains lots of interesting information that we removed from the main book (to keep the page count down) or couldn’t find a good home for in the main book. It’s still valuable information to have, but we don’t update the companion volume as often as we do the main book. The companion book is about 340 pages long.
The book isn’t available in print. We looked at creating a print version but it’s just too difficult and wouldn’t justify the effort – and there’s no way we could continue updating the content. Once ink hits paper, it stays there. But that shouldn’t stop you printing a copy of the book if you want. Many readers print the PDF.
In fact, the book is composed of several sub-books. There’s enough content for us to claim that we include books on:
- Exchange Online.
- Using PowerShell to Manage Office 365.
- Data Governance and Compliance.
- SharePoint Online.
- Information Protection.
By stitching the sub-books together, we end up with the full 1,300 pages of content.
We publish Office 365 for IT Pros in three formats:
- EPUB (suitable for most eReaders).
- Adobe PDF.
The Kindle version is bought from Amazon. You can buy the EPUB and PDF formats from Gumroad.com, an eCommerce platform based in San Francisco, California.
When you buy a copy of the PDF/EPUB book, Gumroad sends you a receipt. The receipt contains a View product link. Click the link to access and download the book files. Some people have reported that their spam filters consider Gumroad email to be spam, so please check your junk email folders if you can’t find the receipt in your inbox. If you have problems or want the receipt to go to a different address than the one you used to set up your Gumroad account, send email to the Gumroad support team and the nice people there will help you.
Your Gumroad account is from where you download updated files too. When we release an update, we send a message to our subscribers to tell you that updated files are available. The update messages go to the email address for your account, so if you don’t give us a valid email address, we won’t be able to tell you when updates are available. Log into your Gumroad account and using the link in the message or your original receipt and you can download the files.
We can’t bundle books on Kindle, so the two volumes are available separately.
Some people like to read the PDF version on Kindle (instructions here) or you can convert the EPUB version to MOBI format and load it on a Kindle.
We struggle with Amazon every time we release an update. The Kindle publishing model is built for novels, which hardly ever change, and doesn’t do well with large technical books that might have 20-50 separate changes in an update. We have to convince the Kindle team to notify purchasers that new content is available. Sometimes they accept that they should do this, sometimes they don’t.