This will be included in a series of blogs tentatively titled “David in Carroll Land” based on 4 decades of teaching at Carroll. I’ll be pulling them together using Mike Nelson’s newly improved WordPress Plugin Print My Blog Pro.

Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 8.52.12 AMI just cleared off my MacbookPro desktop (confession — I moved everything on it to a folder on a 5 Terabyte Seagate drive) and I turned off my social media accounts. I hope to focus on the background work that my former student research assistant, Kristen Reszka, several years ago began on our creating Student Guides for Internet Learning Tools – specifically, ebook publishing tools. She stored her work on a Google Drive we shared.

An earlier group of four student assistants exceeded my expectations by their mastering CreateSpace a few years ago resulting in an impressive first publication. I also see an accumulation of “stuff” from years gone by including photos, slide shows, and videos from Student Assistants Past – like this “ancient” Youtube recording.


 

I have been so blessed with talented, hard-working, fun, funny, self-deprecating, intellectually curious, student assistants across the years from Larry T. Jost to Kristen, Brittany, and Leah. Thank you!

Let’s start by visiting my Google Drive.

I see lots of evidence that Kristen has been busy. Here are her notes for me on using the Pressbooks software:

Overview

Pressbook is an online organizer for one’s book content. This website allows one to convert their book into PDF, MOBI, and EPUB with the ability to print on demand. It also works with the WordPress Multisite to assist in converting blog pieces to these formats. Some other features of Pressbook include;

  • Allowing one to host and maintain one’s Pressbook network
  • Produce files which can be published on various ebookstores
  • Ability to keep 100% of the net sales
  • Creating professionally designed print and ebooks
  • Free promotional material (ex: send sample chapters)

Pricing

Currently, Pressbook is a free application, however, with some limitations.

  • Free: Allows one to utilize Pressbook for their book. When exporting, however, Pressbook watermarks are present the files EPUB, MOBI, and PDF.
  • EBOOK Pro ($19.99 one-time fee per book): This option allows one to remove the watermarks on the EPUB and MOBI files but not the PDF. It also gives the option to make the webbook public on the Pressbook website and gives the user 25MB of storage.
  • PDF+EBOOK Pro ($99 one-time fee per book): This option gives the user the extra features of removing the watermark on now the PDF files and more storage (250MB).

Getting Started

Before you can publish, an account needs to be made through Pressbook which can be achieved here: https://pressbooks.com/wp/wp-signup.php.

When logged in, you can add your book information in the Book Info tab located in the leftmost column. Complete the following information to your best ability. Information which is necessary to complete includes the title and author of the book.

Using the Organize tab, you can add the book’s content and categorize it. The options of categorization include Parts, Chapters, Front Matter, Back Matter, and Glossary Terms. When adding a chapter, for example, you will be brought to a new screen with various options to play with. These options include;

  • Title
    • Text Box: To add content
    • Status and Visibility: Whether you want to share a preview of this chapter to others
  • Chapter Type: Numberless vs. Standard (with numbers)
  • Discussion: Allow comments and/or trackbacks and pingbacks (need to define)
  • Chapter Metadata: Short title, Subtitle, Authors, etc.

Once your book’s content is inputted, click on the Appearance tab and go to Themes to select a style for your book. After the selected theme has been chosen, go through Theme Options tab to adjust any appearance issues in your book. Global Options includes changing all the formats of your book while the other three tabs are more specific to one format.

Exporting & Publishing

When you’re ready to export, click on the Export tab. You can export your book to the following formats;

  • PDF: For print and digital distribution
  • EPUB: Nook, Apple Books, and Kobo
  • MOBI: Kindle
  • Other Formats: EPUB 3, XHTML, HTMLBook, OpenDocument, Pressbooks XML, and WordPress XML

Once you selected the right formats, click the Export Your Book button in which you can then view your book once the process has been completed.

When publishing your ebook, Pressbook suggests one way this can be done is by sending your files to ebookstores and print-on-demand providers. Sending to ebookstores can be done by yourself or through a third-party distributor (they suggest IngramSpark). Print-on-Demand is a similar process where they suggest selling through the third-party distributors of IngramSpark or Amazon’s CreateSpace. One can add BUY links to Pressbook by providing the links to your books of the retailers.

Our next challenge is to take Pressbooks for a test drive.