First, KUDOS to the DV "Expert" Series for sticking to their guns & continuing to produce & release true EXPERT texts. Far too many books are jumping on the bandwagon, calling themselves "Advanced", & are really nothing of the sort. [Those books] seem to think that walking-thru each option in all the menus somehow qualifies as 'Advanced', or perhaps just giving some high-level/strategic "this is how it works" overview is sufficient. In fact, the true Advanced user *already* knows all this; what they're interested in, is: (1) advanced new ideas, (2) advanced new methods, & above-all (3) speed-in-execution... b/c deadlines are always shrinking. ALL THREE MEYERS BOOKS ("Creating" vol.1, vol.2, & "Producing") DO ALL THREE OF THESE EXCELLENTLY.
Second, if it's not already obvious, these texts are NOT for the "I just bought/acquired AE; what do the buttons do?" kind of user. In fact, these books aren't really even for the "I've muddled-about a few projects in AE & still don't quite get it" user. Instead, these books are for the "I've been using AE for a while, am pretty comfortable with it, & now need to take my work to the Next Level" user. And at this "Advanced" level, the Meyers are FANTASTIC at gradation of material. IOW, they start with the bar high, but don't [continue] to make massive leaps-- they provide multiple Bonus Tutorials graded from "Easy" to "Challenging/Strenuous"... you just have to read that as: "Expert/Easy" to "Expert/Challenging" (whew!). In a field where the highest-level practitioners very rarely spend time 'teaching', it's a pleasure & a gift to have such in-depth, advanced, & truly creative *teaching* material available.... of projects that actually look cool-enough for broadcast in prime-time!
Finally, & this should be obvious but obviously isn't, the differences between AE5.0 & AE6.5 aren't massive. There's been some plugins added, a few more options here & there... but Expressions, 3D, render-order, & animation haven't changed significantly. In fact, my "Creating Motion Graphics, AE4.1" edition has very little which is superceded.
The Meyers are interested in making All of us as skilled as they are, & that is refreshing. Anything you see on the TV made in AE ("Alias" is a great example) can be done in AE4.1, or with AE5.0+, using the methods in this book. By being this unbelievably generous, one would think they would put themselves out of business... but instead, they've overbooked, & their Seminars sell-out rapidly.
The emphasis on putting a "Software Version #" on texts like these comes from Publishers, who really like this visual "born-on date" which would seem to create forced obsolescence & thus sell more books. Nope-- this is backfiring, b/c no one is going to keep re-buying $40+ books when the amount of new information (for each new application release) is at most a single chapter. So instead we're now seeing more "Tips" and "Pro" books which don't reference a version-# at all... the next release of the Meyers books shouldn't either, to avoid confusion.
Me, however, I'll always eagerly await these GOLD STANDARD texts, & buy every one they release. This is the Real Stuff.... enjoy!