Pressbooks: The New Way To Format Your Novel and Get It Out There

I discovered Pressbooks through a fellow writer on Wattpad, who suggested I check it out when I was lamenting the woes of formatting my novel.  Pressbooks is by the same company that runs WordPress  uses the open source WordPress software as a foundation for their service, so if you’re used to the WordPress blogging format, then you’ll get used to the Pressbooks editing format quite easily.

Unlike Leanpub, which requires writers to have a basic understanding of markdown language, Pressbooks is a WYSIWYG type of formatting program.  And after battling with Leanpub’s formatting limitations (though they are currently working on this), I welcome Pressbook’s WYSIWYG format any day.

Pressbooks online book publishing software creates the files you need to publish your books and ebooks: PDF for print and print-on-demand including Amazon’s createspace; ebooks including MOBI for Kindle book publishing, and EPUB for Apple’s iBooks, Nook, Kobo and others. All your books can be managed from one simple Web-based platform. We work with small and medium-sized publishers, as well as individual authors and writers, who want an efficient way to make an ebook or print book — with no design or coding skills required.

Instead of figuring out formatting mumbo jumbo, you get to pick themes based on the way you want your novel to be published.  Their Theme Gallery has themes suitable for every genre, whether  you’re writing your memoir, literary fiction, romance, non-fiction or even academic books.

Just some of the different themes you can choose from Pressbooks

Just some of the different themes you can choose from Pressbooks

Their web interface is amazing. You can literally write your novel the way you’re already writing your blogs on WordPress.  You can even import your work such as Word or your own blog.  Your book is divided into chapters and then front matter and back matter. There’s the book info where you write the title, the blurb, upload  your cover image and so much more.

Even though I’ve got Ulysses 3.o and Scrivener for the writing part, I’m currently editing my book on Pressbooks (go figure) simply because I get to see its output immediately.  And being a visual learner, it also helps me stay motivated in the editing process.

Finding Sam front page on Pressbooks

How your “front page” looks on your book page.

And when you’re all done, you can export it to the common formats for digital publishing – ePub, mobi, and PDF. If you’re stumped, Pressbooks can even convert it for you.  And after you’re done with the formatting and publishing, you can even send your book directly to Screwpulp, an innovative ebook marketplace that works with Pressbooks.  I even wrote about them in a previous post.

Pressbooks has four publishing plans to choose from, and for Finding Sam, the novel I’m publishing in December, I chose the PDF+EBook Pro plan at $99.  The fee is one time, per book, and I think it’s worth it.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 7.53.20 PM

One time fee, per book for Pressbooks formatting

So if you’re wondering how to get your book out there, definitely check out Pressbooks, and when you’ve published, check out Screwpulp as another ebook marketplace in addition to those other giant storefronts out there.

2 comments on “Pressbooks: The New Way To Format Your Novel and Get It Out There”

  1. Hugh McGuire

    Hi Liz, Thanks for the great write-up! One correction: Pressbooks isn’t run by the company that runs WordPress … the connection is that we use the open source WordPress software as the basis for building Pressbooks.

    Anyway, happy Pressbooks is working for you — let me know if you have questions.

    • Liz

      Thanks for the clarification – I’m going to correct the post to reflect that. I completely forgot the open source WordPress software used as the basis for building Pressbooks – it was just so seamless going from one (WP) to the next that I automatically thought it was the same company 🙂

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