For my grad school class this semester we are using the book Lucene in Action, as we are doing projects in and around search engines. I did a quick search on getting this book, and found that if I ordered directly from Manning they would provide me a pdf version as well. Sign me up!
This is the same sort of deal you get with the Pragmatic Programmer books, and I love it. The PP folks went a step further, and let you buy into a BETA book where you get revs of the PDF during it’s editing cycle, and then send you a paper copy once it ships. They also provide updates to the PDF after ship (I’ve gotten at least one for my rails book), removing the need for “errata” inserts.
It’s unfortunate that the larger publishers aren’t doing this yet, as I’d love to have my O’Reilly books in both PDF and bound versions. They are selling some electronic only copies, but the lack of the safety net of having paper sort of sucks, and I’ve not quite bought into the whole safari approach yet.
Props to Manning for doing this well (or at least the way I like it). 🙂