Thursday, May 22, 2014

My follow-up on Pressbook – A template useful for formatting mobi, epub and pdf files.


Pressbook: Part 2   
From my blog post on May 19th, I did promise to let you know the areas on Pressbook where I ran into trouble. That way, if you hit the same snags, you’d know what to do. So here’s my sad tale….
First of all, I overthought it. In other words, I expected it to be a lot more difficult than it really was. If you think of the site as a template where you insert the information into its slots, it will make more sense.
So - the first thing that gave me trouble was the Copyright area. I don’t know why I ran into a problem there since all you need to do is insert the regular spiel about this being a work of fiction and all rights reserved, etcetera, in the space provided on the Info page and it will come out just fine. I guess I thought it had to go into the front matter and ended up with two pages. One they created and the one I added.
Another thing I didn’t pay attention to was the Publish box on the right hand side of each page where it has the Export settings. It’s important to tick the top two spaces for the linked table of contents because the program will organize it for you. That’s so cool!!
Include in exports
Show title in exports
Also- when I did my first book, I had two chapter headings and it looked horrible.  I couldn’t figure out why that happened until I asked the same friend that told me about Pressbook.
The way you fix this is to go to the left side panel of tabs and choose Appearance – themes - and when you choose the theme setup you’d like, then go to theme details and then theme options and where it says Global Options, make sure that the box beside Display Chapter numbers is left empty. Now save it. That will clear away the double headings.
Another of my favorite things about Pressbook is that I had wracked my brain trying to come up with the correct way to insert a cover image into a word doc that wouldn’t disappear when I uploaded the file to Amazon. So many times, I ended up with a little camera instead of the picture. I tried the insert image with my windows 10 and for me it wouldn’t take.( I must have been doing something wrong….Ya think?)  When I spotted the add media button on Pressbook, my heart did a little leap for joy because I knew that this problem was now solved. And... I was right. It’s great!! I’ve even begun adding my author photo on My Page just ‘cause I can :-))))
The last thing that threw me was when I had to upgrade because my file was too large. I had no idea what to do until I saw the Upgrade tab. It took me to a place where I set up a visa number and paid the $10. Once that was done, it let me finish loading everything and then Export the files in the three formats – mobi, epubs & pdf. Again, I had no problem downloading the files they formatted and checking them out through Caliber. But when I saw something I wanted to change, for some reason it didn’t dawn on me that I had to actually hit that darn big RED “Export your Book” tab again. Took me some time before that became clear….duhhh!! In fact, you can export as many times as you want. So, making corrections to the files is very simple.
Like most new things, once you’ve used this tool, I promise you it will become easier. I still haven’t delved into the other parts of the program like comments, users and utilities but I’ll get to it. If you go to their help page, as I did, there is lots there so you won’t feel alone or... you can always e-mail me:-)
Pressbook - Need some help? Here are some ways to get in touch:
•Guide to PressBooks: An Incomplete Guide to Using PressBooks
•User Forum: post a question on our PressBooks User Forum (NOTE: new registration required)
•Email: send an email to
•Twitter: @ us on
•Read our FAQ (coming soon)
***If any of you reading this have anything else to add about your experiences with Pressbook, please do so in the comments so we can all learn more from each other.
The yellow Rose is for friendship!!

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  1. Mimi, You are so helpful and generous with your time. This sounds like the perfect way to epub a book without the big learning curve of other methods. Thanks for all the useful information for the rest of us. :)

    1. You are more than welcome, Sylvia. I'm only happy to save someone from some of the frustration I've gone through myself. I have no doubt, one day you'll be doing the same for another :-)