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Pressbooks

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Pressbooks is an easy-to-use online tool that allows you to create professional quality versions of your book in ePUB, MOBI, PDF and more — all through the library.

Whether you have written your first book or are just getting started, you can write, edit and design digital and print copies of your book with ease using Pressbooks.


Getting Started With Pressbooks

1. Register for a free Pressbooks account

2. Add your book information

  • This is where you add and edit information about your book, such as author name, subtitle, publication date, cover, etc.
  • You can fill out as many or as few of the metadata fields as you would like.

3. Add and organize your text

  • In this section you can edit your content and organize it into chapters.
  • This is also where you have the ability to add front and back matter, such as a bibliography, introduction, or preface.

4. Select your book design theme

  • Pressbooks offers over 50 unique themes to choose from for those who would like to alter the overall appearance of your content.

5. Export your book!

  • Export your own professional-grade ePUB, PDF and MOBI files with Pressbooks’ simple one-button export panel.

Tips & Tricks for Using Pressbooks

THE BASICS

Pressbooks Standard Book Structure

Front Matter: Can include elements such as a preface, dedication, foreword, abstract, etc.
Main Body: The bulk content of your book, typically organized into chapters
Back Matter: Can include elements such as an index, epilogue, bibliography, etc.

Components Pressbooks Automatically Includes in your Book

  • Title page (and in PDF, Half-title page)
  • Copyright page
  • Table of contents (optional in PDF, required in EPUB/MOBI)
  • Chapter numbers
  • Page numbers (in PDF)
  • Running headers/footers (in PDF, depending on theme)

Pressbooks offers a selection of over 50 themes to apply to your book. Themes can style your book to relate to different genres, audiences or aesthetic preferences.

  • You can browse through all themes to find the one most suitable for your book
  • OR search for relevant keywords such as: Romance, Nonfiction, Memoir, YA, Children, Mystery, Thriller, Academic, Simple, Color, Classic and more

eBook Cover Specifications and Recommendations

  • 1:1.5 ratio: Height of the cover should be 1.5 times the width of the cover
  • Recommended dimensions: 2500 x 3750 pixels
  • Minimum dimensions: 666 x 1000 pixels
  • Maximum file size: 2 MB
  • Recommended file type: JPG
  • Note: covers are not included in PDF exports (click here to learn why)

* If you don’t have a cover, you can create one in minutes using the cover generator in Pressbook’s Export tab.


BEST PRACTICES

Copy and pasting or writing your book directly in Pressbooks is the easiest way to ensure your book is well-formatted.

  • This will preserve the formatting that will translate into an eBook, while stripping formatting that won’t.
  • Pressbooks also supports importing your manuscript directly from Word, however it might take some reformatting and cleanup to remove any automatic coding or formatting that comes in through the document that won’t translate into an eBook.

Select “No” in the Privacy section where it says “Allow search engines to index this site” since you will likely want to distribute this book on your own terms.

Be sure to use the “Styles Menu” when editing your content in Pressbooks.

  • For example, instead of just applying “bold” to text to designate it as a header, use the styles menu to select from a variety of header options. This ensures your formatted sections appear properly across all platforms.

Adding Media

  • Uploading any media you’d like to include before beginning the construction of your book provides you with a helpful image bank to select from so you won’t need to stop to upload each individual image as you continue working on your book.
  • Authors looking to submit works to SELF-e should refrain from including media components beyond the use of images.
  • Always use a caption when adding a photo, as this makes sure your image won’t slide around when viewed on different devices.


ADDITIONAL FEATURES FOR POWER USERS

If you are familiar with CSS you are not limited to the selection of Pressbooks themes.

Simply apply the Custom CSS theme and get started!

Pressbooks allows you to share sample chapters of your book with your followers on social media to generate excitement about your upcoming release, at no cost!

Even after exporting your files you can go back and edit your book and export the updated files as many times as you’d like, at any time you’d like, all at no additional cost.

At any time, you can add additional collaborators to your work such as editors, readers and co-authors.

Settings Section

  • If you do decide to make your book public through Pressbooks, Google analytics are available to monitor how many people are visiting or reading
    your book.
  • The search and replace feature here allows you to search throughout your entire book to replace a word or phrase.

Check out the Pressbooks Youtube Video for more tips and tricks through their growing library of tutorial videos.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pressbooks?
Pressbooks is an easy-to-use online software — now available through your library — that allows you to create professional-quality eBook and print-ready files of your book in ePUB, MOBI and PDF formats.

Do I need to know anything about graphic design or coding to use Pressbooks?
Nope! You can write, edit and format your book in Pressbooks with no coding or graphic design knowledge at all. Pressbooks offers over 50 different free themes, each carefully and professionally designed, that are ready for you choose from. Pressbooks also allows you to easily add footnotes, images, front matter, back
matter, table of contents and more, all with no experience necessary.

Does Pressbooks take any ownership of my exported files?
None at all. After exporting your book with Pressbooks you still retain complete and total ownership of your content and all exported files, and can distribute your work however you would like. Pressbooks claims no portion of any future or past royalties.

Can I use Pressbooks if I already have a draft of my book?
Yes! You can copy and paste each existing chapter of your book into Pressbooks OR import your entire Word document. (Note: Pressbooks cannot convert PDF files to ePUBs)

After I export my book with Pressbooks can I make changes to it?
Yes! You can edit and update your works in Pressbooks and export the updated files as frequently as you would like, for as long as you would like.

I’m having trouble getting started with Pressbooks, what should I do?
If you’re not sure how to begin using Pressbooks, ask your local librarian today about our Training Resources. There are a variety of videos, tutorials and training guides designed to get you on your way to producing the best versions of your works as possible.