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How To Publish Your eBook Online with PressBooks

Have you ever thought about creating an online version of your book?

PressBooks can help you publish your eBook, but they also have a powerful toolbox for publishing your book online–the “Webbification of Books.”

Movable Type Management president Jason Allen Ashlock helped found the The Rogue Reader imprint this month, a new “digital publishing channel for outstanding suspense fiction.” We caught up with Ashlock (one of our many Media App Summit guests) to find out why he chose PressBooks to publish these new books.

Ashlock explained: “We were looking for a technology partner that allowed us to do several things at once: build great ebooks, use the ebook content we built flexibly, and make that content the core of a web presence. Pressbooks did all of that and more. Pressbooks is built on top of WordPress, which means a couple of important things: it means ebook production is as simple as blogging, and it means the platform treats ebooks as they should be treated, like websites. Which is to say, the content is web-ready, optimized for search, optimized for mobile, optimized for social. So we are able to make the entire text of our books work as metadata for us. And we are able to build once and have every option we want: ebooks, web books, blog content, and print-ready pdfs if we want to make that leap. Astonishingly efficient.”

He added: “But the key thing, to us, is making the book content the core of your web presence. Generous samples that you can control with the click of a button. We often feel like publishers build great content but then they lock it up inside a pretty box, and tell readers they can’t look inside the pretty box; they can only peep through a pinhole. Then they spend all their time selling the pretty box. But if you have great content, why not let the content out to sell itself? We’re confident in these novels, so we want to open that box up and let the content out, let readers engage with it, share it, comment on it. Hugh McGuire, the founder of Pressbooks, calls this the Webbification of Books. That makes a lot of sense to us.”

He offered some advice for digital publishers: “There are myriad ebook production tools available, and many of them are really excellent. But there’s something particularly attractive about the native web dynamic of Pressbooks. We all know that authors are required to have a strong web presence, to be active on social platforms, to engage directly with readers. I don’t know of another platform that equips writers to integrate all of those efforts–and to keep the book at the center of it all–as easily as Pressbooks does. Any author who uses the platform will automatically gain a lot of efficiences that even big publishers don’t often have. Every time I try to read a sample from an ebook on a big publisher’s site–or worse, have to go to Scribd to read an excerpt–I think, ‘Big Publishers ought to be using Pressbooks!’”

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