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UK freelance journalist, author
and copywriter Sean McManus

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Download free book chapters and ebooks

Nobody has to leave my site empty handed - why not take a souvenir with you?

Here you can find free book chapters and ebooks that you can download and read on your computer, print out or read using a PDF-compatible ebook reader. You can read these book chapters as ebooks on the Kindle or iBooks apps for the iPad, or using any other compatible devices.

If you want to read further, you can find links to buy the full books from various shops here.

Download a free sampler PDF of Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Book cover: Scratch Programming in Easy StepsIn this full colour 216-page book you can learn how to use the Scratch programming language, now widely used in schools, to create your own games and other programs.

This free sample PDF includes Chapter 1 in full, the foreword by Mitchel Resnick, an introduction to the book which is exclusive to this website, and the table of contents and index to give you a flavour of what else the book covers.

Read and download the free PDF sampler for Scratch Programming in Easy Steps here. You can also find the example files and more supporting resources there.

Download a free PDF sample of The Customer Service Pocketbook

Book cover: customer service pocketbook The Customer Service Pocketbook is widely used both for self-guided study and as part of the training programme offered in many of the UK's most customer-focused organisations. Now you can download a free sample PDF from the new edition, freshly updated in October 2013 to reflect changes in technology and customer service culture.

Read and download the Customer Service Pocketbook PDF sampler here

Download the Web Design in Easy Steps sampler

Web Design in Easy StepsWeb Design in Easy Steps is a #1 web design book on Amazon.co.uk. Take a look inside with this free sampler, which includes Chapter 4 in full, together with the table of contents and index so you can really get to know the book.

In this free sample, you'll learn about some of the key principles that underpin good layout and website design.

Download the Web Design in Easy Steps PDF here

Download two free chapters from Raspberry Pi For Dummies

Raspberry Pi for DummiesGet to grips with Scratch in the free PDF sample of Raspberry Pi For Dummies. It includes Chapter 10 in its entirety, which introduces you to Scratch programming on the Raspberry Pi.

This free PDF sampler also includes the tables of contents, Introduction, first chapter (so you can get to know the Raspberry Pi), and the book's index.

Find the free sample PDF from Raspberry Pi For Dummies here

Download a free case template for your Raspberry Pi

If you have a Raspberry Pi, you can protect it with a case you can download from this site. Just print off the PDF, cut it out and glue it together. Take care that your printer doesn't change the scale of the print out, because it won't fit if the design gets shrunk during printing. As a safeguard, there's a scale on the PDF which you can measure with a ruler before you start to make sure your Raspberry Pi case hasn't been distorted or resized during printing.

Download the free Raspberry Pi For Dummies case (PDF)

Download a free sample from my novel University of Death

Book cover: University of DeathMy novel University of Death received fantastic reviews from Record Collector, Metal Hammer and Music Tech among others. It's about the music business, and a band struggling for success as the industry collapses around it. The book explores how fans relate to their favourite bands, how businesses use technology to manipulate consumers, and what would happen if the music industry disappeared overnight. There's an author interview and more information at the book's mini-site. You can start reading the first two chapters now.

Download the University of Death sampler (PDF)

More University of Death freebies

My University of Death bookmark is compatible with all your books. Download it, print it off and cut it out.

Visit University of Death's MySpace page to download a recording of University of Death jamming at the soundcheck in Berlin. Check out Dove's blog while you're there, and maybe add the band as a friend too.

Download the Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser PDF sampler

Book cover: Microsoft Office for the Older and WiserMicrosoft Office for the Older and Wiser will show you how to get the most from Microsoft Office with practical projects including making posters and newsletters, printing off labels for your Christmas cards, managing your address book and budgets in Excel, and making a photo slideshow in PowerPoint.

The free sampler includes the Introduction to the book, and Chapter 2 which shows you how to make a poster using Word.

Download the free PDF sampler for Microsoft Office for the Older and Wiser here

Download a free anthology of new writing

Book cover: Three Points WestThree Points West is an ebook anthology of new writers that I designed and laid out in 2012. It includes a mixture of poetry and short fiction, with topics ranging from family drama to fantasy, and from horror to comedy. There's something for everyone in this collection. It's available to download in its entirety for free as a PDF.

Download Three Points West here

Get some Amstrad action

Amstrad CPC Download My Amstrad CPC games and utilities (dsk file). If you know what a dsk file is, you might also know I used to write for Amstrad magazines in the early 90s. This disk image, suitable for use with Amstrad emulators, includes all the demonstrations from my book The Basic Idea and most of the games and utilities I wrote for Amstrad Computer User and Amstrad Action. To help you get started with these games, I've compiled a page of Amstrad CPC emulator instructions. You can also read my Amstrad programming book The Basic Idea online in full for free.

Download the Castle Fictoria web design exercise

If you want to learn to design websites (perhaps using my book Web Design in Easy Steps?), but don't know what to write about, I've created a simple web design exercise to get you started. It includes images and text you can use to build a website for a fictional hotel. All you have to do is make the design.

Download the Castle Fictoria web design exercise here