Today, I learned about this new offer from an e-mail Ian Smith sent me.
Apress has a new program called betaBook, which lets you purchase an electronic version of titles that are in the final phase of publication. This gets you early access to new titles at a steep discount from the retail price of the hardcopy version before the book is published.
For example, Pro Visual Studio 2005 Team System by Jeff Levinson & David Nelson, which will retail for US$49.99, is available for US$25.00. Only two chapters are currently available, but you’ll continue receiving chapters as they become available up until the publication date of May 1. At that time, you get a complete eBook of the finished book.
Apress betaBooks give you access to the newest programming topics straight from the author, via weekly PDF chapters and updates, all before the final printed versions are published. Eight weeks before the book's final publication—and before other books on the topic are released—the first several chapters of an Apress betaBook become available. After that, available updates or new chapters are delivered weekly to your inbox.
From: Apress betaBook Program
Thanks for the tip, Ian!