If you click on the pull-down menu, you will see that you can search the following locations: the entire site, Book/Video titles, short cuts, rough cuts, or any of your private folders (more on this later).
For instance, if you want to find a book on the Joomla content management system, you might type the word “Joomla” in the search box, choose “Book/Video Titles” from the drop-down, and click the search button. This will return 36 items, as shown below:
Heading to the middle of the page, you will notice two tabs: Books and Videos. Your default tab is Books, which naturally lists Joomla books. If you click on the Videos tab, you will be shown a listing of all videos that cover Joomla.
Beneath the format tabs are some check boxes and a “sort-by” pull-down menu. By default, the Book/Video search also lists Rough Cuts (books in progress) and Short Cuts (short, specific tutorials). Un-checking their boxes will leave them out of the results. There is an option to “include previous editions” as well.
The “sort-by” pull-down lets you adjust the way the results are sorted. You can view them via Relevancy, Popularity, Insert Date (date they were added to the site), or Publish Date.
You can also save your search by clicking on the Save Search as Smart Folder button:
This saves your search query into a folder, which you can click on and see updates to that particular query. For instance, Safari Books Online has two pre-built Smart Folders – one for New Releases and one for Top Titles. If you click on the New Releases folder, you will be given a list of all newly released articles.
If you look at a result box, such as the one below, you will notice that you have several options.
Clicking on the actual book title will take you to the book’s page, where you will be presented with a whole host of options, as well as a plethora of data pertaining to the book, such as who the author is, who published the book, its publication date, ISBN, page count, and how many tokens it costs to download a book (typical books cost 1 token per chapter, or 15 tokens for the entire book).
You can also review the book and add a note or tag.
Below the title’s description, you will see five tabs:
To the right of the description section is a box of quick buttons, which comprise the meat and potatoes of how you might work with Safari Books Online.
The Start Reading button does what you might expect it to do – that is, it allows you to begin reading the book. By default, it takes you to the first chapter, but you can easily browse to other sections using the navigation pane to the left.
To navigate to the next page, you can either scroll down, or use one of the < > buttons at the top of the chapter.
Add To Favorites and Share
In addition to reading the book, you can also choose to add it to your favorites. With this function, you can select which folder you want to save the book to, and come back and visit it again at any time.
Likewise, you can also share the URL for the book’s page by clicking the “Share” button. This will post the link to either Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or an email to a friend. Alternatively, you can click the “Create a Widget” link to create a widget to store on your personal website.
If you wish to purchase the entire book, you can click on the “Download” button. It will give you a prompt screen that tells you the price of the book (in tokens), with options to purchase it or – if you are short on tokens – purchase more tokens.
Lastly, sometimes you want the tactile feeling of holding a book in your hands. For lovers of the paper page, Safari Books Online even has an option for you to purchase the book directly from the publisher, with the added bonus of being able to save 35% off the price.
We covered a lot of ground in this article, but there is still more you can do with Safari Books Online. We did not even skim the surface of the site’s functionality; we left out coverage of Safari Labs, Tools, Mobile, and the advanced search. But never fear, we will cover these topics in a future article. So keep your eyes peeled, and in the meantime, if you have not done so already, sign up for a free trial of Safari Books Online (10 days free + 30% off a Safari Library Subscription) at http://safaribooksonline.com/d/learning/devshed?cid=201201-my-devshedtutorial-lwol-links
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