New Feature: Privacy Management for Books and Chapters

Privacy settings for books and chapters on PressBooks are now much easier to manage, since we’ve added controls right on your Text–>Organize page in the PressBooks Admin.

Here’s how it works:

1. Set your books global privacy

If you make your book PRIVATE — then no one can see any of it, unless they are users you have specifically invited (for instance collaborators). In this case, your chapter privacy settings do not matter.

If you make your book PUBLIC  — then the book’s home page will be visible to the world (great for promotion), and all chapters that are NOT marked private will be viewable as well.

You can select your book’s privacy settings in the Text–>Organize page in your PressBooks Admin.

PressBooks: Book and Chapter Privacy Settings.
PressBooks: Book and Chapter Privacy Settings.

2. Privacy settings for chapters

As mentioned above, if your book settings are PRIVATE, there is no need to worry about privacy settings for your chapters. However, if you make your book PUBLIC … then the book’s homepage will appear on the web for all to see, as well as any chapters not checked PRIVATE.

You select your chapter privacy settings by checking the PRIVATE checkbox on the Text–>Organize page in your PressBooks Admin.

Case Study #1:

I’ve published a book, and I would like to promote it:

  • I want potential readers to come to the (beautiful!) home page…
  • The EPUB and PDF have a whole lot of frontmatter (dedication, introduction etc) — but I just want readers to jump right into the first chapter, without having to click through
  • I’d like readers to be able to sample 2 chapters for free.=, but not more.

In order to achieve this I do the following:

  1. Mark the book as PUBLIC.
  2. Mark all Frontmatter as PRIVATE (so readers on the web don’t have to see all that, but can instead jump right into the story)
  3. Make sure the first 2 chapters are NOT marked private (so people can read online)
  4. Make sure that the remaining chapters ARE marked PRIVATE (so they have to buy to read more!).

See below for settings achieving this:

PressBooks Privacy Case Study
PressBooks Privacy Case Study


I can now point people to my lovely book home page on PressBooks:

A Sample Book on PressBooks
A Sample Book on PressBooks


And when my visitors click on “Read” … they go right to chapter 1:

PressBooks Sample Chapter
PressBooks Sample Chapter


Have questions? Ask away, on Twitter, Facebook, our User Forum, or email.




3 thoughts on “New Feature: Privacy Management for Books and Chapters

  1. Good stuff.

    Might I also add that, in addition to the Privacy column, you can play around with the Export column to mark Chapters as web only.

    For example, create a Chapter with content along the lines of: “Like what you read so far? Support the author and click here to buy the rest of the book.”

    Mark that Chapter as Published but turn off Export. That way it appears only on the web, not in your actual book.


Comments are closed.

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