How to Get Your Book Into PressBooks

Even if you’ve already started writing your book, it’s easy to import into Pressbooks.

This chapter will:

  • Provide an overview of the many options for getting your book into the Pressbooks platform and why you would use each;
  • Link to subsequent guide chapters with more detail; and
  • List next steps after importing your existing text.

1. Ways to Get Your Book Into Pressbooks

No matter where your manuscript is now–in your head, in another software or even fully produced as an ebook–there’s a way to get it into Pressbooks so you can revise, write or complete it. Here are the basics:

  • No matter what stage your book is in, you can copy and paste the text manually into the Pressbooks interface. This may be the best method. While it takes a little more effort up front, it will preserve the formatting that will translate into an ebook (line breaks, bulleted lists, bold, italics, headings and subheads), while stripping out formatting that won’t.
  • You can also write and format your book directly in Pressbooks, which is arguably simplest.
  • Pressbooks will also import text from Word documents (though some reformatting and cleanup may be needed with this method). We recommend using this for books with many chapters.
  • Want to go blog to book? Import your blog files from WordPress.
  • If your book is already in EPUB form, you can still get it into the platform–Pressbooks will convert it back to editable form.

2. What to Do Next

Once you’ve imported your book, whether manually by cutting and pasting or instantly through one of the other import methods, make sure all the elements have transmitted correctly.

To do so:

  • Go into your Dashboard and click on Organize Text. Check that every chapter and section imported in their original hierarchy and that none are missing.
  • Next, go into each chapter. Highlight each type of text–headings, paragraphs and subheadings, and apply a style in the Visual Text Editor’s formatting menu.
  • Finally, export a copy and review the output on your ereader or a simulator such as Kindle Previewer. If you see any funky formatting, go back into the chapters using the Text Editor and delete anything causing bad markup. (Learn more about markup here and here.)

These two steps will ensure that your book outputs elegantly and that there are no formatting inconsistencies.