Is there a Kindle edition of Practical Data Science with R?

December 21, 2014
By

(This article was first published on Win-Vector Blog » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

We have often been asked “why is there no Kindle edition of Practical Data Science with R on Amazon.com?” The short answer is: there is an edition you can read on your Kindle: but it is from the publisher Manning (not Amazon.com).

The long answer is: when Amazon.com supplies a Kindle edition readers have to deal with the following:

  • Amazon.com digital right management locking the material to a single format and Amazon.com devices/readers.
  • Careless mechanical re-formatting of the book material yielding either poor rendering or re-packaging of PDFs that you can only zoom and scan across (and not true re-flow of text).

Some readers don’t like this and (rightly) complain. Some of the best books in our field have the occasional 1-star review due to a throughly frustrated Amazon Kindle customer. As an author you wish reviews were faceted with completely separate and mandatory sub-scores for vendor experience, price, delivery, print-quality, ebook-rendering, relevance to particular reader, and finally book quality (instead of a single rating perceived as “book quality”). But from a buyer’s point of view: rating an item low that has given you a bad experience is completely legitimate (be it for print quality, or the utility of the eBook rendering).

Practical Data Science R does have an e-copy. For our book when we say e-copy we mean:

  • An electronic copy available without any intrusive digital right management (beyond requiring registration for initial download and a watermark). These are maximally useful copies as you can search them, print them, and place them on arbitrary devices.
  • Unlimited downloads and re-downloads of your copies.
  • e-copy available in three formats: PDF, ePub, and Kindle. And you can download all three.
  • e-copies are produced and inspected by the actual book editors during the production of the book (not a later mechanical transcription).

We offer readers more than one way to get an good e-copy. Though not all customers are aware of all the options.

  • Each new standard copy (though not the international discount reprint) offers an access code that gives single-user rights to an e-copy. This is true for any new standard edition (be it sold by Manning, Amazon, or any other bookseller). Note: used copies may have already consumed codes and discount international editions do not include codes (so if somebody is re-selling you a book you will want to check if it includes an unused code).
  • Manning itself sells e-copies where for a single discounted price you again get access to non-DRM “e-copy” editions (again giving you all of PDF, ePub, and Kindle). We know some readers do not want a physical book, and expect a discounted e-only option.
  • Manning books are often available through Safari online, so you or your enterprise may already have some (restricted online) access through Safari.

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In conclusion.
Manning reserved the right to be the only seller of e-only editions of Practical Data Science with R. For a full legitimate e-only copy you must go through them. Manning includes a free e-copy code in all new standard editions of the book. Wherever you buy a legitimate new copy of the standard edition you get the same e-rights as bonus. Used copies and discount international editions have their roles, but may not have a e-copy included (someone may have consumed the right on a used copy, and the discount international edition doesn’t include a code).

Obviously the customers and readers get to decide what is of value to them. This describes the options we were able to supply.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Win-Vector Blog » R.

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