Two months ago, the book "E-Commerce with Magento: Build a Shop" came out - an 18-page e-book on Magento basics written by Branko Ajzele, CTO at Inchoo. Here's a short review of this excellent introduction to Magento.
Good overview of what you need
Magento might be daunting at first, so when giving the application a first glimpse, it is important not to mention too many features of the system. It is needed to understand the basics like the System Configuration, but diving into the details too much will just overwhelm first-time administrators.
Branko does a fine job by briefly explaining the more complex topics, while still keeping a good overview of what is important. Topics that might easily get too difficult to understand - scoping, Root Catalogs, product attributes and transactional emails - are dealt with step-by-step.
One interesting tip he gives is to enable system logging. This is often overlooked by new Magento admins, but when troubleshooting things it is vital to have some kind of logging - without logs, any developer would be lost in the dark. Kudos to Branko for mentioning this. Ofcourse, when you put your Magento site live, consider turning off logging again for optimal performance.
Excellent value for low price
Brankos whitepaper is available as an e-book for just 8 Euro. It gives excellent value for a low price to anyone who wants to dive into Magento and get the basics covered quickly. New to Magento? Get this book online at Packt Publishing!