I’m going to quote you one of my favourite passages. It’s from the copyright page:
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher, with the exception of the Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 6 and the source code throughout, which are available under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0) license. See creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Note that Creative Commons distribution of the images in the Introduction and Chapter 1 is limited to those by Matt Pearson only.
In short, this means large chunks of the text, imagery and all of the source code is Creative Commons licensed. The total CC licensed content amounts to over 25% of the total page count. If it were entirely up to me I’d have CC’d the lot, but this is actually a very generous amount to have been granted by a publisher as traditional as Manning, and (as far as I know) a first for a book of this kind.
It is a mystery to me why all tech books don’t do this, especially regards the source code. I cannot understand the logic in a book demonstrating a technique to a reader, while elsewhere stating that the reader will be breaking the law if they were to copy it word for word? Copyright is a crazy dinosaur, and I am not a fan (as you will probably already know if you’ve been reading awhile). This small concession makes me feel just slightly less of a hypocrite in publishing under the “old media” model.
So, on both my page and Mannings, there are now a number of links to free content you can try before you buy. The Foreword (by Marius Watz), Preface, Intro and Chapter 1, introduce what the book is about, with lots of lovely imagery – which, I should make clear, looks much more gorgeous in print than it does on a screen. Chapter 6, is a slightly more advanced, but more typical, example of the “stealth learning” approach of the book.
Any CC licensed portions are free to be redistributed, repurposed, even re-published, if you want to. If anyone wants to make a free Kindle version, a Kinect based interpretive dance version, or a Commodore 64 text-based-adventure from this content, please feel free (and send me the link). Note that it is only my content that is covered by the CC license, any text or imagery credited to others is copyrighted to them in the usual way.
However you come to read it, I hope you like it.