Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Windows 8.1 Book That Delivers Everything You Need

Cover design: Martin McClean

Windows 8.1 Field Guide, co-authored by Paul Thurott and Rafael Rivera, is a quality book and you deserve to read it. Here's why.

Let's face it, Windows 8 has been a tough road for we consumers to try and figure out the new features. We've had to do our own research on the Microsoft web site because there has not been a whole lot of reference books let alone a User Guide from Microsoft. I did share Microsoft's End User Training Brochure in a previous article.

Paul Thurott and Rafael Rivera have written a quality book. It is written with the same care and style of two of their  previous books; Windows 7 Secrets and Windows 8 Secrets published in hard copy and Kindle. I have both of these books and like them very much. They have been easy to read, understand and were very useful. Now they are very large as many computer books go because there is so much to write about and explain in screen shots as well as text. Windows 8.1 Field Guide is currently 590 pages and I have been most satisfied.

I have been reading early versions of the Windows 8.1 Field Guide. Paul and Rafael can do just about whatever they want to get the book right and using their readers as editors because they are self-publishing this book. Bravo to them. Windows 8.1 Field Guide's content is top notch, in my opinion, and I utilize it for the many nuances of Windows 8. Sure Windows 8.1 is different from Windows 7 but what new product isn't from it's predecessor and shouldn't for that matter. I don't care that Microsoft didn't write a book like this (did they or didn’t' they?) as I like this one just like the previous two books.

Now that I've established, what I believe, is the quality product point of view, lefts talk about the purchase proposition. Paul and Rafael have "nailed it" by going this self-publishing method and can establish their price and exclude middlemen. At least I think they have "killed" the middleman but no mater. Here are your purchase options.

Option 1:
Purchase Windows 8.1 Field Guide from as a Kindle ebook and download immediately. $4.99. Cool.

Option 2:
Purchase Windows 8.1 Field Guide directly from Paul and Rafael on their website and download to your computer in any of these formats; PDF (Adobe Reader), MOBI (Kindle) or ePub (many ereaders like the Nook). $2.00. WOW!

I know, you're asking. "Are you kidding! What's the catch?" No catch at all as this is self-publishing at its best. Option 1 is easy. Order on-line at and download to your Kindle. Any Kindle, Android smart phone or tablet and Apple iPhone or iPad. Even read on your computer with a Kindle app. Simple and just $4.99.

Option 2 is really sweet but there are a few more steps involved but your are rewarded with a lower price. Purchase from Paul and Rafael's web site and download. Start reading with the Kindle app or any PDF reader and you're set. And the tremendous price of $2.00!  Wait…that's just as easy as Option 1 and only $2.00. The extra steps are for getting the MOBI (Kindle) version to your Kindle device or smart phone or tablet. I've done it for my iPad using iTunes and it was easy enough.

Another benefit of purchasing direct is that you can get updates to the book as they are released. Simply bookmark the download page and download the latest book as it becomes available. You can't do this with Kindle.

Here are some articles to help you get the self-published book format to your device.

How to send .mobifiles to the Kindle App for Viewing on Your iPad or iPhone.
Transfer .mobi andepub eBook Files to an iPad for Easier Reading & Viewing.

To be fair, I heard Paul on the "What the Tech" podcast talk a little about this publishing experience and please don't think he and Rafael are making a bunch more money via Amazon's Kindle book at $4.99. Far from it. Amazon takes a piece of the purchase price and there are fees for the WhisperSynch technology where the book remembers where you left off or synchronizes from device to device. This feature is free to purchasers but the authors and publishers pay a fee. As a result, Paul said he makes a little less from the Amazon deal vs self-publishing.

Paul Thurott's bio excerpted from the book.
Paul Thurrott is an award-winning technology journalist and blogger, the author of over 25 books, a technology analyst at Windows IT Pro and the majordomo of Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Paul also writes a daily news column, WinInfo Daily UPDATE, a weekly editorial for Windows IT Pro UPDATE, and a monthly column called Need to Know for Windows IT Pro. Additionally, Paul co-hosts two tech podcasts each week, Windows Weekly with Leo Laporte and Mary Jo Foley, and What the Tech with Andrew Zarian. You can reach Paul via email or on Twitter at @thurrott.

Rafael Rivera's bio excerpted from the book
Rafael Rivera is a software developer for a VAR 500 company, Telos Corporation, where he works on mission critical systems for the United States Department of Defense and Intelligence  Community. He is also a certified reverse engineering analyst and takes Windows apart for fun on his blog Within Windows. You can reach Rafael via email or on Twitter at @WithinRafael.

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