Are you reading SAS eBooks?


2011 was a year when we immersed ourselves in the process of converting existing titles to eBook format. You can now read most of your favorite SAS books on your Kindle or iPad or access them for any device through the Google eBookstore. We are currently in the process of converting titles for the Nook – look for a growing selection throughout 2012.

Many people assume that making a hardcopy book into an eBook is pretty straightforward. We thought so too. However, we have learned (the hard way) that taking existing content that was written with one output format in mind, does not necessarily translate easily into a different format. Furthermore, a conversion to one device doesn’t necessarily render on other devices.

Our goal moving forward is to write all content so that it can be easily converted to any output format. So, most of the hard work and learning that we’ve done this year is behind us. We need to hear from you as to whether making these books available for your e-reader is worth the effort. Do you have an interest in reading them without having to go to the site?  Is there value there? Is there a certain type of book you would prefer to read as an eBook? If you live outside North America, are eBooks a less expensive alternative for you? Please let us know.


About Author

Kathy Council

Vice President, SAS Publications


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  4. Juan Jose Vega Nuñez on

    Buen día

    Me gustaría saber si estos libros se podrán ver de manera gratuita o tendrán un costo en forma electrónica también y sis es que puedo adquirir algún libro de forma directa


  5. I don't buy books in hardcopy anymore, only ebook formats for my Kobo ereader. I mostly use the EPUB version if I can get it. PDF isn't even an option for ereaders. It is NOT an ebook format as far as I am concerned.

    I prefer DRM ebooks, but that doesn't stop me from buying books that have it. I get most of my tech ebooks from Oreilly which is DRM free.

    I completely understand the difficulty with converting books to ebooks when the original intent was not for ebooks. It's tough, and may require a business process change. The source content needs to be developed with a 'write once for multiple formats' approach.

    Some of the SAS titles in the Google ebookstore I already have as hardcopies. I had them before I got my ereader device. Oreilly offers significant ebook discounts to consumers who already own the paper book. Can SAS do that too? I see four SAS books on my shelf I'd love to have on my ereader. Two of them are in the Google ebookstore but at nearly full price.

    I'd also consider paying a yearly subscription to access SAS ebooks.

  6. Hi Kathy!

    I also think it is worth being able to read anything on my iPhone (or Nook or Kindle) and as you said, the books were only intended as printed format. Nevertheless if we are in an ever changing world trying to enhance it and make it a bit better, why not only convert them to e-format but make it as technical and friendly as possible??
    (e.g. have the graph image and a link to an external webpage that it's easier to review data plus the ability to maybe play with the graph and even post comments on it or some other types of interactivity)
    Still, it would be nice to have some SAS books for our devices!

  7. I choose a SAS ebook because I needed it now! And I like not lugging it around. But on balance, I much prefer the ease of hard copy, especially because a) the subject is technical instructions and b) my Kindle Reader is on the same machine as EM and EG... and it cannot be printed out It is just knunky to work with. And I don't like reading it on my smartphone, even though I have Kindle there too; subject matter just not right for the small screen. Not crazy about buying a tablet -- yet another device.

    What would be nice is to bundle both in a package -- base price for the hardcopy version, plus an additonal $5 to $10 for the e-version.


  8. Worth it to me. I get far more our of having books on my iPad. As far as the SAS books, I just changed jobs and appreciate the ability to have my reference books travel with me, and also make them handy when I travel.

  9. Roger Baldridge on

    I travel a lot have a Nook. I have now gotten to the point where I read everything on it. I have downloaded some technical documents for the Nook and my Ipad onto it. Considering it's search capability as well as eas of use and weight, I would recommend we do it. I could see where it would be helpful for a SAS user/programmer could have all of their library (SAS created and other) on their e-reader and with them at all times.

  10. Jason Xin

    My ideal is to have an electronic format that supports easy earmarking, notes and page jumping. I would say SAS books in PDF format satisty that purpose. I see advantage of electronic books over paper books. It has happened so many times that I forgot the books, but (some of them) were found online.

    Not sure if we need to go further to cut ereader specific electronic copies. My SAS book reading experience suggests consulting SAS books more often than not does not require "on-the-go". If you are reading a SAS book, good idea is to sit in front of SAS and pratice it. Which means you have access to the internet and use Adobe to read PDF. Which means an Ereader is expensive over-kill. I guardedly doubt building SAS books into ebook formats will prompt their sales. Most SAS books are technical in nature. If somebody tells me that without an eReader he or she is not going to read SAS books, I wonder if they are really into the reader or the book.

  11. Definately interested in more books, including SAS books in eBook formats. I never enjoyed lugging around thick technical books. Much easier to grab one iPad with as many books on it as I want.

    It doesn't matter to me from where I get the book. Kindle, Google Books, etc.. are all about the same to me. Even straight forward PDFs are fine too.

    I will say an old fashioned paper book seems to be easier for "reference", say like for SAS code, but I am getting use to searching electronically.

  12. Hi Kathy,
    eBooks definately make more sense to me. It is not necessarily cheaper in Africa, but it is far more convenient and faster. Even though DHL etc. can deliver the textbooks, it still requires physical delivery, and I travel most of the time. In this sense a downloadable format makes sense. Furthermore eBooks allows you to search for text strings which I have also found very useful. It is also important for me to highlight certain text, and then download it later as a summary for any research.

    • Kathy Council

      One of the reasons we are producing e-books is to build the use of our SAS Press books overseas. Thanks for the response!

  13. Dear Kathy,

    This article was really interesting for me, but involves so many questions in return.

    Indeed, I would like to know if your effort in turning so many books into eBooks will take into account the fact that sometimes, having any graphics appearing in color in an eBook is more than interesting: it can be simply a critical feature when considering the purchasing of a device for reading any eBook.

    What could be your stance regarding this issue?


    • Kathy Council

      We have to be very careful about which books we choose to make into e-books. If the content is dependent on lots of pictures/graphs/images in order to make its points, then we have to consider that such books are not good candidates for e-books. By discussing these issues prior to publication, we can make these issues very clear to authors and help them decide.

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