Books should be as easy to create as websites

Hugh McGuire on his new PressBooks publishing platform.


This post is part of the TOC podcast series. You can also subscribe to the free TOC podcast through iTunes.

There are countless author and book production platforms to choose from these days. So why would you want to use a new one like PressBooks? In this TOC interview, I sat down with Hugh McGuire (@hughmcguire), co-author of “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto” and founder of PressBooks to help answer that question. I should point out that I’m a fan of the platform. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we agreed to have Hugh create and produce “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto” on PressBooks.

Highlights from the full video interview (below) include:

  • Start with a web first approach — HTML is a great starting point and allows you to go in a variety of directions for other formats. It’s all about making it as easy to create a book as it is to create a website. [Discussed at the 1:30 mark.]
  • Built on WordPress — PressBooks leverages the CMS power of WordPress and will be familiar to a large audience of writers and editors. [Discussed at 3:18.]
  • Putting book content online — The web offers a great way to spread information, but ebooks are typically off that grid. PressBooks allows you to leverage social interactions for a book. [Discussed at 4:15.]
  • Digital first, POD second — Even though PressBooks is an obvious solution for digital publishing, it’s not exclusive to that. In fact, “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto” will also be available via POD when the project is complete. [Discussed at 8:10.]
  • The value of “free” — “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto” is and will remain freely accessible on PressBooks. Will that ultimately cannibalize or help promote sales of the paid versions? [Discussed at 9:00.]

You can view the entire interview in the following video.

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