PDF Images, New Templates, DocBook

Dear PressBookers,

Goodness, it’s been a while since we’ve sat down to write you a letter, and we hope that this note finds you well. We have been busy as bees at PressBooks, and quieter with our communications than perhaps we should have been.

While we have many more exciting things cooking which we can’t tell you about quite yet, we can tell you about everything in this newsletter, including:

1. Nice things some of our users have said about us
2. Images in PDF exports
3. Harvard PDF template
4. Columbia EPUB template
5. New Backmatter!
6. Authors … now in Backmatter
7. EPUB–>Kindle formatting improvements
8. Title page images
9. Short titles for book & chapters (PDF)
10. Select whether or not chapter names appear (in EPUB)
11. Publisher City
12. Docbook export
13. Ecommerce links
14. BEA Presentations
15. The 24-Hour Book

1. Nice things some of our users have said about us
Getting good user feedback sure makes us happy. Here are some recent favourites:

“Good to hear from you! I loooooove PressBooks – can’t live without it!”
— Olivier Charbonneau

“You and PressBooks just made my list of things to recommend to everyone I know.”
— Peter Andreas

“Yes I will definitely be using PressBooks again. I really like it. And the book looks really smart and beautifully formatted.”
— Graem Aitken

“[PressBooks] is not the best thing since sliced bread, it has sliced bread licked.”
— Barbara Fister

To all of you, and others who have said nice things, or helped us with constructive criticism: thanks… we are building PressBooks to do something useful for you, and it’s good to hear we are going in the right direction.

2. Images in PDF exports
Images in PDF exports are now working swimmingly, with best results achieved with centered images.

3. Harvard PDF template
We have a new very nice PDF template, Harvard (commissioned by Harvard Business Review Press). Especially good for non-fiction, but works with fiction too!

4. Columbia EPUB template
We have a new very nice EPUB template, Columbia (commissioned by Columbia Business School Publishing), that looks lovely.

5. New Backmatter!
We added a Backmatter section to “Book Organization,” with Backmatter types including: About the Author, Afterward, Conclusion, Epilogue, Miscellaneous and a few more.

6. Authors … now in Backmatter
You might have noticed above: We’ve changed how we handle the “About the Author” section of the site, and made this a regular part of the book in Backmatter — rather than its own menu item. So you can add this or not, as you choose.

7. EPUB–>Kindle formatting improvements
As part of our work with Columbia Business School Publishing, we got deeply into the challenges of making our outputs look nice on Kindle (hard), as well as looking nice on iBooks etc. (easy). So we’ve adjusted output markup for blockquotes, footnotes, and a few other things, so conversions into Kindle should go smoothly.

8. Title page images
We’re doing some work for Random House, and they wanted their title pages to be images — rather than automated output. So there’s an option now to upload a title page image (in Book Information).

9. Short titles for book & chapters (PDF)
As part of our PDF template work for Harvard Business Review Press, we’ve added a “short title” field in Book Information, and on Chapters, so that you can customize your running headers in PDF output.

10. Select whether or not chapter names appear (in EPUB)
Sometimes you just don’t want the chapter name to appear at the top of your chapter in an EPUB export. You can now select to suppress the chapter title in the EPUB (we’ll work on this for PDF as well).

11. Publisher City
We added a publisher city field on the Book Information page.

12. Docbook export
We were commissioned by our friends at O’Reilly Media to generate Docbook 4.5 exports … and now we do!

13. Ecommerce links
We cleaned up the ecommerce links (you’ll find it in Settings –> Ecommerce) so that when you add the links, we put in some nice logos!

14. BEA presentations
I was at BEA, and gave a couple of presentations, you can find one here: 5 Experiments Every Publisher Should Be Doing:
http://blog.pressbooks.com/?p=36

15. The 24-Hour Book
Finally, congrats to if:book australia for the success of their fabulous and nutty project, the 24-Hour Book, which was written on PressBooks, and pinted on an Espresso Book Machine, all in 24 hours.

Well that does seem a lot, though we have lots more in store for you. That’s some of what we’ve been up to, anyway, and as always, we’d love to hear from you if you have suggestions, ideas, complaints, problems, or even if you just want to say “Hi.” Feel free to write, call or telegraph.

All the Best,

Hugh & the PressBooks gang.
email: hugh@pressbooks.com
twitter: @pressbooks
web: pressbooks.com
+1.514.464.2047

Linkedin