27 [Example] Proposed Formatting Workflow

This template may be used to define the process involved when transferring draft content into Pressbooks (or similar publishing tool). You can access an editable version of this example online.

Formatting Workflow in Pressbooks

  • Create Pressbooks shell, and select a theme to use in the book (some themes, like Malala, are explicitly designed for textbooks).
  • Prepare a formatting guide or set up a chapter template (with all elements formatted) in Pressbooks. You could also use the first chapter as an example. Include instructions on:
    • nesting of headings
    • alternative text for images
    • sensible link text
    • media attributions
    • glossary items
    • interactive elements
    • tables
    • lists
    • textboxes (learning outcomes, student tips)
    • footnotes
    • references
  • Transfer a chapter into Pressbooks, using the docx Import tool or by copying and pasting from your draft document.
  • Clean up content in the Text Editor (removing any <span> or <div> tags that might interfere with the default formatting from the theme).
  • Check if anything has been lost in the transfer (links, heading hierarchy, lists, images, multimedia, etc.).
  • Format the content as outlined in the formatting guide. Save your changes.
  • Preview the content in web, PDF, EPUB. Make changes until the content looks satisfactory in each of these formats.
  • If necessary, adjust the Theme Options on the book.
  • Repeat 3-7 for the remaining chapters in the book (bulk import if necessary).
  • Then add frontmatter and backmatter elements, and repeat 5-7.
    • Frontmatter:
      • Acknowledgements
      • Dedication
      • Introduction
      • How to use the book (for students or instructors)
      • What is an open textbook
      • Praise for the book
    • Backmatter:
      • References
      • Glossary
      • Ancillaries (slides, answers to exercises/quizzes)
      • Review statement
      • Version History (including the publication date and version number of the first edition)
      • Licensing and Attribution information
      • Accessibility Assessment
      • About the Contributors
      • Feedback and Suggestions
      • Adoption Form
  • Enter the metadata in the Book Information. At minimum, input the:
    • Title
    • Short and long description
    • Subject
    • License
    • Team
    • Cover
    • Rebus project homepage link (so others can contact you or the team)
  • At this stage, you may want to proofread the book or conduct accessibility review or classroom review. Do what’s required and make necessary revisions to your content.
  • Export files in web, editable, and offline formats, and conduct final checks for every format.
  • Adjust the settings to allow these formats to be downloaded from the book homepage.
  • Set up print-on-demand, if possible. Include a link to purchase a print copy in the book homepage.
  • Notify the team and send them a link to view the book.
  • Update Rebus project homepage with a link to the book.
  • Execute your marketing plan to release the book.


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Find an editable version of this template here.


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The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) Copyright © 2019 by Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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