This second edition of this book takes the material in the previous edition, updating it in certain spots and adds new material. As another reviewer has pointed out, this book is not a "how to do BDSM manual," instead it covers more of the emotional and mental aspects of doing BDSM. And each of the chapters finishes with an erotic SM story, one that fits the topic just discussed in the chapter. Topics the author covers include myths about SM and demystifying them, communication & negotiation, impact play, developing role preferences, different SM relationships, finding community, and even a chapter on edge play. Although some of this chapter some might feel is not necessarily edge play. Your mileage may vary.
Califia also takes a realistic attitude about doing SM throughout the book, pointing out for example that what may really hot in your mind (like a full on 24/7 D/s relationship) may not be practical when it comes to things like doing shopping or picking up the dry cleaning, or holding down a 9 to 5 job every day. Or that your Top may have a bad day or not be perfect at all times. Reality rears its ugly head.
Califia even includes a glossary of terms in the back, a resource guide, and further reading material. While the book is aimed primarily toward people new to BDSM, there's enough material here that even so-called "veteran" SM players will enjoy reading. Califia is a long time community member and his experience shows in the writing of this book.