Self-Publishers often have to deal with complicated distribution methods and clunky software when creating their ebook. Pressbooks seeks to make your life a little bit easier with its online ebook creation tools going open source. This allows you to develop a book using the WordPress Interface and convert it over to an ebook friendly format.
Pressbooks is a unique set of tools that allows indie authors to create their own ebooks using the WordPress CMS. You can add cover art, a table of contents, and then create your book, chapter by chapter. This system for creating books is super intuitive, if you have ever used WordPress before. When your book is completed you can convert it over to an EPUB, PDF, or MOBI file to have as your own, or just refer people to your personal version of the Pressbooks website.
One of the aspects I like about this platform is that it will create your own sub-domain. For example, we created a profile named goodereader and it appears on their website as goodereader.pressbooks.com. This is fairly easy to refer people to your work in progress or see a collective body of work. Another feature that is interesting is the crowd sourced aspect. An author can write chapter and publish it to their Pressbooks site and get immediate feedback from friends, family, or critics.
Distribution is a big deal for most authors, and they want their books sent off to all of the major websites, such as iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. The company has partnered with Bookbaby for distribution to those services, and costs $99 per book. This makes the author’s life a bit easier, because they don’t have to manually submit their book, description, files, and cover art. Bookbaby takes care of all the grunt work, so authors can focus on marketing and self-promotion.
The Pressbook ebook creation tools and plugin to promote the book are totally free! The developers have said that they are going to release some premium features in the next few months. This will comprise of new themes and advanced features for the more tech savvy. For developers, Pressbooks is converting the entire service as a standalone WordPress Plugin, so any website can offer the same abilities to create online ebooks. They are aiming at late 2013 to unveil the new plugins, so we will have to wait and see.
Check out their website today and give it a whirl at http://pressbooks.com/
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.