How to Request a Desk Copy from Esri Press

06-16-2020 09:14 AM
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Like many academic publishers, Esri Press offers free desk copies of our books to qualified educators to consider for course adoption. But if you've visited our online desk copy request form in the past year, you may have been confused by the small list of titles available in the form:

A screenshot of the titles available to select in the online desk copy form. As of the date of this blog, there are six titles listed.

While this was previously the full list of titles available for desk copy request, it is now only the titles that offer instructor resources (as a DVD) for request. Note the use of "instructor resource" in the heading and "instructor DVD only" attached to each selection. 

So what happened to the books? If you scrolled passed the top portion of the desk copy request form, you may have missed it: We've upgraded to a digital platform that's quicker, easier, and more flexible than our previous system. But if you're a seasoned user who's new to this method of access, or if you're new to our examination copies in the first place, how do you get started?

Desk Copies for Higher Education Instructors

To meet requests from our users for more books, faster access, and less waiting on shipping time, all of our e-books are available on demand through VitalSource. VitalSource is an e-book delivery platform that gives qualified educators access to not only our e-books, but all e-desk copies from other participating publishers, such as Wiley and McGraw-Hill. 

For new users

Here's how it works:

  1. Visit to start a free account.
  2. Once you're in, start searching for a book you'd like to review (or sample, as it's called in this platform) and click the cover to open the book's page.
  3. Click the orange "Request Sample" button to the right of the book cover.

    A screenshot of Women and GIS, volume 2 in VitalSource. There is an orange button saying Request Sample on the right side.

    A screenshot of "Women and GIS, Volume 2" in VitalSource. Note the statement above the orange button on the right: "You can add this eBook to your library after the publisher verifies you as an instructor."

  4. Complete the short form about the course for which you'd like to sample this e-book and click "Complete Your Request."

    A screenshot of the form to qualify for sampling, including fields for your intended course, enrollment number, and course number.

    A screenshot of the form to complete to qualify for sampling the title shown.

  5. Give us 24-48 hours to review your request. We may reach out to you to verify that you're a qualified instructor.*
  6. Once we do, you'll receive an email notifying you that you're approved for the VitalSource sampling portal.

Once you log back into VitalSource, you'll find the book you requested to sample in your library.

*By "qualified," we mean an instructor at a higher education institution. Because the platform opens up all available e-books to approved users, each publisher who receives a request for sampling for first-time users has to verify that the user is an instructor at the institution they used when they registered their account. Sometimes, this may require us reaching out to you for further verification, such as an emailed copy of your faculty ID or a supervisor's contact info. 

For returning approved educators

If you've already been approved for sampling, great! Now you can sample any of our e-books whenever you want and as many as you want.

Here's how you self-sample books:

  1. Log in to, find the book you want to sample, and click on the cover to open the book's page.
  2. Click the orange "+Add to Library" button to the right of the book cover.

    A screenshot of Women and GIS, volume 2 in VitalSource. There is an orange button saying Add to Library on the right side.

    A screenshot of "Women and GIS, Volume 2" in VitalSource. Note the different statement in the orange button on the right and the statement above it: "You have been from approved for sampling."

  3. Complete the short form about the course for which you'd like to sample this e-book and click "Complete Your Request." 
  4. Check your email for a message from VitalSource asking you to confirm adding this title to your library.
  5. In the email, click "Add to Library." A new tab will open (or, if you're using a mobile device, your browser will open) and a confirmation will appear saying the book has been added to your library.

You can now access this e-book by clicking "My Bookshelf" in the blue navigation bar.

Don't be discouraged by the new steps for requesting our desk copies: While it's different, it's actually less time to process your e-request than the previous method of shipping print copies, and that means you have access to your desk copies sooner. And once you're approved, you're free to start sampling and keep sampling on your own schedule.

For international educators

Depending on the region or country associated with your login or with the VitalSource site, you may not see the above "Request a Sample" or "Add to Library" buttons. If you don't and want to sample a particular book, contact your nearest Esri distributor or email us at Be sure to include the name(s) of the book(s) you want to inspect, the name of your institution, and the email address you want to use for VitalSource if it's not the one you're emailing from.

Desk Copies for Non-Higher Education Educators

Not a higher education educator? No problem: We can still offer e-desk copies to K-12 and non-traditional educators (such as consultants or professional services agencies). Simply email us at, tell us which of our e-books you want access to, and we'll send you a code to redeem at

A screenshot of the page for redeeming a code. A single field appears with a button saying Redeem.

After navigating to the redeem link above and logging in, you'll enter your code in the field and click "Redeem". That's it!

Remember, we can only give you access to Esri Press desk copies.

For more information, visit VitalSource's help pages for educators.

New Contributor II

I registered a new account but there is no "Request Sample" button on the page. The book I need is "Getting to know ArcGIS desktop".

Esri Contributor

Hi there,

Check that the URL you're at has in it. If it has, it indicates you are in the e-store and will only see available purchase options. You can get back to the faculty sampling portal by clicking on Faculty Sampling in the top right corner. Hope that helps!


New Contributor II

Thanks for the reply. But the problem remains. I saw the "Request Sample" button in my old account but not in my new account (I changed employment recently).   

Esri Contributor

Hi again,


Can you email me and possibly provide me with a screenshot of what you see when you're logged in? Then I might be able to provide a more specific solution for you. Thanks in advance!



New Contributor

If we need a hard copy we have to pay for it ourselves, correct?  We can also no longer download the exercise data in one package; we have to individually download each exercise and piece of associated data?  Finally, for some titles (or maybe all), the PowerPoint slides are no longer available?  

Esri Contributor

Hi Amy,

Yes, print desk copies would need to be purchased. The exercise data is usually packaged as an .exe file and downloaded from the associated ArcGIS Online group for that book. If you're referring to files for instructors within VitalSource, the file organization is determined by VitalSource Support who uploads files to our books on our behalf. The organization is based on file quantity, size, and suitability based on their upload platform. PowerPoint slides for teaching are provided by our authors, so when they're made available, they will be included for download. So that will vary by title. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!


New Contributor

Hi Sasha,

I'm wondering if I can order print desk copies, because I can't read books online without getting migraines. I've had other book publishers send me free desk copies because of this disability and wondering if esri press would do the same. 



Esri Contributor

Hi Alicia,

Thanks for reaching out. Yes, instructors would need to purchase print copies since e-desk copies are free; however, we can certainly provide complimentary print copies to accommodate your need for them. Please email us at from your institution email address and we can arrange shipping. Thanks!

New Contributor


I'm needing to order print copies for students, customer service gave me this link to do that, but I'm confused on how to place the order.

Esri Contributor

Hi Jessica, 

Esri Press books are available at this website.

Let me know if you have any questions,


About the Author
Marketing Specialist for Esri Press. I create marketing plans for our books and events, develop campaigns, and help manage our social media accounts. Outside of work, you can find me walking my dog, spending time with my family, or enjoying my retro gaming collection or a good jigsaw puzzle.