Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 17:09
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We are excited to announce the publication of Using CiviCRM, by Packt Publishing – the first full-length, commercially published book covering implementation, configuration, and usage of CiviCRM.

The book goes beyond technical “how to’s” by helping the reader think through their systems, organizational processes, and existing data in order to most effectively make use of CiviCRM’s tools. Using case studies, practical recommendations, and best practices, the book walks through configuration and use of the core software and its functional components.

Weighing in at over 450 pages – it provides a comprehensive review of the software and the ways it can be used.

The book is an important step forward for the CiviCRM project, opening new opportunities for users and implementers who want to better understand the system and become power users. In conjunction with recent updates to the existing FLOSS Manuals book, this book goes far toward educating the existing community and potential new users and helping to advance the project.

The book can be purchased from Packt Publishing in print or electronic format, or from Amazon and other retailers. It was authored by Joe Murray and Brian Shaughnessy.


Congratulations Joe and Brian!


I have read the book (as a reviewer) and highly recommend it. It was a lot of work but you guys got there!

Looks good, will be ordering a copy!

I meant to add...

If anyone picks up the book and gives it a thorough read, we'd love to have some reviews added to the Amazon site!

Did you mention you were going to send me a free copy so I can review it on amazon or did I misunderstand ? ;)


Virtual champaign toasting.



Hi Xavier,

The person at Packt who is responsible for marketing and arranges for reviewer copies for Using CiviCRM is on vacation till next week. He should be able to provide a complimentary reviewer copy to you.

The publisher is interested in facilitating reviews of the book, and will provide free copies to reviewers. If anyone else interesting in writing a review of the book, please contact me (joe dot murray at jmaconsulting dot biz) or Brian (brian at lcdservices dot biz).



Hi Xavier,

You and anyone else interested in writing a review can get in touch with Likesh Bhambhwani now that he is back at likeshb (at) packtpub (dot) com.

I got the announcement of this book in my email from Amazon this morning. Would love to see a review or something on Amazon as my major question was is the different from the FLOSS manual which I have already printed out. It sounds like it is, and as you say above, serves as more of a companion volume and less of a "software manual".

Good going! 

The book is a software manual, but we hope our extensive discussion of best practices not just at a technical but also at an organizational level will help readers help their organizations achieve their missions better.


And if it gets available, the paper version is kinda expensive; and the Kindle one will follow suit. The same problem exists with PacktLib ePub subscription.
Anyway, the book refers to which version of CiviCRM? Does it cover new features in 4.0? Will we have a free copy (at least an ePub one) when CiviCRM 4.0 releases in a couple months?

Thanks for your comment. As you can imagine, Brian and I don't get to decide whether Amazon makes all of the books in Packt's catalog  available on Kindle. ;) It does seem like a good deal though to have unlimited access to everything Packt publishes ( They put out a lot of Drupal and Joomla! books, and it's often useful to compare the way different authors treat the same topic or feature.

Our book touches on a bit of what is upcoming in 3.4/4.0 but the images and instructions are for the most part 3.2, with a bit on 3.3.

There is a big chapter on how an organization can better achieve its mission by developing a good CRM strategy and good and realistic implementation plan for it. This chapter is targetted towards Executive Directors and the people in charge of different functions in non-profits/NGOs as well as those who work in IT. There is also a review of how to put together a fundraising plan. In both cases, general best practices in the non-profit and advocacy world are made concrete by explaining how they work in CiviCRM.

The bulk of Using CiviCRM leads the reader through how to accomplish tasks using CiviCRM. We hope we've done a good job, but that's for you and other CiviCRM users to judge. Certainly the reviewers who gave us detailed feedback on each chapter thought we did a good job. A big call-out has to go to Eileen McNaughton here. The forum goddess gave us an incredible number of useful practical suggestions including some of her tips, ideas on best practices, and helped keep us clear and understandable. Brian and I take responsibility of course for any deficiencies or errors in the final text.

We hope Using CiviCRM will be a useful reference for those using, administering, or considering CiviCRM. We think that it's a vote of confidence for the CiviCRM community and project that a commercial publisher decided to put out a book on CiviCRM. We'd like to thank Packt for the editorial help and assistance they have given us in producing this 464 page volume over the past year, and hope that it helps more organizations take advantage of all CiviCRM has to offer.

Win your free copy of Using CiviCRM by participating in Likesh's contest at,19378.0.html