Skip

Book authoring for the rest of us
February 16, 2012 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Booktype is an open source platform to write and publish print and digital books.

It features collaborative editing and has no license restrictions on the content, which can be delivered for a variety of screen and print formats. It comes at at a time when controversy over Apple's iBooks Author tool (previously) is still fresh.
posted by dgran (17 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Are books and the internet about to merge?", The Guardian
posted by stbalbach at 11:18 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome. Goodbye, stupid publishing world.
posted by DU at 11:32 AM on February 16, 2012


But it's just picture and text right?
posted by oddman at 11:37 AM on February 16, 2012


There are myriad tools out there, such as Press Books, and more every day. A catalog of them would be useful. Touting a single one less so.
posted by twsf at 11:42 AM on February 16, 2012


Why does Press Books want me to make an account before showing me their webpage?
posted by oddman at 11:44 AM on February 16, 2012


Something something LaTeX something
posted by usonian at 11:44 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


But it's just picture and text right?

Those have consistently been two of my favorite components of books, so it seems like a reasonable starting point.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:56 AM on February 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


There are issues with making .epub files using LaTeX, certainly TeX4ht does the trick, but imho the process sin't nearly as smooth and user friendly at vanilla PDF-LaTeX.

It appears they provide some distributed version control like functionality as well, which helps since Git isn't exceptionally user friendly either.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:02 PM on February 16, 2012


I'd consider their instalation instructions easier than correctly employing TeX4ht, but not by the margin the video suggests.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:07 PM on February 16, 2012


So, if I'm interested in a book (in a loose sense, obviously) authoring application that incorporates text, video, and interactive stuff (media, widgets, etc.) but I don't want to use iBooks Author, are there any WYSIWYG-ish options? (I don't have time to learn HTML5.)

So, basically I want iBooks Author without the onerous licensing.
posted by oddman at 12:23 PM on February 16, 2012


So, basically I want iBooks Author without the onerous licensing.

It may be a while before some company will make and give away free software of that quality. I reckon Adode and others are working on similar software, but I also can't imagine they won't be charging hundreds of dollars for it.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:18 PM on February 16, 2012


*Adobe.

Sheesh. And I previewed. I need a personal copy-editor.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:19 PM on February 16, 2012


It doesn't support anything more than Booktype does, IIRC, but Sigil is a WYSIWYG ebook editor. I'm looking into producing my first ebook and this is so far the easiest option I've found - while Booktype looks great, there is no way I'd be able to install it, much yet use it.
posted by Chichibio at 2:27 PM on February 16, 2012


I'm sorry, I may be being stupid here - but what is this? Is it desktop software? There's a very long esoteric list of things to do to get it running - is it an application, or something you host on a web site?

Here are the few resources I have bookmarked:
  • The ABCs of e-book format conversion: Easy Calibre tips for the Kindle, Sony and Nook

  • Sigil is a multi-platform EPUB ebook editor

  • Apose.Words .Net component produces ePub etc. - Developers only, and I haven't actually tried it out.

  • Calibre conversion software Converts between different formats.

  • MobiPocket eBook Creator Free, export from Word.

  • KindleGen Free, converts HTML, ODF, ePub into AZW for the Kindle store.

  • posted by alasdair at 2:56 PM on February 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


    "Are books and the internet about to merge?", The Guardian

    They already did, sometime last year. I won't link the study ... look it up on filestube.

    I'm sorry, I may be being stupid here - but what is this? Is it desktop software? There's a very long esoteric list of things to do to get it running - is it an application, or something you host on a web site?

    I believe this would be something you install on a Web server.

    Check the demo: Ah, scopa!
    posted by mrgrimm at 3:25 PM on February 16, 2012


    Inkling just announced a new tool that is, essentially, iBooks Author with different restrictive licensing. Looks pretty slick, thought.
    posted by libraryhead at 5:15 PM on February 16, 2012


    "It may be a while before some company will make and give away free software of that quality. "

    I'm OK with paying for it. I do prefer free and open source, but I'll pay when that's not available.

    Inkling Habitat isn't for individuals (yet?). According to Engadget "the platform promises to make producing interactive e-books at scale more affordable, with the program itself completely free provided publishers agree to sell their books through Inkling's store. As mocoNews notes, however, Inkling isn't asking publishers for exclusive rights, so they'll also be able to sell them elsewhere if they choose."

    So, that's a step in the right direction.
    posted by oddman at 6:30 PM on February 16, 2012


    « Older Choose Your Own Greek Fiscal Adventure   |   REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP Newer »


    This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



    Post