I was given a copy of a book called “Magento: Beginner’s Guide” to review, so here goes. Overall, the book does a good job of giving a high-level walkthrough of all the different aspects of running a store with Magento.
Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Installation, Chapter 3: Categories and attributes – High level overview of Magento. These chapters aren’t very useful if you’ve already used Magento at all, however for someone starting from scratch this would be a faster way of learning than going through the guides on Magento’s website. Chapter 3 is available as a free sample.
Chapter 4: Taxes – Very good chapter – I actually learned a lot. It was very helpful as I am finishing up a Magento store right now and am about to configure taxes. It discusses how tax rates and rules work in detail, according to the product type and purchaser’s location.
Chapter 5: Adding simple products – Same analysis as Chapters 1-3.
Chapter 6: Minimum customization of your store’s appearance – Great for pointing beginners at where different files in Magento live and how to customize them. However many of the tips for customizing the design will break if you try to update your site and default theme. I’d recommend reading my post for Magento beginners before you start customizing anything.
Chapter 7: Beyond simple products – Helpful, although doesn’t provide much more information than is readily available on Magento.com.
Chapter 8: Customer relationships – About managing customer accounts. Configuring store contact options.
Chapter 9: Accepting payment, Chapter 10: Configuring shipping – Pretty thorough job of explaining different methods of accepting payments with the various gateways, and configuring all the different shipping options. There’s a lot of details and explanations, so I’ll be looking back on this chapter again.
Chapter 11: Fulfilling an Order – A walk-through of fulfilling an order. Discover your options for handling order fulfillment by observing the lifecycle of an order in Magento.
Appendix: Abbreviated step-by-step directions – A good idea for any book!
To learn more or purchase: “Magento: Beginner’s Guide” by William Rice