I spent most of Sunday trolling Google and asking “how to make art ebook.” I got 50 billion answers like this “Learn to make art with this ebook.” Clearly I haven’t discovered the right terminology yet.
I then went to the online publisher Blurb, where The Theory has created some nice p.o.d. (“print on demand”) books about my father Lee Kelly and my stepmother Bonnie Bronson. Here’s a link to one he did for Lee Kelly’s 80th birthday.
Blurb also does ebooks. This link takes you to their $9.99 ebook production feature. Be sure and watch their twee video—like I will EVER have audio and video embeds in an ebook.
The Theory took a number of photos for the The Encaustic Materials Handbook to illustrate wax medium and various paint types and tool. I want to use them in the book at a reasonably large scale, say 600 pixels wide. And Blurb would do a great job—a lot of artists, especially photographers, use this service.But I’m not sure I need everything that Blurb does, since I’m not doing a p.o.d. book.
Stumped for an answer, I went back to The Great Google and asked “how to make an ebook.” Clearly I’d given up hope since I dropped the word “art.” All I wanted was a clue. And that’s when I found a link to a free program called PressBooks.
PressBooks uses the WordPress engine. (For those of you who can’t tell by looking, The Hive Encaustic is a WordPress blog.) I was immediately intrigued. Here are a couple of advantages to using PressBooks:
- It’s free;
- Uses familiar WordPress format;
- Outputs your book in pdf, mobi, EPUB formats, as well as a bunch of others I don’t care about (yet);
- Creates a great clickable Table of Contents;
- Handles footnotes and endnotes perfectly;
- Accepts your Word text and preserves most styles;
- Did I mention it’s free?
Unlike Blurb, it does not support a p.o.d. (print on demand) format although the developers are thinking about adding that to later versions.
Read more about PressBooks. And here are some review links I grabbed from a PressBooks newsletter:
- Techcrunch: PressBooks Goes Open Source To Let Authors Create Book Sites In Seconds
- Pando Daily: Indie book publishing platform PressBooks goes open source, embraces print
- Chris Brogan (podcast): Publish Your Own Ebook with Hugh McGuire of Pressbooks
- About.com: Write Your Next Novel with PressBooks